Obesity in cats is associated with metabolic abnormalities and increased susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes mellitus. Studies in mouse models and human beings have shown that probiotics can reduce food intake, promote weight loss and improve metabolic profile. Studies assessing the effects of probiotics on these same parameters are absent in cats. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine if probiotic Enterococcus faecium strain SF68 dietary supplementation reduces food intake, promotes weight loss and improves metabolic profile in overweight and obese cats without comorbidities. Twenty overweight and obese specific pathogen-free cats without comorbidities were acclimatised to a dry diet for four weeks. After exclusion of four cats for unrelated reasons, eight cats received a daily oral probiotic for eight weeks and eight control cats received no probiotic. All cats were fed ad libitum with food intake measured daily and bodyweight weekly. Blood was collected at three time points: after four weeks of acclimatisation to the diet, after eight weeks of intervention and after six weeks of washout for measurement of glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol, fructosamine, insulin, leptin, total adiponectin and deuterium oxide for body composition. There were no differences in food intake, metabolic parameters and body composition between the probiotic and control groups after eight weeks of intervention and six weeks of washout (P≥0.050). Short-term use of E faecium SF68 dietary supplementation had no significant effect on food intake, bodyweight, body composition or metabolic parameters in overweight and obese specific pathogen-free cats without comorbidities.
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