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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To evaluate home-prepared maintenance diet (HPMD) recipes for cats and compare the nutritional profiles with National Research Council (NRC) recommended allowances (RAs) for essential nutrients for adult cats.


Evaluation study.


114 recipes (obtained from books and online sources) for HPMDs for cats.


Computer software was used to determine nutrient concentrations of HPMD recipes for comparison with NRC RAs for essential nutrients for adult cats. Effects of recipe authorship (veterinarian vs nonveterinarian) and supplementation on the number of nutrient concentrations below RAs were evaluated.


Of the 114 HPMD recipes, 113 contained vague instructions regarding preparation, and 46 did not provide feeding directions. Only 94 recipes provided adequately detailed information for computerized nutritional analysis, although most (93/94) still required assumptions regarding ingredients, preparation, or supplementation. Nonveterinarian-authored recipes and recipes without supplement-type products had more nutrient concentrations below NRC RAs, but no recipe met all RAs. With assumptions, 5 veterinarian-authored recipes met NRC RAs for all assessed nutrients except choline; however, taurine adequacy in 2 of those recipes could not be confirmed. Crude protein concentration was below the RA in 6 of 94 (6.4%) recipes. Nutrients most frequently below RAs included choline, iron, thiamine, zinc, manganese, vitamin E, and copper (in 89.7%, 76.6%, 62.8%, 61.7%, 57.4%, 57.4%, and 45.7% of recipes, respectively).


Problems with nutritional adequacy were identified in all evaluated HPMD recipes. Appropriate formulation of HPMDs requires specialized knowledge of nutrition and use of computer software to avoid potentially harmful nutrient deficiencies.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether water content in a canned food diet induces decreases in voluntary energy intake (EI) or body weight (BW) in cats fed ad libitum.

Animals—16 sexually intact male domestic shorthair cats.

Procedures—Maintenance EI was determined for 2 months in 10 weight-stable cats consuming a control diet (typical colony diet). Cats were allocated into 2 groups of equal BW and fed a canned diet (with-water [WW] diet) or a freeze-dried version of the canned diet (low-water [LW] diet) twice daily. Diets were identical in nutrient profile on a dry-matter basis. Each dietary treatment period of the crossover experiment lasted 3 weeks, with a 3-week washout period between diets. Body composition measurements were determined by use of deuterium oxide at the end of each dietary treatment. Daily food intake was measured for determination of dry-matter intake and EI. Six other cats were used in preference tests for the 3 diets.

Results—EI was significantly decreased for the WW diet (mean ± SD, 1,053.0 ± 274.9 kJ/d), compared with EI for the LW diet (1,413.8 ± 345.8 kJ/d). Cats had a significant decrease in BW during consumption of the WW diet. Body composition was unaltered by diet. In short-term preference tests, cats ate significantly more of the WW than the LW diet.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bulk water in the WW diet stimulated decreases in EI and BW in cats. The impact of water content on energy density and food consumption may help promote weight loss in cats.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research