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Applied Nutrition of Cats
Terms in this set (51)
A nutritional carnivore is an animal that
that can thrive throughout its life cycle without any carbohydrate in the diet; it does well on a diet without plant material.
Cats are the only major companion species that are...
True nutritional carnivores.
too much protein and not enough calcium.
The queen (mom cat) produces colostrum only...
for the first 18 to 36 hours of lactation.
The colostrum is...
is more dilute than regular milk,however, it is enriched in the immunoglobulin proteins to provide immunity to the kittens.
After a few days...
The protein and fat content of the milk will begin to increase, from about 4 percent protein in colostrum to 6.6 percent in milk, and 3.4 percent fat to about 5.5 percent in regular milk.
The kittens should be gradually introduced to solid food around
3 to 4 weeks of age.
Feeding-management goals include
encouraging proper eating behavior, not just providing a quality food.
Feed dry rations moistened with water, decreasing the water content slowly so that
by weaning the kittens are eating fairly solid food.
While you are supplying the animal with the protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals...
you are also managing its feeding pattern and intake to avoid problems with urolithiasis and obesity.
Most cats can be trained to
ad-libitum dry-food feeding without allowing too much intake.
What is the main goal in mature cats?
Prevention of obesity
As the animal matures into adulthood, the same rules apply that we learned for dogs.
The metabolic rate will slow, so watch body condition and feed accordingly.
The maintenance diet will follow the basic nutritional principles:
(1) feed a high-quality protein to reduce stress on the kidneys in making urea
(2) use a well-balanced mix of animal and plant protein
(3) protein concentration should be greater than 25 percent and less than 40 percent
(4) fat should be greater than 10 percent and less than 25 percent.
In senior cats, we need to think about...
reducing the total amount of protein, and make sure that the amino acid balance is as close to ideal as we can make it.
The lowered intake of amino acids and the better balance of amino acids will...
reduce the urea formed and lower the metabolic load on the smaller kidney mass
The content of sodium and phosphorous should be as close to
the minimal required as is safe to avoid extra stress on the kidneys.
A diet high in fiber is meant to limit energy intake...
These diets may be fed to an animal prone to obesity at any life stage, or to an older, less active animal.
Fiber can be helpful in some situations such as...
reducing feelings of hunger.
Although cats do not have a dietary requirement for carbohydrate
they do have a metabolic requirement for the carbohydrate glucose.
The metabolic requirement is met through gluconeogenesis occurring in
the liver and kidneys
The high protein and lipid densities of usual cat diets ensure that cats consuming these diets have adequate
glucogenic precursors (glucogenic amino acids and glycerol, respectively).
The starch from ground corn and wheat is well utilized by the cat
and so most commercial cat food formulations include these sources of carbohydrate.
Inclusion of lactose in meat-based diets fed to adult cats often leads to....
diarrhea, perhaps as a consequence of the decline in intestinal lactase activity with age.
Fat, especially animal fat, is also a good dietary source of lipid-soluble vitamins, primarily vitamins A and D, as well as the essential fatty acids linoleic, linolenic, and arachidonic acid.
Cats require greater amounts of each essential fatty acid
It is not completely clear if cats can make enough
arachidonic acid from linoleic acid.
It is wise to increase arachidonic acid concentrations...
However, some studies have shown that for maintenance, linoleic acid is sufficient.
Maintenance of the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids between 5:1 and 10:1 may provide
health benefits for cats (the same ratio is thought to be optimal to minimize inflammation in dogs).
The protein requirement of a cat in some parts of the life cycle can be...
Twice that of dogs
Because the brain of the cat still requires glucose, cats must have
Fast rates of deamination in the liver to convert amino acids to glucose.
Amino acids are catabolized (broken down) at a higher rate in the cat's liver than in...
the liver of other domestic animals.
To meet the cat's requirement for intact essential amino acids, therefore...
it will be necessary to supply more than what is anticipated being deposited in the tissues or otherwise used for metabolism.
Another practical effect of these differences in metabolism is an increase in urea synthesis and excretion...
which requires more energy and increases the urea as well as ammonium ion in the urine.
Cats produce a unique product called felinine that is made from the sulfur-containing amino acids.
Although the function of felinine is not clear, it is excreted in the urine of all cats and may function in territorial marking.
Cats use the sulfur-containing amino acids to make...
the enzymes necessary for phospholipid synthesis.
Cats have a large need for phospholipids because...
these molecules are used in absorption and metabolism of dietary fat.
Of all domestic animal diets, the diet of the cat is usually highest in...
Cats do not produce enough taurine...
Most diets for cats have most of the protein coming from animal products, and supplemental taurine is used for diets containing proportionally more plant protein.
Taurine is a critical element of opsin...
A protein involved in eye function
Taurine is used in digestion of fat as...
taurocholic acid, a combination of part of taurine and cholic acid, from cholesterol.
The major symptom of taurine deficiency is...
reduced and then severely damaged eyesight.
Symptoms can take many months to a couple of years to develop
and once noted are usually not completely reversible.
Taurine must be included in the diet
either as contained in animal protein or by itself, at about 0.5 percent of the total diet.
They can derive a large part of their amino acids from plant proteins, as long as
the taurine amount is correct and the overall amino acid quality is good.
The amino acid arginine is used in the urea cycle during the conversion of excess protein to urea.
Because of the need to process excess protein, the cat can die within hours after consuming an arginine-free diet.
Unlike other domestic animals, cats have a requirement for preformed vitamin A.
Whereas other domestic animals have the enzymes in the intestinal mucosa to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A when needed, cats lack these enzymes.
The richest sources of preformed vitamin A are animal products,
such as shellfish, kidney, liver, and most dairy products.
The richest sources of beta-carotene are plant products,
such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash.
Given the predatory nature of the cat, its natural diet would be rich in preformed vitamin A.
For this reason, the evolutionary history of the cat did not involve the establishment of an ability to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A.
Unlike beta-carotene, for which the conversion to vitamin A is dependent on the metabolic need for vitamin A,
preformed vitamin A consumed in excess may result in toxicity.
Vitamin A toxicity in cats affects bone metabolism and may lead to deforming cervical spondylosis
which results in malformations of the cervical and sometimes thoracic vertebrae.
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