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  • Author or Editor: Ken-ichiro Takahashi x
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Objective—To evaluate effects of dietary carbohydrate on urine volume; struvite crystal formation; and calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium balance in clinically normal cats.

Animals—21 healthy adult cats (15 sexually intact males and 6 sexually intact females).

Procedure—Diets containing no carbohydrate source (control diet), control plus starch, or control plus fiber were given in a 3 × 3 Latin-square design. The diets were available ad libitum in study 1 (n = 12) and given under restrictions in study 2 (9) to equalize daily intakes of crude protein among the 3 groups. Formation of struvite crystals and balance of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium were measured.

Results—Urine volume was lower in the starch group and fiber group in study 1, whereas no differences were detected among the groups in study 2. Urinary pH and struvite activity product were higher in the starch group in both studies, and the fiber group also had higher struvite activity product in study 2. In both studies, urinary concentrations of HCl-insoluble sediment were higher in the starch group and fiber group. In the fiber group, a net loss of body calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium was detected in study 2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Starch and fiber in diets potentially stimulate formation of struvite crystals. Hence, reducing dietary carbohydrate is desirable to prevent struvite urolith formation. In addition, a net loss of body calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium during feeding of the fiber diet suggests that dietary inclusion of insoluble fiber could increase macromineral requirements of cats. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:138–142)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research