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Addition of plant fibre to raw meat high protein, high fat diet, alters the faecal bacteriome....

DATE: 2019

FULL TITLE: Addition of plant dietary fibre to a raw red meat high protein, high fat diet, alters the faecal bacteriome and organic acid profiles of the domestic cat (Felis catus)

CITATION: Butowski CF, Thomas DG, Young W, Cave NJ, McKenzie CM, Rosendale DI, et al. (2019) PLoS ONE 14(5): e0216072.

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0216072


Commercial diets high in animal protein and fat are increasingly being developed for pets, however little is understood about the impacts of feeding such diets to domestic cats. The carbohydrate content of these diets is typically low, and dietary fibre is often not included. Dietary fibre is believed to be important in the feline gastrointestinal tract, promoting stool formation and providing a substrate for the hindgut microbiome. Therefore, we aimed to determine the effects of adding plant-based dietary fibre to a high animal protein and fat diet. Twelve domestic short hair cats were fed three complete and balanced diets in a cross-over design for blocks of 21 days: raw meat (Raw), raw meat plus fibre (2%, ‘as is’ inclusion of inulin and cellulose; Raw+Fibre) and a commercially available Kibble diet. A commercially available canned diet was fed for 21 days as a washout phase. Apparent macronutrient digestibility, faecal output, score, pH, organic acid concentrations and bacteriome profiles were determined. Diet significantly affected all faecal parameters measured. The addition of dietary fibre to the raw meat diet was found to reduce apparent macronutrient digestibility, increase faecal output, pH and score. Thirty one bacterial taxa were significantly affected by diet. Prevotella was found to dominate in the Kibble diet, Clostridium and Fusobacterium in the Raw diet, and Prevotella and a group of unclassified Peptostreptococcaceae in the Raw+Fibre diet. Our results show that diets of different macronutrient proportions can strongly influence the faecal microbiome composition and metabolism, as shown by altered organic acid concentrations and faecal pH, in the domestic cat. The addition of 2% of each fibre to the Raw diet shifted faecal parameters closer to those produced by feeding a Kibble diet. These results provide a basis for further research assessing raw red meat diets to domestic cats.


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