Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




Probiotics are one of the best alternatives to improve gut health. Kefir, which was discovered in the North Caucasus centuries ago, is still consumed frequently today due to its health benefits. Its impacts on the gastrointestinal system have begun to be investigated in animals. In this study, we focused to examine the effect of kefir on intestinal microbiota, some hematological parameters, and fecal quality in Angora cats to provide preliminary data regarding the hypothesis of its use as an alternative probiotic food supplement. Commercial kefir was given orally (30 mL/kg) to seven healthy Angora cats for 14 days. On day 0 and day 14, fresh feces and blood of the cats were collected. The results showed that two-week kefir consumption significantly increased the number of total mesophilic aerobic bacteria, lactococci, lactobacilli, and yeast in the gut microbiota (p < 0.05). Also, a significant decrease was recorded in the number of enterococci (p < 0.05). Measured hematological parameters (WBC, RBC, HGB, PCV, MCV, MCH, MCHC, PLT) were not affected during the experiment (p > 0.05). Among the biochemical parameters (ALT, AST, TP, TG, TC, HDL, LDL, LDH, K, Ca, Na) only a decrement in the activity of LDH, and an increment in K were observed after two-week of kefir consumption (p < 0.05). Additionally, no significant changes were recorded in the body weights, body condition scores, fecal scores, and fecal water contents (p > 0.05). Daily kefir consumption positively altered the intestinal microbiota of Angora cats by increasing the total mesophilic aerobic bacteria, lactococci, lactobacilli, and yeast. Moreover, no detrimental effect was observed in the blood parameters, body condition scores, and fecal quality. Therefore, it could be suggested that including kefir in Angora cats? daily diets can improve their health conditions.


Angora cats, kefir, feline, microbiota, hematological parameters, feces

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