Influence of canned food on energy and protein metabolism of pregnant and lactating cats.
In the present study, the influence of canned food on energy and nitrogen balance as well as body composition of the pregnant and lactating cat were investigated.
Ten queens were used. The experiment was separated into 5 balance trials; adult, week 4 and 7 of pregnancy, as well as week 2 and 6 of lactation. Body composition was assessed by DEXA before mating, after parturition and at the end of lactation.
Total daily food intake as well as the output of urine and faeces were measured. The diet consisted of a adult and a kitten commercial canned cat food. Nitrogen balances
and the intake of metabolisable energy were calculated. Energy requirement was determined by measurement of food intake at constant weight.
From the very beginning of pregnancy, the cats gained 39.5 % of their weight at mating and built up fat tissue. During lactation all cats lost weight continuously in terms of fat free mass in spite of high protein intake. The queens with large litters also lost body fat. The cats in the present investigation fed canned food, showed a lower intake of metabolisable energy than the animals of a prior study, fed dry food.
The food intake in grams dry matter in the two studies was equal. The energy requirement of adult cats was 358 ± 10 kJ ME /kg0.67 BW/d.