The objective of this study was to assess whether the straining of rumen content samples influences the estimation of protozoal density. Ninety rumen samples were obtained from 30 cattle (three samples per animal). The samples were subjected to one of three treatments at the moment of collection: 1) fixation informalin without straining(control treatment), 2) straining before fixation informalin, or 3)straining after fixation informalin.To test the hypothesis of the variation in the protozoa composition in the samples, multivariate analyses with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) were carried out. The diversity and density of rumen protozoa were negatively affected by straining before fixation.In the pre-filtered sample, the number of ciliates from the genus Entodinium was reduced, and no individuals from the Diploplastron, Elytroplastron and Eudiplodinium genera were detected; these effects were not observed in the other two treatments. Straining after fixation did not interfere with the diversity of the ruminal community, but the abundance of protozoa was greater thanin the control treatment and significantly greater than in the samples filtered before fixation. These factors suggest that post-fixation straining is the recommended technique to analyze rumen protozoa.