Most cat owners nowadays have already heard of taurine and know a lot that it’s very important to keep their feline friend healthy. But beyond that, most cat owners are not fully aware of what exactly it is as well as why their cat requires it for their nutritional needs.
This is what you’ll be educated on in this article.
How much taurine does a cat need
Taurine is a kind of amino acid, and a cat needs at least 100mg, which a cat gets by eating at least 28% protein. So you should look at the amount of protein to get the right percentage of taurine in your cat’s food.
Taurine is only found in proteins from animals. It’s very important for your cat’s normal digestion, muscle function, vision, healthy immune system, and to maintain normal fetal development and pregnancy.
Health Role of Taurine in Cats
The body of your cat uses taurine in order to form proteins. Thus, your cat needs a daily supplementation of taurine for digestion a healthy heart, digestion, and vision. Most mammals can produce taurine from other types of amino acids in their daily diet.
Cats are not so good at producing taurine since they are an obligate carnivore. It means even though cats eat meat, they still have to get lots of nutrients by consuming protein from animals since they can’t be able to create it themselves.
Taurine Daily Requirement for Cats
Adult cats need 100mg of taurine daily. As long as your cat’s diet include enough protein, like at least 28%, he must get enough taurine. Also, if you give a special diet to your cat, like home-cooked foods, make sure to talk to your veterinarian about whether your cat needs additional taurine supplementation.
Your cat should also avoid eating dog food for a long period of time since most dog food has only 20% or less protein content compared to cat food. This means your cat won’t be able to get taurine as well as other essential nutrients from dog food.
Life Stages of Cats
Through different stages of the life of your cat – kittenhood, adulthood, pregnancy, or old age – your cat will have slight changes in their nutritional needs. Thus, you need to provide the proper diet for your cat according to his life stage. For example, kitten food needs to have more calories since kittens have higher energy needs. On the other hand, food for adult cats needs to have fewer calories. Regardless, you should always choose higher-quality cat food. They might be pricier compared to cheaper brands, but they will likely contain more essential nutrients and protein your cat needs.
Taurine Deficiency in Cats
Your cat’s body can’t store many taurine, which is why he needs to get it daily. To do this, check the list of ingredients on your cat’s food to make sure you are giving him a good and balanced diet. If your cat does not get enough amount of taurine for a long time, like between 5 months to 2 years, chances are your cat will result in having central retinal degeneration that can eventually lead to blindness.
Aside from that, if your cat gets less taurine, his heart muscles may weaken and fail. This type of amino acid is also needed for the production of bile, which is why your cat cannot properly digest his food without it. Also, a pregnant cat who does not get more taurine in her diet will possibly have small and underweight kittens.
Common Questions About Taurine in A Cat’s Diet
What Happens If Cats Don’t Get Taurine?
If there’s insufficient taurine, your cat’s retina cells will not function properly and might die, eventually leading to impaired vision and blindness. This is referred to as the degeneration of feline central retinal. Also, taurine is very important for the heart muscle cells of your cat for it to have a normal function.
How Much Taurine is Too Much?
It’s important to know how proper taurine supplementation is done. The most common taurine dosages are 500 to 2,000 mg a day. However, the toxicity’s upper limit is much higher, that even doses of 2,000 mg and above seem to be tolerated.
Research on taurine safety suggests that even 3,000 mg of daily taurine consumption for a cat’s entire lifetime is still safe.
Is My Cat Getting Enough Taurine?
Processing cat greatly affects the levels of taurine if your cat’s diet, in which an increase in dietary fiber may decrease its absorption. Food for cats that contain quality animal-based protein can be able to supply adequate taurine levels for a healthy, normal cat. Also, dog food doesn’t contain enough taurine levels to meet the specific requirements of cats so dog food shouldn’t be given to cats.
Taurine deficiencies in cats are actually easy to avoid through feeding your feline friend good quality cat food that you can buy commercially. Experts recognize Taurine as a very important feline food ingredient so it’s included in every balanced diet for cats. It’s important to make sure that your cat gets enough Taurine especially if you’re feeding him home-made food. It’s also important to bear in mind that you shouldn’t feed your cat dog food. Taurine is safe and there haven’t been any toxicity reports from feline population eating too much of this type of amino acid. Therefore, it’s a great idea to supply your cat with additional Taurine supplements, most especially if he suffers from a heart condition.