Prosperous And Carnivorous


Concerning Cat Stomachs.

Cat stomach (photo credit, Drs. Foster & Smith)

Cat stomach (photo credit, Drs. Foster & Smith)

Now it is time to focus on a carnivore’s stomach.  Namely, the cat stomach.  Obviously, a carnivore’s stomach is different then say, a goat or horse stomach.  The esophagus transports food to the stomach where it enters a valve-like structure titled the cardiac sphincter.  From there, it enters the stomach.  A cat’s stomach is a sac-like structure designed to store large amounts of food and continue the digestive process.  Cats usually swallow large lumps of food, rarely chewing for very long.  So meat and bones make their way to the stomach and are ground up there.  The interior of the stomach is made up of a series of folds called “gastric folds”.  Their function is to grind the food into small pieces and digest it.  The inner stomach lining also secretes acids and enzymes to break down food.  Once the initial stomach digestive process is complete, the partially digested food exits the stomach through the pyloric sphincter area and then enters the duodenum. Once eaten, most food leaves the stomach within twelve hours after entering.  The cat stomach was designed very well for what it is meant to do, although, modern cats that are fed cat food out of containers may need some supplementing.   What is better for my cat?  You may ask, wet food or dry food?  Well, this is sort of a trick question because truthfully, (depending on the quality) the most ideal diet is a mixture of both.  You see, wet food is usually more nutritious, although if a cat never chews anything other than soft food their teeth can get weak.  Hearts and brains are the best things you can supplement into your cat’s diet.  As they contain the taurine cats need to thwart health problems and death.  Egg yolks are also a good idea as they are nutritious and good for your cat’s fur.  Conclusively, cats are carnivores and need lots of protein and saturated fats as well as access to greenery such as cat grass or catnip for other nutrients.  Assuredly, if you give your cat this diet, it will live long and prosper.

To see what the cat stomach looks like and some more anatomy, watch my video at http://youtu.be/y9-M99e4l0I

Chyme Time


Horse Stomachs

Horse stomach

Horse stomach (photo credit, succeed-equine.com)

Now we are going to move on to another kind of stomach, the horse stomach.  Interestingly, horse’s stomachs (like their hearts) are relatively small for the size of the animal, this limits the intake and storage of food.   An average horse weighs 800 to 1,200 pounds.  But their stomach capacity is only about four gallons, and works best when it contains two gallons.  Also, their stomachs empty when they are about 2/3 full.  Whether or not the stomach enzymes have completed their processing of the food.  This inhibits full digestion and proper utilization of food. Continuous foraging or several small feedings per day are preferable to one or two large feedings.  

The horse stomach consists of a non-glandular proximal region (saccus cecus), divided by a distinct border, the margo plicatus, from the glandular distal stomach.  In the stomach, assorted acids and the enzyme pepsin break down food. Pepsin allows for the further breakdown of proteins into amino acid chains.  Other enzymes include resin and lipase. Additionally, the stomach absorbs some water, as well as ions and lipid soluble compounds. The end product is food broken down into chyme.  It then leaves the stomach through the pyloric valve, which controls the flow of food out of the stomach.  Although not as complex as a cow stomach, horses stomachs serve them well.  They do not weigh the horse down or hinder their agility, such as the cow stomach does.  Although if a horse eats too much, it can get bloated like a cow.  Ultimately, make sure your horse doesn’t eat too much too fast, and remember, if an animal’s gut is not healthy, the animal is not healthy.

To see a horse stomach compared to a cow stomach and what the horse stomach looks like, watch my video at http://youtu.be/n1jUkgmUAts