The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of in utero and postnatal exposure of a high-protein (HP; n=9) or moderate-protein (MP; n=16) diet on growth, and serum metabolite, ghrelin and leptin concentrations during the first 4months of life in kittens. It was hypothesized that blood indices would be modified due to diet. Blood samples were collected from kittens at 4, 8, 12 and 16weeks of age. Kittens were weaned at 8weeks of age onto the same diet as the dam. Body weight was measured weekly from birth and daily food intake for each litter was recorded post-weaning. Serum concentrations of urea nitrogen, total protein and triglycerides were greater (P<0.05) in kittens fed the HP diet. Serum cholesterol concentrations were greater (P<0.05) in MP-fed kittens at 4weeks of age. Moderate-protein fed kittens tended to have greater (P<0.10) serum ghrelin concentrations. Leptin concentrations were not affected by diet, but changed over time (P<0.05). Our data indicate that diet and age of kittens affect circulating concentrations of peptides important in appetite regulation. Further research testing the effects of in utero and early postnatal nutrient exposure on feline obesity risk in adulthood is needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)