The activities of 3 urea cycle enzymes, several nitrogen catabolic, gluconeogenic, and lipogenic enzymes were measured in the liver of adult cats fed: a commercial kibble; a 17.5 or 70% protein purified diet, or starved for 5 days. Except for an increase in tyrosine transaminase after feeding the high protein diet, there were no changes in the activities of the hepatic enzymes as influenced by dietary protein level. Likewise, starvation had a minimal effect on the activities of these enzymes as compared to that found in similar experiments in rats. These results indicate that the cat may have only minimal capabilities for enzyme adaptation as compared to that found in many herbivores and omnivores and may provide an explanation as to why cats have an unusually high protein requirement as compared to many other mammals.
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