Association between body condition and disease in cats

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6401, USA.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Impact Factor: 1.56). 07/1998; 212(11):1725-31.
Source: PubMed


To determine the association between body condition and disease in cats.
Prospective study.
Information on 1,457 cats without major illnesses from 27 veterinary hospitals in the northeastern United States.
Cats that had body conditions determined from 1991 to 1992, using a set of 6 body condition silhouettes, had their health experiences and body conditions assessed for the subsequent 4.5 years. Cats were described by the following 6 body conditions: cachectic, lean, optimally lean, optimal weight, heavy, and obese. Data obtained from medical records and owner interviews were collected, using standard forms. Associations between body condition and specific diseases were analyzed. Findings in cats with body conditions other than optimal were compared with findings in cats with optimal body condition.
Compared with optimal weight cats, heavy cats were 2.9 times as likely to be taken to veterinarians because of lameness not associated with cat bite abscesses. Obese cats were also 3.9 times as likely to develop diabetes mellitus, 2.3 times as likely to develop nonallergic skin conditions, and 4.9 times as likely to develop lameness requiring veterinary care. Cats considered thin (cachectic and lean) were 1.7 times as likely to be presented to veterinary hospitals for diarrhea.
Results of this study substantiate reports of health risks associated with excess body weight in cats. Efforts to reduce weight in heavy and obese cats can lead to reduced risks of diabetes mellitus, lameness (presumably related to osteoarthritis and soft-tissue injuries), and skin problems unrelated to allergies. Cachectic and lean cats are more likely to have diarrhea that is not associated with a definitive diagnosis.

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    • "Furthermore, it appears that obesity is associated with a low-grade inflammatory process in adipose tissue, resulting in chronic activation of the innate immune system [2]. This can subsequently lead to obesity-associated disorders such as insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, skin problems, lower urinary tract disorders and cardiovascular diseases [3,4]. In addition, oxidative stress commonly defined as an imbalance between oxidants and reductants at the cellular or individual level, results in oxidative damage and plays a role in the initiation and progression of numerous chronic disorders [5,6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Oxidative stress and inflammation can be altered by dietary factors in various species. However, little data are available in true carnivorous species such as domestic cats. As numerous anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative additives become available and might be of use in cats with chronic low-grade inflammatory diseases, the current study aimed to develop a model of diet-induced inflammation by use of two opposite diets. It was hypothesized that a high fat diet enhanced in n-6 PUFA and with lower concentrations of antioxidants would evoke inflammation and oxidative stress in domestic cats. Results Sixteen healthy adult cats were allocated to two groups. One group received a moderate fat diet, containing pork lard and salmon oil (AA:(EPA + DHA) ratio 0.19) (MFn-3), while the other group was fed a high fat diet, containing pork lard and chicken fat (AA:(EPA + DHA) ratio 2.06) (HFn-6) for 12 weeks. Prior to and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks after starting the testing period, blood samples were collected. Erythrocytic fatty acid profile showed clear alterations in accordance to the dietary fatty acid profile. Serum thiobarbituric acid reactive substances was higher when fed MFn-3 compared to the HFn-6, suggesting augmented oxidative stress. This was associated with a reduced serum vitamin E status, as serum α-tocopherol concentrations were lower with MFn-3, even with higher dietary levels of vitamin E. Serum cytokine and serum amyloid A concentrations were not influenced by diet. Conclusion These results point towards a resistance of cats to develop dietary fat-induced inflammation, but also suggest a high susceptibility to oxidative stress when fed a fish oil-supplemented diet even with moderate fat level and additional vitamin E.
    BMC Veterinary Research 05/2014; 10(1):104. DOI:10.1186/1746-6148-10-104 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    • "Coradini et al.( 22 ) reported that a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet resulted in higher postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations compared with a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet in cats fed to maintain BW. The feeding of high-carbohydrate diets has been suggested to increase the risk for developing diabetes in cats( 4 ). Hoenig et al.( 54 ) suggested that cats fed a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet were more prone to develop obesity and insulin resistance compared with those fed a high-protein, low-carbohydrate with the same energy intake, mainly because high-protein diet led to greater heat production. "
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    ABSTRACT: The objective was to evaluate the effects of dietary macronutrients and feeding frequency on blood glucose, insulin, total ghrelin and leptin. A total of twelve adult lean neutered male cats were used in three tests, all cross-over studies composed of a 15 d adaptation and blood sampling on day 16. In trial 1, differences between two- and four-meal feeding were tested. On day 16, blood samples were collected every 2 h for 24 h. In trial 2, macronutrient boluses were tested. Instead of the control diet, the morning meal on day 16 was replaced with an isoenergetic bolus of carbohydrate (maltodextrin), protein (chicken meat), fat or water. Fasted and ten postprandial blood samples were collected. In trial 3, diets high in fat (HF), protein (HP), carbohydrate (HC) or a control diet were tested. On day 16, fasted and ten postprandial blood samples were collected. Data were analysed to identify baseline and AUC changes. Cats fed four meals daily had greater (P = 0·03) leptin incremental AUC0–24 h compared with cats fed twice daily. The carbohydrate bolus increased glucose (P < 0·001) and insulin (P < 0·001) incremental AUC0–6 h and tended to increase (P = 0·09) leptin net AUC0–6 h. Cats fed the control and HC diets had greater (P = 0·03) glucose incremental AUC compared with the HF and HP conditions. Circulating hormone data were highly variable and indicated changes due to dietary macronutrients and feeding frequency, but further study is needed to identify impacts on appetite and contributing mechanisms.
    12/2013; 2. DOI:10.1017/jns.2013.32
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    • "Feline obesity has many parallels with obesity in humans and may serve as a model for the disorder in humans (100). Obesity has been consistently recognized as a strong risk factor associated with feline diabetes in epidemiologic studies, along with other risk factors such as sedentary habits, reproductive status, and assorted environmental factors (123, 124). Yet, obesity in the cat, as in all pet and captive animals, is not a spontaneous disorder. "
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    ABSTRACT: Carnivores, such as the dolphin and the domestic cat, have numerous adaptations that befit consumption of diets with high protein and fat content, with little carbohydrate content. Consequently, nutrient metabolism in carnivorous species differs substantially from that of non-carnivores. Important metabolic pathways known to differ between carnivores and non-carnivores are implicated in the development of diabetes and insulin resistance in non-carnivores: (1) the hepatic glucokinase (GCK) pathway is absent in healthy carnivores yet GCK deficiency may result in diabetes in rodents and humans, (2) healthy dolphins and cats are prone to periods of fasting hyperglycemia and exhibit insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes in non-carnivores. Similarly, carnivores develop naturally occurring diseases such as hemochromatosis, fatty liver, obesity, and diabetes that have strong parallels with the same disorders in humans. Understanding how evolution, environment, diet, and domestication may play a role with nutrient metabolism in the dolphin and cat may also be relevant to human diabetes.
    Frontiers in Endocrinology 12/2013; 4:188. DOI:10.3389/fendo.2013.00188
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