Dietary copper influences reproduction in cats

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15 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine the copper requirement of female cats (queens) for gestation. Cuproenzyme activities were evaluated to identify a noninvasive indicator of copper status. This study used a depletion-repletion model. Specific pathogen-free queens (n = 28) were adapted to a purified diet; after consuming a copper-depletion diet (0.8 mg Cu/kg diet) for 4 mo, they were randomly allocated to three dietary treatment groups receiving copper sulfate at 4.0, 5.8 or 10.8 mg Cu/kg diet. Four queens underwent liver biopsies at two time points during the study. Plasma samples were analyzed for copper concentrations, extracellular superoxide dismutase, ceruloplasmin and diamine oxidase activities. Only liver copper concentrations were responsive to dietary copper intake. The dietary concentration of copper had a significant effect on the time taken for queens to conceive (P = 0.04). There was a negative linear relationship between dietary copper (x = Cu mg/kg diet) and the mean time (y = days) for queens to conceive (y = 43.38 - 2.87x; R2 = 0.97). The current NRC recommendation of 5 mg/kg diet copper for cats appears marginal for optimal reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1287-1290
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Copper
  • Diamine oxidase
  • Feline
  • Reproduction ceruloplasmin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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