Hypophosphatemia associated with enteral alimentation in cats

J Vet Intern Med. 1995 Jul-Aug;9(4):228-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.1995.tb01072.x.


Hypophosphatemia is uncommon in cats, but it has been reported in association with diabetes mellitus and hepatic lipidosis, where it can cause hemolysis, rhabdomyopathy, depression, seizures, and coma. The purpose of this article is to describe 9 cats that developed low serum phosphorus concentrations (< 2.5 mg/dL) subsequent to enteral alimentation. Serum biochemical analyses from more than 6,000 cats were reviewed. The medical records of all cats with hypophosphatemia were examined for history of enteral alimentation; diabetic cats were excluded from the study. Nine cats, ranging in age from 3 to 17 years, were identified. All cats had normal serum phosphorus concentrations before tube feeding began. Onset of hypophosphatemia occurred 12 to 72 hours after initiation of enteral alimentation, and the nadir for phosphorus concentrations ranged from 0.4 to 2.4 mg/dL. Hemolysis occurred in 6 of the 9 cats. Hypophosphatemia secondary to enteral alimentation is an uncommon clinical finding in cats. Cats with high alanine aminotransferase activity, hyperbilirubinemia, and weight loss should be closely monitored for hypophosphatemia during the first 72 hours of enteral alimentation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / veterinary
  • Cat Diseases / blood
  • Cat Diseases / etiology*
  • Cat Diseases / therapy
  • Cats
  • Enteral Nutrition / adverse effects
  • Enteral Nutrition / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Hemolysis
  • Hypophosphatemia / blood
  • Hypophosphatemia / etiology
  • Hypophosphatemia / therapy
  • Hypophosphatemia / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Phosphates / therapeutic use
  • Phosphorus / blood
  • Potassium Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Phosphates
  • Potassium Compounds
  • Phosphorus
  • potassium phosphate