Evaluation of Diets for Their Ability to Generate "Satiety" in Cats
ACVIM 2008
E. Servet; Y. Soulard; C. Venet; V. Biourge
Royal Canin Research Center
Aimargues, France

Today, around 30% of cats are overweight or obese in the Western world. To limit this serious condition, various dietary strategies designed to make cat lose weight already exist. However, on the field, the success of these feline weight loss programs is not as good as expected from laboratory studies. This is probably due to the fact that food restriction leads to increased begging, mewing and/or aggressivity. One solution would thus be to design a diet inducing a "satiety effect" that could limit begging and help respect more easily recommended daily feeding. The goal of this study was thus to assess the ability of various dietary strategies to generate "satiety" (spontaneous food and/or energy intake reduction) in cats.

Sixteen adult non-obese colony cats were included in the study. Four different experimental dry-expanded diets were evaluated: Diet 1 (protein: 41%, fat: 10%, total dietary fiber (TDF): 16% as fed, ME: 3200kcal/kg), Diet 2, the same diet but containing a high-water-binding-capacity fiber (ME: 3115kcal/kg), Diet 3 (prot: 46%, fat: 10%, TDF: 10%, ME: 3365kcal/kg) and Diet 4 (prot: 36%, fat: 10%, TDF: 21%, ME: 3090kcal/kg). Four groups of 4 cats were randomly fed all diets according to a 4-week-Latin-Square design, with a 2day-transition and a 5day-measurement period for each diet. Diets were given ad libitum from 2pm till 8am daily and water was freely available. Food consumption was monitored by constant electronic weighing. Satiety criteria were: total energy intake (kcal/kgBW/day), meal size (intra-meal satiety or satiation in g/meal) and time interval (inter-meal satiety: time between 2 meals generated after consumption of 1kcal of food during previous meal in min:sec/1kcal). Data are expressed as mean±SD.

Cats consumed their diets adequately. Results are shown below:


Diet 1

Diet 2

Diet 3

Diet 4

Energy intake (kcal/kgBW/d)





Meal size (g/meal)





Time interval (min:sec/1kcal)

07'11" ab

10'08" c

09'32" bc

05'43" a

Data with different subscripts significantly differ at p<0.05.

Our results show that it is possible to discriminate the diets according to their "satiety effect" based on feeding pattern and that macronutrient composition will affect total energy intake, intra-meal satiety and inter-meal satiety. In cats, it appears that limiting the amount of protein (with a fiber substitution) is a strategy to limit spontaneous food/energy intake. Also, the nature of the fiber can increase further the efficacy, especially fibers with a high water-binding-capacity which potentially generate a bulking effect in the stomach (fullness). These observations might be useful in the design of diet to better manage feline obesity.

Speaker Information
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Eric Servet

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