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Health

The secret to getting your cat to poop out its hairballs? Beet pulp.

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceDecember 11, 2017 5:00 PM
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Image: Flickr/Paul AndersonHere's a paper with a title that reads like poetry: "Beet pulp intake and hairball faecal excretion in mixed-breed shorthaired cats". Laugh if you want, but if you've ever had a cat with hairballs, anything that gets them to poop them out instead of puke them up is pure poetry. Let's just hope the beet pulp is no longer bright red because that would be... less than optimal.Beet pulp intake and hairball faecal excretion in mixed-breed shorthaired cats. "Hairball formation may induce vomiting and intestinal obstruction in predisposed cats. Some insoluble fibres as sugarcane fibre and cellulose can prevent hairball formation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of beet pulp consumption, a moderate soluble and fermentable fibre source, on faecal trichobezoars excretion in adult shorthaired cats fed kibble diets. Eighteen mixed-breed shorthaired cats and three extruded diets were used as follows: a basal diet without added fibre source (PB0-8.8% dietary fibre); BP8-8% inclusion of beet pulp (17.5% of dietary fibre); BP16-16% inclusion of beet pulp (23.8% of dietary fibre). The cats were fed during 31 days and faeces quantitatively collected during three periods of 3 days each (from days 3-5; 15-17; 26-28). Gastrointestinal transit time was determined in the last 3 days of study (from days 29-31). The trichobezoars were separated from faeces, collected, dried and washed in ether for complete removal of all faecal material. The results were submitted to repeated-measure analysis of variance and means evaluated by polynomial contrast (p < 0.05). Beet pulp increased faecal production (p 0.05). Beet pulp intake did not reduce the number or the size of hairballs eliminated via faeces of shorthaired cats." Related content: Ever wonder what your outdoor cat does all day long? Behold the KittyCam!Optimizing the sensory characteristics and acceptance of canned cat food: use of a human taste panel.Study identifies 5 common cat personality factors. (No, “cat-itude” isn’t one of them.)

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