Water in wet cat food affects intake and weight

The objective of this study was to determine whether water content in a wet diet induces decreases in voluntary energy intake (EI) or body weight (BW) in cats fed ad libitum. Maintenance EI was determined for two months in 10 weight-stable cats consuming a control diet. Then 16 sexually intact male domestic shorthair cats were allocated into two groups of equal BW and fed a wet diet (with-water, WW) or a freeze-dried version of the wet diet (low-water, LW) twice daily. Diets were identical in nutrient profile on a dry-matter basis.

Body composition measurements were determined by use of deuterium oxide at the end of each dietary treatment. Daily food intake was measured for determination of dry-matter intake and EI.

EI was significantly decreased for the WW diet compared with the LW diet. Cats had a significant decrease in BW during consumption of the WW diet. Body composition was unaltered by diet. In short-term preference tests, cats ate significantly more of the WW than the LW diet.

Bulk water in the WW diet stimulated decreases in EI and BW in cats. The impact of water content on energy density and food consumption may help promote weight loss in cats.

Source : A. Wei et al., 2011. Effect of water content in a canned food on voluntary food intake and body weight in cats. AJVR 72:918-923. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.72.7.918

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