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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

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


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 88 No. 9, p. 2978-2987
    Received: Sept 09, 2009
    Accepted: May 03, 2010
    Published: December 4, 2014

    1 Corresponding author(s):

  1. K. A. Barry,
  2. B. J. Wojcicki,
  3. I. S. Middelbos,
  4. B. M. Vester,
  5. K. S. Swanson and
  6. G. C. Fahey Jr. 1
  1. Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, 132 Animal Sciences Laboratory, 1207 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana 61801



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. coli (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.

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