Ammonia intoxication in the near-adult cat as a result of a dietary deficiency of arginine

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Science  27 Jan 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4327, pp. 431-432
DOI: 10.1126/science.619464


Near-adult cats, fasted overnight, and given a single meal of a complete amino acid diet without arginine, developed hyperammonemia and showed clinical symptoms of ammonia toxicity within 2 hours. One cat (2.7 kilograms) died 4.5 hours after ingesting only 8 grams of the diet. Since ornithine also prevented hyperammonemia, it appears that the domestic cat cannot synthesize ornithine.