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Am J Vet Res. 1996 Dec;57(12):1726-32.

Effects of a high-protein diet on mineral metabolism and struvite activity product in clinically normal cats.

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School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, Sagamihara, Japan.



To examine effects of high-protein diets (> 50% crude protein of dry matter) on urinary mineral excretion and struvite activity product ([Mg2+] x [NH4+] x [PO(4)3-]).


14 clinically normal cats, 4 adult female and male cats for experiments 1 and 2, respectively, and 6 female kittens aged 4 months for experiment 3.


Relations between dietary protein amount (25.9, 38.3, 51.4, and 65.4% crude protein [dry matter]) and urinary excretion of Mg, P, and Ca were examined in a 4 x 4-Latin square design (experiment 1). Struvite activity product, the index of solubility of struvite crystals, was determined when a high-protein diet (54.9%) was fed (experiment 2). Utilization of minerals in cats fed a high-protein diet long term was examined (experiment 3).


Water intake and urine volume increased with increasing dietary protein concentration. Urinary Mg2+ excretion was not affected (experiment 1) or was decreased (experiment 3) by higher protein intake, leading to lower urine Mg2+ concentration in groups fed higher protein amounts. Urine pH was decreased by high-protein intake. As a result, PO(4)3- concentration was decreased by high-protein intake (experiment 2), although total daily urinary excretion of P was increased. Consequently, struvite activity product tended to decrease in cats fed high-protein diets, indicating increase in struvite solubility. High-protein intake decreased Ca and P retention by increasing their fecal and urinary excretions, respectively.


As a consequence of the increase in urine volume and urine acidification, high-protein diets have potential ability to increase solubility of struvite crystals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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