Effects of Weight Loss and Moderate-Protein, High-Fiber Diet Consumption on the Fasted Serum Metabolome of Cats

Marissa R. Pallotto, Patrícia M. Oba, Maria R. C. de Godoy, Kirk L. Pappan, Preston R. Buff, Kelly S. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feline obesity elicits a plethora of metabolic responses leading to comorbidities, with potential reversal during weight loss. The specific metabolic alterations and biomarkers of organ dysfunction are not entirely understood. Untargeted, high-throughput metabolomic technologies may allow the identification of biological components that change with weight status in cats, increasing our understanding of feline metabolism. The objective of this study was to utilize untargeted metabolomic techniques to identify biomarkers and gain mechanistic insight into the serum metabolite changes associated with reduced food intake and weight loss in overweight cats. During a four-wk baseline period, cats were fed to maintain body weight. For 18 wk following baseline, cats were fed to lose weight at a rate of ~1.5% body weight/wk. Blood serum metabolites were measured at wk 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 16. A total of 535 named metabolites were identified, with up to 269 of them being altered (p- and q-values < 0.05) at any time point. A principal component analysis showed a continual shift in metabolite profile as weight loss progressed, with early changes being distinct from those over the long term. The majority of lipid metabolites decreased with weight loss; however, ketone bodies and small lipid particles increased with weight loss. The majority of carbohydrate metabolites decreased with weight loss. Protein metabolites had a variable result, with some increasing, but others decreasing with weight loss. Metabolic mediators of inflammation, oxidative stress, xenobiotics, and insulin resistance decreased with weight loss. In conclusion, global metabolomics identified biomarkers of reduced food intake and weight loss in cats, including decreased markers of inflammation and/or altered macronutrient metabolism.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number324
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • feline metabolism
  • metabolomics
  • feline obesity
  • Metabolomics
  • Feline metabolism
  • Feline obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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