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This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 89 No. 5, p. 1376-1384
    Received: May 28, 2010
    Accepted: Dec 22, 2010
    Published: December 4, 2014

    1 Corresponding author(s):


Effects of short-chain fructooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides, individually and in combination, on nutrient digestibility, fecal fermentative metabolite concentrations, and large bowel microbial ecology of healthy adults cats

  1. K. Kanakupt*,
  2. B. M. Vester Boler*,
  3. B. R. Dunsford and
  4. G. C. Fahey 1
  1. Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801; and
    GTC Nutrition, Golden, CO 80401



Short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) are nondigestible oligosaccharides that result in a prebiotic effect in some animal species; however, the cat has not been well studied in this regard. This experiment evaluated scFOS and GOS supplementation on nutrient digestibility, fermentative end product production, and fecal microbial ecology of cats. Eight healthy adult cats were fed diets containing no prebiotic, 0.5% scFOS, 0.5% GOS, or 0.5% scFOS + 0.5% GOS (scFOS + GOS) in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Apparent total tract CP digestibility was decreased (P < 0.05) when cats were fed a diet containing scFOS + GOS compared with the other treatments. Dry matter, OM, acid hydrolyzed fat, and GE digestibilities were not different (P > 0.05) among treatments. Cats fed scFOS-, GOS-, and scFOS + GOS-supplemented diets had greater (P < 0.05) fecal Bifidobacterium spp. populations compared with cats fed the control diet. Fecal pH was less (P < 0.05) for cats fed the scFOS + GOS-supplemented diet compared with the control. Butyrate (P = 0.05) and valerate (P < 0.05) concentrations were greater when cats consumed the scFOS + GOS diet. Acetate tended (P = 0.10) to be greater when cats were fed the scFOS + GOS diet. Total short-chain fatty acid (P = 0.06) and total branched-chain fatty acid (P = 0.06) concentrations also tended to be greater when cats consumed the scFOS + GOS treatment. Fecal protein catabolites, including ammonia, 4-methylphenol, indole, and biogenic amines, blood lymphocytes, neutrophils, total white blood cell counts, or fecal DM concentration and output did not differ (P > 0.05) among treatments. Low level supplementation of scFOS, GOS, and their combination exert positive effects on select indices of gut health in cats.

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