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J Feline Med Surg. 2011 Oct;13(10):698-704. doi: 10.1016/j.jfms.2011.05.019. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

Effects of dietary protein content on renal parameters in normal cats.

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Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College Station, TX, USA.


This study evaluates the effect of dietary protein content on renal parameters in 23 healthy spayed female cats. The objective was to determine if cats eating diets high in protein will have higher serum urea nitrogen (UN) and creatinine values without a detectable change in kidney function, as assessed by urinalysis. A single random cross-over design was used. Cats were fed a standard maintenance diet for at least 1 month prior to the dietary trial. They were fed in two phases. For the first phase, cats were randomly assigned to receive either a high protein [HP=46% metabolizable energy (ME)] or low protein (LP=26% ME) diet. For the second phase, cats were fed whichever diet they were not fed during the phase I period. Blood and urine samples were collected at 2-week intervals for the duration of the study (10 weeks). UN, albumin, alanine aminotransferase and urine specific gravity were significantly higher, and creatinine and phosphorus were significantly lower (P<0.05) when cats were fed the HP diet as compared to when they were fed the LP diet, although none of the mean values were found to be outside of the corresponding reference interval. Dietary intake can result in clinically significant changes in UN and statistically significantly changes in several other biochemical analytes, although all analytes are likely to remain within normal reference intervals. Therefore, an accurate dietary history is necessary to help determine if renal parameters are being influenced by diet in a particular patient.

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