Temporal storage of ovaries can provide opportunity to rescue oocytes from ovaries of endangered felids. The objective of the study was to examine the effect of different storage periods (2, 24 and 48 h) of ovaries at 4 degrees C for maturation of cat oocytes in vitro. Ovaries were collected from 25 domestic cats at various stages of the estrous cycle by routine ovariohysterectomy following anesthesia at different local veterinary clinics, and maintained in physiological saline at 4 degrees C for 2, 24 or 48 h until oocytes recovery. Selected COCs were maturated at 38 degrees C for 48 h in four-well petri dishes, which included 500 mu L modified synthetic oviduct fluid (mSOF) medium under mineral oil in a humidified 5% CO2, 5% O-2, and 90% N-2 atmosphere incubator. After the in vitro maturation period, there were no differences between the rate of oocytes matured at MII stages in 2 and 24 h storage groups (50.7% and 48.2% respectively, p > 0.05). However, the same result for the 48 h group was significantly lower than the 2 and 24 h groups (28.0%, p < 0.001).