The Effect of Feeding Inversely Proportional Amounts of Dry Versus Canned Food on Water Consumption, Hydration and Urinary Parameters in Cats
Research and Development, Nestle Purina, St. Louis, MO, USA
Canned food generally reflects the moisture content of fresh prey consumed by wild felids, yet it is unclear if varying proportions of wet:dry food influence the hydration status of domestic cats.
To determine the effect of feeding inversely proportional amounts of dry versus canned food on water consumption, hydration and urinary parameters in healthy, adult cats.
Twenty-four healthy, middle-aged, male and female cats were fed either all dry food 100%:0% dry:wet (R1), 66%:33% dry:wet (R2), 33%:66% dry:wet (R3) or 0%:100% dry:wet food (R4) rations for 4 weeks with a washout period of 2 weeks in a 4 x 4 Latin square design (Table 1). Food and water intake were recorded daily; urine volume, osmolality and specific gravity (by 24-h collection) and body composition/total body water (by quantitative magnetic resonance) were measured on the last day of each testing period. A linear mixed effect model was used and analysis of variance on the fixed effect variables were performed to obtain the p values for each variable (alpha = 0.05).
Water consumption was significantly (p < 0.05) increased with increasing amount of wet food in the diet (Figure 1). Cats fed a 100% wet diet (R4) consumed 100% more water, retained 3% more total body water and significantly increased urine volume by 36% compared to dry food alone (p < 0.05, Figure 2).
Cats fed a diet comprised of wet food only showed enhanced hydration, increased urinary volume and less concentrated urine compared with a dry diet alone.
VIN editor: Table 1 and Figures 1 and 2 were not available at the time of publication.