April 15, 2014

 

 Frequent feeding, addition of water to kibble increase cats' activity

Posted April 2, 2014

A study has found that increasing the frequency of feeding promoted physical activity among cats, as did offering meals containing additional water.

Kelly Swanson, PhD, and researchers at his laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted the two-part study.

“I think veterinarians will be interested in this information because it gives them evidence to be able to recommend something to pet owners that could help with feline obesity and diabetes,” Dr. Swanson said.

The researchers evaluated the activity of 10 adult, lean, neutered male cats between meals, using collar monitors. The first experiment involved offering dry kibble in one, two, four, or a random number of meals per day. The second experiment involved offering meals twice a day with or without the addition of water to the kibble an hour before mealtime.

In the first experiment, the mean daily activity level for cats that received one meal was lower than for cats that received four meals or a random number of meals. In the second experiment, the mean daily activity level for cats that received dry kibble was lower than for cats that received kibble with additional water.

The Journal of Animal Science published the study Feb. 3 online ahead of the March print edition.