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Responses to diets by lean or overweight cats

Keller, C, Liesegang A, Frey D, Wichert B. Metabolic response to three different diets in lean cats and cats predisposed to overweight. BMC Vet Res. 2017 Jun 19;13(1):184.

To improve cats’ health, it is important to keep their weight within the normal range. This is more important for cats predisposed to overweight. A genetic link for feline obesity has been identified. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether cats predisposed to overweight react differently to diets with various macronutrient compositions and to identify the effect of diet composition on plasma levels of glucose, insulin, free fatty acids and triglycerides in cats receiving different diets (high-carbohydrate, high-fat and high-protein diets).

Insulin levels were lower, whereas leptin levels were higher in cats predisposed to being overweight. The other blood parameters were not correlated with phenotype of the cat. Intake of the high-carbohydrate diet resulted in higher insulin concentrations compared with the two other diets. Insulin levels were within the values described for non-obese cats in previous studies. As the high-carbohydrate diet led to the highest insulin blood concentrations, it might be useful to avoid such diets in cats predisposed to being overweight. The results of the present study show that a high protein diet and normal body weight could be advantageous for cats, consistent with its ability to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.In addition, even cats with genetically linked obesity can regain insulin sensitivity after weight loss.  (MK)

See also:
Hoenig M, Jordan ET, et al. Effect of macronutrients, age, and obesity on 6- and 24-h postprandial glucose metabolism in cats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol.  2011 Dec;301(6):R1798-807.