Taurine For Cats

Written by Robert Mac
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Taurine for cats is crucial: cats cannot produce it very well internally, like other mammals, and must get it through their diet. An inadequate amount of taurine in a cat's diet can lead to serious complications, including death, but this can be avoided easily. A diet of healthy cat food, with appropriate amounts of digestible taurine, can save your cat from the problems of taurine deficiency, especially when started young.

Since the 1970s, commercial pet food makers have increased the amount of taurine for cats--but only after learning that most mass-produced cat foods at that time were taurine deficient. This amino acid prevents a serious feline heart condition, as well as a retinal degeneration that causes blindness. Cats evolved having taurine in their diets, particularly from feeding on rodents, but since the advent of mass production, they must receive it from their food bowl.

Providing Taurine for Cats

Pet nutritionists discovered the importance of taurine for cats, and encouraged cat food producers to add it to their products. However, some argue that not all the pet food makers are adding enough. Like many other nutrients that are added to foods, not all the taurine is absorbed into the cat's system--either more has to be added, or it has to be made more digestible.

A diet of meat--the best source of taurine--is the most natural one for cats, but this can be problematic for a domesticated house cat. However, there are many quality cat foods that contain more than the recommended amount of taurine for cats to avoid the risks of taurine deficiency. Although the complications arising from a low-taurine diet are serious, they are also preventable with a healthy diet from the time your cat is a kitten.

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