The amino acid taurine is an essential part of building protein and optimizing health in almost every body system and tissue. Cats require taurine in their diets because they are unable to synthesize it themselves like many dogs can. If you have a pet feline, it makes sense to learn about this essential amino acid, the risks of not including it in their diet, and how you can increase taurine levels to support overall health.
One of the most important responsibilities of a pet cat owner is ensuring a proper healthy diet. Although high-quality food bank cost more, anything is worth giving your cat the best opportunity for a long and healthy life. Since taurine is readily available in meat of all kinds, a simple choice at the store or online retailer can make all the difference.
What Does Taurine Do For Your Cat?
Taurine is one of the essential amino acids used by cats and other animals to create protein. While other animals like dogs create their own taurine naturally, cats are not very good at doing so. Therefore, they need to get this important building block from the food you feed them.
Taurine function in your cat's body includes:
- Proper production of protein for muscle growth, function, and more
- Support for clear and strong vision
- Promotes a stronger immune system
- Essential for a healthy intestinal tract and efficient digestion
- Facilitates healthy development of kittens in utero
What Are the Risks of Insufficient Taurine?
Many cat owners, veterinarians, scientists, and pet food corporations have joined the discussion about optimum diet for felines. Much of this revolves around grain-based or plant food laden kibble, which does not offer your pet cat the nutrients it needs. This type of food does not provide a steady supply of taurine necessary for all the above listed functions.
If your cat does not get enough taurine regularly, the proteins in their body will break down more quickly and not have the amino acids necessary for repair. They may slowly lose their important sense of vision. Cardiomyopathy may occur as part muscle degrades. Their liver will no longer produce enough bile, which is essential for efficient digestion. You may first notice unhealthy skin, fur, and general lethargy.
How Can I Change My Cat's Diet to Get Enough Taurine?
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat meat to stay healthy. Since taurine is found in all types of meat and organs, feeding your cat its natural diet is the best way to ensure they get enough to support healthy body functions. For the vast majority of pet owners, you do not have to worry about supplementation or getting extra help from your veterinarian. Cat food focused on meat works fine.
However, if your cat is already experiencing signs or symptoms of taurine deficiency, they may need extra help. Always speak with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your precious pet's health and well-being. They may prescribe a taurine supplement if necessary.