Physical activity level of adult cats with varied feeding frequency.
Abstract The prevalence of feline obesity is influenced by numerous factors, including inactivity and overconsumption of food. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of feeding frequency on physical activity in adult cats. A total of twelve healthy adult cats were used in a cross-over study consisting of 32 d. In each of the two periods, six cats were fed either two meals or four meals daily. Throughout the study, cats were fed the same diet at amounts to maintain body weight and body condition score. Cats were individually housed 4 h/d at each scheduled feeding time, while for the other 20 h, cats were group-housed to allow for voluntary physical activity in the room with a 16 h light-8 h dark cycle. Voluntary activity levels were evaluated using Actical activity collars for seven consecutive days in each period. Daily average activity level for two-meal-fed cats (20.04 (SEM 2.19), activity counts/epoch (15 s)) was not different from four-meal-fed cats (20.14 (SEM 2.15), activity counts/epoch (15 s); P>0.05). In conclusion, when group-housed cats are fed to maintain their body weight and body condition score, varied feeding frequency between twice and four times daily may not affect activity levels.