Gastric emptying in cats using foods varying in fiber content and kibble shapes

Armbrust LJ, Hoskinson JJ, Lora-Michiels M, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2003;44:339-343.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the influence of kibble shape and fiber content of commercial dry foods on gastric emptying in healthy cats. Eight healthy cats were used to evaluate four different diets which varied in shape of kibble (round versus triangle) or fiber content (low versus high). Diets were labeled with 99mTc-mebrofenin and gastric emptying was evaluated with nuclear scintigraphy. There was a significant difference between the kibble shapes at both T50 and T20. The triangle shaped kibble required significantly longer time than the round kibble to reach T50 (P = 0.02) and T20 (P = 0.001). Diet fiber content did not have a significant influence on T50, and T20. The influence of caloric and water intake was assessed with division of cats into high, medium, and low intake groups. The caloric intake had its main effect at T50 with the lowest quartile of caloric intake requiring significantly less time to reach T50 than the middle group and upper quartile (P = 0.05). Water intake did not have a significant effect on gastric emptying in this study. There was no relationship or correlation between the surface area of the food (cm2/kg) and T90, T50, and T20.