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Dietary patterns of cats with cardiac disease

Danielle S. TorinDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536

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Lisa M. FreemanDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536

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John E. RushDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536

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Abstract

Objective—To determine nutrient intake and dietary patterns in cats with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—95 cats with congenital cardiac disease or primary cardiomyopathy.

Procedures—Owners completed a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding their cat's diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily intake of calories, fat, protein, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

Results—Of the 95 cats, 18 (19%) had a history of congestive heart failure and 73 (77%) had no clinical signs of cardiac disease. Fifty-five percent (52/95) of cats had concurrent disease. Inappetance was reported in 38% (36/95) of all cats and in 72% (68/95) of cats with a history of congestive heart failure. Most (57% [54/95]) cats received treats or table scraps on a regular basis. Approximately half the cats were receiving orally administered medications, supplements, or both. Only 34% (32/68) of owners used food to administer medications to cats. Cats consumed more than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimums for protein, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and nearly all cats consumed more than the AAFCO minimum for fat. Daily nutrient intake was variable for all of the nutrients assessed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake in cats with cardiac disease was variable, but results for dietary supplement use, food use for medication administration, and treat feeding were different from those found in a similar study of dogs with cardiac disease. This information may be useful for treating and designing nutritional studies for cats with cardiac disease.

Abstract

Objective—To determine nutrient intake and dietary patterns in cats with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—95 cats with congenital cardiac disease or primary cardiomyopathy.

Procedures—Owners completed a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding their cat's diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily intake of calories, fat, protein, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

Results—Of the 95 cats, 18 (19%) had a history of congestive heart failure and 73 (77%) had no clinical signs of cardiac disease. Fifty-five percent (52/95) of cats had concurrent disease. Inappetance was reported in 38% (36/95) of all cats and in 72% (68/95) of cats with a history of congestive heart failure. Most (57% [54/95]) cats received treats or table scraps on a regular basis. Approximately half the cats were receiving orally administered medications, supplements, or both. Only 34% (32/68) of owners used food to administer medications to cats. Cats consumed more than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimums for protein, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and nearly all cats consumed more than the AAFCO minimum for fat. Daily nutrient intake was variable for all of the nutrients assessed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake in cats with cardiac disease was variable, but results for dietary supplement use, food use for medication administration, and treat feeding were different from those found in a similar study of dogs with cardiac disease. This information may be useful for treating and designing nutritional studies for cats with cardiac disease.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Morris Animal Foundation.

Address correspondence to Dr. Freeman.