The minimum sodium requirement of growing kittens defined on the basis of plasma aldosterone concentration

Shiguang Yu, James Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The minimum sodium requirement of growing kittens was measured using a 6 x 6 Latin square design. Twelve specific-pathogen-free short-hair growing kittens (six males, six females) were fed casein and lactalbumin-based purified diets supplemented with various levels of sodium (NaCl). Using six growing kittens (four males, two females), a sodium depletion and repletion study was conducted to define the variables associated with sodium deficiency. Sodium-deficient kittens exhibited anorexia, impaired growth, polydypsia, polyuria, hemoconcentration, reduced urinary sodium output and specific gravity, and elevated aldosterone concentration in plasma and output in urine. Plasma sodium concentration was not affected by dietary sodium intake. Urinary sodium output was positively related to (r = 0.818, P < 0.001), but fecal sodium loss was independent of sodium intake. These results suggest that sodium balance in kittens is essentially regulated by renal excretion. The recommended minimum sodium requirement of kittens for growth is 1.6 g Na/kg diet (energy density, 22 kJ ME/g diet), or 0.07 mg Na/kJ ME, or 34 mg Na · kg body wt-1 · d-1. A sodium requirement of adult cats for maintenance was estimated to be 21 mg Na · kg body wt-1 · d-1. These requirements are considerably greater than those recommended by the National Research Council in 1986.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-501
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1997


  • deficiency
  • growth
  • kittens
  • requirement
  • sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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