Influence of feeding raw or extruded feline diets on nutrient digestibility and nitrogen metabolism of African wildcats (Felis lybica).
ABSTRACT The African wildcat is one of the closest ancestors to the domestic cat and is believed to have similar nutrient requirements, but research is lacking. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of feeding a high-protein extruded kibble diet vs. a raw meat diet on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen metabolism, and blood metabolite concentrations in African wildcats. Five wildcats were randomized onto either a high-protein (>50% crude protein) extruded kibble diet or a raw meat diet. The study was executed as a crossover design, with 21-d periods, consisting of a 16-d adaptation phase followed by a 4-d total fecal and urine collection phase. Cats were housed individually in metabolism cages and fed to maintain body weight (BW). A fresh fecal sample was collected for short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) and branched-chain fatty acid (BCFA) analyses. Blood was analyzed for serum chemistry and leptin concentration. Food intake (as is) did not differ (P>0.05) between diets. Food intake and fecal output (g/d DMB) were greater (P<0.05) when cats consumed the kibble diet. Protein digestibility was higher (P<0.05) when cats were fed the raw meat diet vs. the kibble diet. Nitrogen intake was greater (P<0.05) when cats consumed the kibble diet, and more (P<0.05) nitrogen was present in the feces; however, the percentage of nitrogen retained and nitrogen balance did not differ (P>0.05). Fecal scores, ammonia, SCFA, and BCFA concentrations did not differ (P>0.05) between diets. Fecal butyrate molar ratio was higher (P<0.01) when cats consumed the kibble diet. Blood analyses demonstrated few differences between diets, but alanine aminotransferase activity and bicarbonate were higher (P<0.05) when cats consumed the commercial raw meat diet. Owing to lack of differences, these data indicate that African wildcats can readily utilize a high protein extruded kibble diet, and may be able to replace a commercial raw meat diet.
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to determine differences in nitrogen (N) metabolism, nutrient digestibility, fecal and urine characteristics, and serum chemistry of domestic cats fed raw and cooked beef-based diets versus a high-protein extruded diet. Nine adult female domestic shorthair cats were utilized in a crossover design. Dietary treatments included an extruded diet [HP; ~57% crude protein (CP)], a raw beef-based diet (RB; ~53% CP), and a cooked beef-based diet (CB; ~52% CP). Cats were housed individually in metabolic cages and fed to maintain body weight. The study consisted of three 21-day periods: days 0-16 were used for diet adaptation; fecal and urine samples were collected on days 17-20; and blood samples were collected on day 21. Food intake was measured daily. During the collection phase, total feces and urine were collected. A fresh urine sample was also collected for urinalysis and acidified for N determination. In addition to total fecal collection, a fresh fecal sample was collected for determination of ammonia, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), and branched-chain fatty acid (BCFA) concentrations. All feces were scored upon collection using a scale ranging from 1 (hard, dry pellets) to 5 (watery, liquid that can be poured). Blood was analyzed for serum chemistry. Total tract apparent dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), CP, fat and gross energy (GE) digestibilities were higher (P<0.05) in cats fed the RB and CB versus cats fed HP. Nitrogen metabolism differed among treatments. Nitrogen intake and fecal N were lower (P<0.05) in cats fed the RB and CB versus cats fed HP, while urinary N was not different among groups. Differences were also noted in fecal fermentative end-product concentrations. Total fecal SCFA concentrations did not differ among dietary treatments; however, molar ratios of SCFA were modified by diet, with cats fed RB and CB having an increased (P<0.05) proportion of fecal propionate and decreased (P<0.05) proportion of fecal butyrate as compared to cats fed HP. Fecal concentrations of ammonia, isobutyrate, valerate, isovalerate, and total BCFA were higher (P<0.05) in cats fed HP compared to cats fed RB and CB. Our results suggest that cooking a raw iii meat diet does not significantly decrease macronutrient digestibility or alter N metabolism, yet may minimize risk of microbial contamination. Given the increasing popularity of feeding raw diets and the metabolic differences noted in this experiment, further research focused on the adequacy and safety of raw beef-based diets in domestic cats is justified.
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ABSTRACT: Little nutritional or metabolic information has been collected from captive exotic cats fed raw diets. In particular, fiber types and concentrations for use in raw meat-based diets for captive exotic felids have not been well-studied. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of fiber type and concentration on apparent total tract energy and macronutrient digestibility, fecal characteristics, and fecal fermentative end-products in captive exotic felids. Four animals of each captive exotic species [jaguar (Panthera onca), cheetah (Acinonyz jubatus), Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), and Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)] were randomized in four 4 x 4 Latin square designs (1 Latin square per species) to 1 of the 4 raw beef-based dietary treatments (94.7 to 96.7% beef trimmings): 2 or 4% cellulose, or 2 or 4% beet pulp. Felid species, fiber type, and fiber concentration all impacted digestibility and fecal fermentative end-products. Inclusion of beet pulp increased (P ≤ 0.05) fecal short-chain fatty acids and fecal output in all cats. Inclusion of 2 and 4% cellulose, and 4% beet pulp increased (P ≤ 0.05) fecal bulk and diluted fecal branched-chain fatty acid concentrations compared with 2% beet pulp. Apparent total tract DM, OM, fat, and GE digestibility coefficients decreased (P ≤ 0.05) linearly with BW of cats. Additionally, fecal moisture, fecal score, and concentrations of fermentative end-products increased (P ≤ 0.05) with BW. Although the response of many outcomes was dependent on cat size, in general, beet pulp increased wet fecal weight, fecal scores, and fecal metabolites, and reduced fecal pH. Cellulose generally reduced DM and OM digestibility, but increased dry fecal weight and fecal % DM. Although beet pulp and cellulose fibers were tested individually in this study, these data indicate that the optimum fiber type and concentration for inclusion in captive exotic felid diets is likely a combination of fermentable and non-fermentable fibers, with the optimal fiber blend being dependent on species. Smaller cats, such as cheetahs and jaguars, tolerated fermentable fibers, while larger cats, such as Malayan and Siberian tigers, appeared to require more insoluble fibers that limit fermentation and provide fecal bulk. Further research is required to test whether these trends hold true when fed in combination.Journal of Animal Science 03/2013; 91(5). DOI:10.2527/jas.2012-5702 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this paper we report on the first edition of the HEp-2 Cells Classification contest, held at the 2012 edition of the International Conference on Pattern Recognition, and focused on Indirect Immunofluorescence (IIF) image analysis. The IIF methodology is used to detect autoimmune diseases by searching for antibodies in the patient serum but, unfortunately, it is still a subjective method that depends too heavily on the experience and expertise of the physician. This has been the motivation behind the recent initial developments of computer aided diagnosis systems in this field. The contest aimed to bring together researchers interested in the performance evaluation of algorithms for IIF image analysis: 28 different recognition systems able to automatically recognize the staining pattern of cells within IIF images were tested on the same undisclosed dataset. In particular, the dataset takes into account the six staining patterns that occur most frequently in the daily diagnostic practice: centromere, nucleolar, homogeneous, fine speckled, coarse speckled and cytoplasmic. In the paper we briefly describe all the submitted methods, analyze the obtained results and discuss the design choices conditioning the performance of each method.06/2013; DOI:10.1109/TMI.2013.2268163