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  • Author or Editor: Tim D. G. Watson x
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Objective—To determine effects of age and sex on plasma lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in cats.

Animals—33 kittens and 16 adolescent, 23 adult, and 10 senior cats.

Procedure—Plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoprotein-cholesterol and activities of lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase, and lecithin:cholesterol acyl transferase (LCAT) were measured and compared within and among groups.

Results—Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were significantly higher in 5- and 7-week-old kittens, compared with the same kittens after weaning and cats in the other age groups. Cholesterol concentration was significantly less in 20-week-old kittens, compared with adolescent and adult cats. Lipid and lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations were not significantly different among the adolescent, adult, and senior groups, nor did sex influence lipid and lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations in these groups. Activities of lipoprotein and hepatic lipases were significantly less in senior cats, compared with the other groups. Activity of LCAT was highest in 20-week-old kittens and was greater in sexually intact adult and adolescent females, compared with their male counterparts. After castration, activities of hepatic lipase and LCAT significantly decreased in adolescent male cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The upper limits of reference ranges for plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations should be increased for kittens < 8 weeks of age. Low cholesterol concentrations in adolescent cats likely reflect high tissue demands for growth and steroidogenesis. Decrease in lipoprotein and hepatic lipase activity in senior cats could predispose this age group to hypertriglyceridemia, particularly in insulin-resistant cats or those fed a high fat diet. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:331–336)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effects of increases in dietary intake of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations and activity of associated enzymes in healthy domestic cats.

Animals—16 healthy adult sexually intact female cats.

Procedures—A baseline diet (40% energy from fat) and 4 test diets, with increased amounts of fat (51% and 66% energy from fat) from the addition of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids, were fed for 6 weeks each. Plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, along with activities of lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase, and lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase, were measured at the end of each feeding period.

Results—Diet, amount of fat, or ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids had no effect on plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, and very–low-density or high-density lipoproteins or the activity of lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase. Low-density lipoprotein concentrations were significantly lower in cats fed a high-fat diet containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. Lipoprotein concentration and hepatic lipase activity were significantly higher in cats fed the fat-supplemented diets, and this was unrelated to whether diets were enriched with polyunsaturated or saturated fatty acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets containing up to 66% of energy from fat were tolerated well by healthy cats and did not affect plasma lipid concentrations. Therefore, high-fat diets probably will not contribute to hypercholesterolemia or hypertriglyceridemia incats.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research