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Modelling Net Energy of Selected Commercial Diets Fed to Domestic Adult Cats

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Title: Modelling Net Energy of Selected Commercial Diets Fed to Domestic Adult Cats
Author: Asaro, Natalie Julia
Department: Department of Animal Biosciences
Program: Animal and Poultry Science
Advisor: Shoveller, Anna Kate
Abstract: The ability of cats to metabolize carbohydrates is not definitively characterized. This thesis investigates carbohydrate digestibility and metabolism, and analyses the algorithms used to determine energy density and subsequent feeding recommendations for cats. Three commercial diets varying in carbohydrate level and source were compared. The modified Atwater equation was inaccurate at calculating metabolizable energy of commercial cat diets. Furthermore, carbohydrate type and level did not negatively affect macronutrient digestibility, and had minimal effects on postprandial glucose and insulin responses of cats. Last, the heat increment of feeding was used to model energy density on a net energy basis and develop equations that better estimate dietary energy availability for cats. These results suggest that despite the inherent carnivorous nature of domestic cats, they efficiently digest diets with significant contributions from carbohydrates. The energy required for utilizing these nutrients is similar to other monogastric species, although these processes take more time.
Date: 2018-04
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