Effects of Dietary Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Plasma Lipids and Lipoprotein Distribution and Food Aversion in Cats

Am J Vet Res. 2010 Apr;71(4):435-40. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.71.4.435.


Objective: To determine possible diet aversion and lipid and lipoprotein alterations in cats fed diets containing medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Animals: 19 clinically normal adult female cats.

Procedures: Cats were assigned to 2 groups (low MCT diet [n = 10] and high MCT diet [9]) and fed the diets for 9 weeks according to metabolic body weight (100 kcal of metabolizable energy [ME] x kg(-0.67)/d). Daily consumption records and weekly body weight and body condition score (BCS) were used to adjust amounts fed and calculate daily ME factors for each cat to maintain ideal BCS. Blood samples were obtained after withholding food on days 0, 14, 28, and 56 for measurement of plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol concentrations and lipoprotein-cholesterol distributions. Repeated-measures ANOVA and Tukey multiple comparison tests were performed.

Results: No diet differences were found for food consumption, body weight, BCS, and ME factors. A significant increase in plasma triglyceride concentration was detected for the high MCT diet; however, values were within the reference ranges. No diet effects were observed for total cholesterol concentrations or lipoprotein-cholesterol distributions, although increases over time were observed.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Inclusion of MCT in diets of cats did not result in feed refusal and had minimal effects on lipid metabolism. Such diets may be useful for both clinically normal cats and cats with metabolic disorders. The MCT oils are an example of a bioactive dietary lipid that may benefit feline metabolism and can serve as a useful functional food ingredient for cats.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Cats*
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Triglycerides / pharmacology*


  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Triglycerides