Short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) are non-digestible oligosaccharides that result in a prebiotic effect in some animal species; however, the cat has not been well studied in this regard. This experiment evaluated scFOS and GOS supplementation on nutrient digestibility, fermentative end-product production and fecal microbial ecology of cats.
Eight healthy adult cats were fed diets containing no prebiotic, 0.5% scFOS, 0.5% GOS or 0.5% scFOS + 0.5% GOS (scFOS + GOS). Apparent total tract crude protein digestibility was decreased with the scFOS + GOS diet compared to the other treatments.
Cats fed scFOS, GOS and scFOS + GOS supplemented diets had greater fecal Bifidobacterium spp. populations compared to cats fed the control diet. Fecal pH was lower for cats fed the scFOS+GOS supplemented diet compared to the control. Butyrate and valerate concentrations were higher when cats consumed the scFOS + GOS diet. Acetate tended to be greater when cats were fed the scFOS + GOS diet, as did total SCFA and total BCFA concentrations.
Low level supplementation of scFOS, GOS and their combination exert positive effects on select indices of gut health in cats.
Source : K. Kanakupt et al., 2011. Effects of short-chain fructooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides, individually and in combination, on nutrient digestibility, fecal fermentative metabolite concentrations, and large bowel microbial ecology of healthy adults cats. J. Anim Sci. 1910 online January 2011. doi:10.2527/jas.2010-3201