Studies were undertaken to determine the effects of dietary fiber (i.e., cellulose, beet pulp or a pectin/gum arabic blend) on colonic transport of SCFA and fecal microbial populations of adult, female cats. Selection of test fibers was based upon that fiber's ability to be degraded (fermented) within the gut of the domestic cat (i.e., cellulose - generally non-fermentable, beet pulp-moderately fermentable, pectin/gum arabic - highly fermentable). A non-fiber control diet was also included in the study. The pectin/gum arabic blend was noted to induce a reduction in food and water intake, resulting in body weight loss. Colonic fluid recovery was significantly reduced in those cats receiving the pectin/gum arabic blend. For cats receiving the beet pulp fiber, an increased SCFA (acetate and butyrate) absorption and a sustained, reduced fecal microbial population were noted, relative to those cats receiving non-fiber, cellulose or the pectin/gum arabic blend diets. Based upon the data presented, and observations previously reported for dogs and cats, it is concluded that if fiber is to be included in the diet of the domestic cat, a moderately fermentable fiber (e.g., beet pulp) would be the dietary fiber of choice. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
- Colonic morphology
- Dietary fiber
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics