Apparent total tract energy and macronutrient digestibility of one- to three-day-old, adult ground, extruded, and canned chicken-based diets in domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus)

K. R. Kerr, C. L. Morris, S. L. Burke, K. S. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There has been a recent increase in the popularity of feeding unconventional diets, including whole prey diets, to domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus). Data are needed that allow animal caretakers to choose and formulate diets that meet the nutritional requirements of their cats. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of feeding 1- to 3-d-old whole chicks (WHO), ground adult chicken product (GRO), a chicken-based canned diet (CAN), and a chicken-based extruded diet (EXT) on apparent total tract energy and macronutrient digestibility, N balance, and blood metabolites of domestic cats (n = 11). Macronutrient, energy, and moisture concentrations of diets varied greatly (e.g., CP: 35 to 72% DM); however, cats fed all diets maintained BW and N balance. In general, cats fed WHO had lower nutrient digestibility than those fed CAN and EXT. Cats fed GRO had greater nutrient digestibility than cats fed commercial diets. For example, apparent OM and GE digestibility coefficients were greater (P ≤ 0.05) for cats fed CAN (86 and 88%, respectively), EXT (88 and 88%), and GRO (94 and 95%) compared with those fed WHO (83 and 83%) and greater (P ≤ 0.05) for cats fed GRO compared with those fed CAN and EXT. Many blood metabolites were modified by diet, but most remained within reference ranges for domestic cats. Serum cholesterol was elevated above the reference range for all treatments and greater (P ≤ 0.05) for cats fed WHO compared with those fed CAN, EXT, and GRO. Serum creatinine concentrations were above the reference range for all treatments and greater (P ≤ 0.05) for cats fed GRO compared with those fed CAN or WHO. These data indicate that the whole prey tested herein maintained short-term health and are adequately digestible for use in companion animal diets. Research is needed to determine the global and long-term health implications of feeding whole or ground diets to domestic cats, which may be different in terms of macronutrient, energy, and moisture profiles and nutrient digestibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3441-3448
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume92
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Digestibility
  • Domestic cat
  • Nitrogen metabolism
  • Raw diets
  • Serum metabolites
  • Whole prey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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