Dietary cellulose, fructooligosaccharides, and pectin modify fecal protein catabolites and microbial populations in adult cats

K. A. Barry, B. J. Wojcicki, I. S. Middelbos, B. M. Vester, K. S. Swanson, G. C. Fahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Twelve young adult (1.7 ± 0.1 yr) male cats were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design to determine the effects of fiber type on nutrient digestibility, fermentative end products, and fecal microbial populations. Three diets containing 4% cellulose, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), or pectin were evaluated. Feces were scored based on the 5-point system: 1 being hard, dry pellets, and 5 being watery liquid that can be poured. No differences were observed (P > 0.100) in intake of DM, OM, CP, or acid-hydrolyzed fat; DM or OM digestibility; or fecal pH, DM%, output on an as-is or DM basis, or concentrations of histamine or phenylalanine. Crude protein and fat digestibility decreased (P = 0.079 and 0.001, respectively) in response to supplementation with pectin compared with cellulose. Both FOS and pectin supplementation resulted in increased fecal scores (P < 0.001) and concentrations of ammonia (P = 0.003) and 4-methyl phenol (P = 0.003). Fecal indole concentrations increased (P = 0.049) when cats were supplemented with FOS. Fecal acetate (P = 0.030), propionate (P = 0.035), and total short-chain fatty acid (P = 0.016) concentrations increased in pectin-supplemented cats. Fecal butyrate (P = 0.010), isobutyrate (P = 0.011), isovalerate (P = 0.012), valerate (P = 0.026), and total branched-chain fatty acids + valerate (P = 0.008) concentrations increased with supplementation of FOS and pectin. Fecal cadaverine (P < 0.001) and tryptamine (P < 0.001) concentrations increased with supplementation of FOS and pectin. Fecal tyramine concentrations decreased (P = 0.039) in FOS-supplemented cats, whereas spermidine concentrations increased (P < 0.001) in pectin-supplemented cats. Whereas fecal concentrations of putrescine (P < 0.001) and total biogenic amines (P < 0.001) increased with FOS and pectin, the concentrations of these compounds were increased (P < 0.001) in cats supplemented with pectin. Fecal Bifidobacterium spp. concentrations increased (P = 0.006) and Escherichia coli concentrations decreased (P < 0.001) in FOS-supplemented cats. Fecal concentrations of Clostridium perfringens (P < 0.001), E. colt (P < 0.001), and Lactobacillus spp. (P = 0.030) also increased in pectin-supplemented cats. In addition to increasing populations of protein-fermenting microbiota, pectin increased production of fermentative end products associated with carbohydrate compared with protein fermentation. Pectin and FOS may be useful fiber sources in promoting intestinal health of the cat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2978-2987
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume88
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Cat
  • Fiber
  • Fructan
  • Microbiota
  • Nutrient digestibility
  • Protein catabolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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