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The present study was conducted to assess the body composition, leptin, and energy expenditure changes following gonadectomy in cats. Twenty-one females (12 intact and nine spayed) and 21 males (11 intact and 10 castrated) were used. Body weight was recorded. Serum plasma leptin was measured by radioimmunoassay and body composition and energy expenditure were assessed after injection of doubly labelled water. These results confirmed the gain in body weight and body fat following neutering and demonstrated a strong linear relationship between body fat and serum level of leptin. Energy expenditure decreased in castrated cats in comparison with intact ones. This study underlined the effect of gonadectomy as a major factor of obesity in cats and showed that the increase in circulating leptin reflected the amount of body fat. The present results provide further evidence that the regimen of gonadectomized cats should be carefully controlled to avoid excessive weight gain.