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W18-039: The effect of frequency of feeding on feline macronutrient metabolism, satiety and behavior

Obesity is a large concern for the pet population. This chronic condition predisposes cats to other health complications such as insulin resistance and type II diabetes. Moreover, cats tend to be extremely resistant to weight loss, even if owners are extremely compliant with an individualized diet. Feeding frequency may also be a contributing factor to the increased propensity of obesity in cats. Nutritional requirements for cats have likely remained the same, however their feeding schedule has been greatly altered by their owners. To understand whether increased feeding frequency affects cats’ weight loss, different factors must be investigated. Cats may be more active and use more energy when consuming more meals per day. Using activity monitors to track the cats’ voluntary physical activity is a known method used in previous cat research to measure activity. Indirect calorimetry is the gold standard method to measure the energy they are using per day. Measuring hormones that determine the feeling of fullness is also a good indicator of whether more meals per day satiates cats. The purpose of this research is to look at the effects of feeding more frequent meals per day on the energy cats use per day, their activity levels, and specific hormone levels that make cats feel full. This research will allow for a more accurate feeding regimen to be determined for cats and potentially reduce the incidence of obesity in cats.

Grant ID: W18-039

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2018

Amount awarded: $24,002

Investigator: Andronie Verbrugghe, DVM, PhD, ECVCN and Anna-Kate Shoveller, PhD; Ontario Veterinary College, Canada