If you are looking to learn more about the importance of Taurine for your cat’s raw meat diet, then this will be the right article for you.
As more cat owners start to realise the importance of feeding their cats a natural diet, like the raw diet, they are also looking for supplementation to ensure the diet consists of the required important nutrients.
This article will explain what is Taurine, why it is a very important nutrient in your cat’s raw diet and how to go about feeding your cat Taurine.
What Is Taurine?
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in many foods, such as meats, fish, eggs and milk.
Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins.
It’s also available as a dietary supplement.
Taurine helps maintain the health of your heart, muscles, nerves, eyes, skin, bones, kidneys, liver, pancreas, lungs, stomach, intestines and other organs.
The Importance Of Taurine For Cats
When an animal or human eats proteins, the proteins are broken down into their specific amino acid elements prior to absorption.
Some can be produced within the body, while others are essential.
This means that the body can not manufacture them, and they should be included as part of the diet regimen.
Different animals have various essential amino acid requirements.
There are some animals that have the ability to produce or manufacture Taurine on their own with added supplementation.
Cats have a limited ability to make taurine. Therefore, taurine is identified as a necessary nutrient in felines.
Thankfully for cats, they can get this essential amino acid from their raw food diet.
It needs to be a high-protein diet like meat and devoid of carbohydrates that cats can’t digest.
It is not stored in adequate amounts in the body and should be consumed on a regular basis.
Cats on commercial cat food like kibble or canned food can’t sufficient Taurine from the food as most of this essential amino acid is destroyed in the manufacturing process.
What Are Taurine Benefits For Cats?
The benefits of Taurine for cats encompasses their health and wellness outcome in general.
To leave out this very important essential amino acid from your cat’s raw diet can have severe health repercussions.
Taurine helps with:
- Strengthen the heart
- Supports better blood circulation
- Improves retina health and night vision for cats
- Promotes reproductive health and wellness
- Protects the overall health and wellness of cats as they age
How Much Taurine Do Cats Need On A Raw Diet?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to deciding on the amount of Taurine powder for cats.
It depends on the weight of your cat and the type of diet that your cat is on.
It’s safe to say that a cat on the usual pet food isn’t getting enough Taurine.
For simplicity’s sake, it is best to feed your cat about 75-100mg of Taurine daily for an adult cat (cats that are older than 18 months).
The rule of thumb is that 10-15mg per kg of your cat’s body weight of this essential amino acid is sufficient for their daily Taurine requirements.
There are many cat owners that feed their cats more Taurine daily and that’s fine.
Cats don’t suffer from Taurine toxicity as it is water-soluble. Excess Taurine is secreted via the urine.
Just use some common sense and don’t go overboard with it.
Raw Meat With High Taurine Content
Muscular tissue meat includes relatively high quantities of taurine.
The quantity of taurine in meat relies on how much work the muscle has done and the type of meat that you are feeding your cat.
Darker meat indicates stronger muscles, therefore greater degrees of taurine.
The heart, being the hardest functioning muscle in the body, will have the most taurine.
Organ meat also contains greater levels of Taurine. There are some cat owners that feed their cats canned chicken.
It isn’t the healthiest option as it lacks taurine in it.
Larger animals such as livestock have a reduced amount of Taurine in their muscle tissue as compared to smaller animals.
Taurine Content In Raw Meat:
Turkey (dark meat): 306 mg/100g
Chicken liver: 110mg/100g
Chicken (dark meat): 82.6mg/100g
Beef liver: 68.8mg/100g
Beef heart: 63.2mg/100g
Based on the above list, you can see the types of raw meat and their corresponding Taurine levels.
So if your cat’s staple meat mostly comes from chicken, it would be a good idea to mix it up with some turkey dark meat.
One thing to note is that cooked meat can contain much less Taurine than raw meat.
This is because Taurine is heat sensitive and the cooking process can destroy more than 50% of its natural Taurine content.
Otherwise, the next best option is to use a Taurine supplement.
What Taurine Supplement For Cats Should You Use?
Taurine supplements are widely available in most major pet shops. Just be aware of the serving size and how much Taurine it contains.
You can also purchase human-grade Taurine supplements from pharmacies.
The dosage usually ranges from 250mg-1000mg per capsule. I will get a bottle of 500mg taurine capsules and divide it into two servings.
250mg is usually sufficient for most healthy cats as a daily dosage.
This Taurine supplement in addition to the raw food that your cat eats will be sufficient to meet its daily Taurine requirements.
Symptoms Of Taurine Deficiency In Cats
Signs and symptoms of taurine deficiency in your cat are slow-moving to proceed as well as might not be instantly evident.
Scientific studies have shown that the lack of taurine in cats can cause “serious clinical problems1“.
Symptoms will certainly often be degenerative, which implies they end up being gradually even worse gradually.
Indicators of taurine deficiency consist of:
If a feline does not obtain sufficient Taurine the cells in the cat’s retinas will gradually get weaker and break down and also the quality of the cat’s vision will certainly degrade.
Cats rely a lot on their excellent vision to get around so any compromise in this aspect can severely affect their quality of life.
The cat can suffer from cardiomyopathy as the heart’s muscular tissues end up being weakened from the lack of this essential amino acid.
Cardiomyopathy is a condition whereby the heart isn’t strong enough to pump blood to the rest of the body.
This can eventually result in heart failure.
Digestive System Concerns
Digestive upset as a result of damaged bile production can take place.
In a pregnant cat, she can give birth to dead or tiny kitties or some with type physical abnormalities.
P.J. Markwell BSc, BVetMed, MRCVS, K.E. Earle BSc, PhD