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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 509854, 6 pages
Research Article

Energy Requirement and Food Intake Behaviour in Young Adult Intact Male Cats with and without Predisposition to Overweight

1Institute of Animal Nutrition, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstraße 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
2Department of Rheumatology and Institute of Physical Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Gloriastraße 25, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
3Section of Epidemiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstraße 270, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland

Received 31 October 2011; Accepted 25 December 2011

Academic Editor: Anna Brzozowska

Copyright © 2012 Brigitta Wichert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity is a common problem in cats. In the experimental cat family of the institute of animal nutrition besides a “normal” lean phenotype, cats with predisposition to an overweight phenotype are present. To investigate energy requirements and food intake behaviour of intact male cats of different phenotypes, six “normal” lean cats (GL) and six cats disposed to overweight (GO) were used. At the beginning of the experiment, all cats had an ideal body condition score of 5. To reach this the GO cats had to pass a weight-loss program. Energy requirements of the cats were determined using respiration chambers, whereas the amount and frequency of food intake was measured with a feeding station recording the data automatically. Energy requirement at weight constancy of the GO cats was even on fat-free mass (FFM) significantly ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 2 ) lower (162.6 kJ/kg FFM/d) than that of the “normal” lean cats (246 kJ/kg FFM/d). The GO cats also showed a higher food intake 3 4 . 5 ± 1 . 5  g dry matter/kg body weight0.67 compared to the GL cats ( 2 4 . 0 ± 2 . 1  g dry matter/kg body weight0.67)( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 1 ). In conclusion quantifiable differences in food intake and behaviour in cats predisposed to overweight compared to “normal” lean cats were found.