Influences of stage of lactation, teat position and sequential milk sampling on the composition of domestic cat milk (Felis catus)

K. L. Jacobsen, E. J. DePeters, Quinton Rogers, S. J. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Milk from 11 domestic shorthair cats (Felis catus; n = 7 fed dry low-fat diet, n = 4 fed dry high-fat diet) was collected weekly for 6 weeks following parturition, and analysed for total solids (TS), crude protein (CP), fat, lactose and ash. Samples were collected in 1-ml sequential fractions to determine whether within-sampling changes in composition existed. Samples of extracted milk fat were also analysed for fatty acid content. Two commercial kitten milk replacers were analysed according to the same procedures utilized for milk samples. In statistical analyses individual cat, diet, stage of lactation, litter size, and teat position influenced concentrations of milk components; parity and sequential sampling had no effect. Averaged cat milk was 27.9% TS, and 8.7% CP, 12.7% fat, 4.2% lactose and 1.3% ash (on a wet basis). Milk protein percentage increased over lactation for both diet groups, but fat percentage increased only for queens fed the high-fat diet. Milk replacers were lower in fat and protein content than milk from queens, and had considerably lower levels of arachidonic acid. Data from this study contribute to the limited information available regarding the composition of domestic cat milk, and give possible reasons for poor growth occasionally observed in kittens fed unsupplemented commercial milk replacers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-58
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Volume88
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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