Taurine is a vital nutrient for cats

Taurine is involved in many crucial roles of metabolism. According to Dr. Richard Patton, taurine may be classified as a vitamin and amino acid. Most mammals require taurine for proper musculoskeletal development, heart function, vision and digestion. Some mammals, such as humans and dogs, are able to synthesize taurine internally by utilizing other amino acids. Cats, however, are unable to synthesize taurine internally in high enough concentrations, therefore they must obtain taurine through their daily diet. 

Why does my cat need taurine?

Because taurine is crucial to many normal metabolic processes, a taurine deficiency can cause significant health issues for your cat over time. Cat’s that experience taurine deficiency may develop serious problems including:

  • Weak immune system Slow to recover from illness
  • Low energy – Nutritional deficiencies affect energy levels
  • Feline Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) – An enlarged heart 
  • Digestive problems – Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Feline Central Retinal Degeneration (FCRD) – Progressive vision loss 
  • Reproductive issues – Infertility or giving birth to kittens with low birth weight and delayed development 
  • Diabetes – Taurine affects blood sugar and taurine deficiency may cause feline diabetes
  • Dry, unhealthy skin and coat – Without enough taurine, your cat’s fur may become dry and flakey
  • Dental issues – Bad breath, cavities and tartar buildup

How do I make sure my cat has enough taurine?

Meat and fish are excellent sources of taurine. As obligate carnivores, cats need to consume meat in order to be healthy. Pet food is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and taurine is so important for cats that the AAFCO lists it as a necessary nutrient in cat foods. 

One way to ensure your cat is getting enough taurine is to only feed pet foods certified by AAFCO. However, pet foods that are extruded, cooked, boiled or canned will have significantly reduced amounts of taurine in the diet. In addition, pet foods high in fiber may actually limit your cat’s ability to absorb taurine. 

What foods are high in taurine?

The greatest concentration of taurine is found in organ meat which is why all Vital Cat diets are formulated with only organ meat, bones and parts, ensuring cats get the right amount of taurine with no artificial additives. Whether you choose Vital Cat freeze-dried or frozen, the premium meat contains all the nutrients your cat needs to thrive. All Vital Essentials diets meet AAFCO standards and contain no fillers or high fiber junk ingredients like wheat, corn or rice.  

Regular veterinary check-ups, combined with a quality diet, are the key to a happy, healthy cat. The meat of the matter is this: If you feed a Vital Cat all meat diet, your cat will naturally get the recommended taurine their body needs. 

Make sure to check out our other blog posts to learn about the importance of taurine for dogs and for other tips to help your pet live their best life. To find a high-quality raw diet for your pet, shop our raw cat food products online or find a store that carries our products near you to choose the finest quality cat food, treats and supplements you can find for your favorite fur-iend.