Taurine is without a doubt one of the many essential nutrients that must be in your cat’s diet. It is a type of amino acid found in animal-based proteins. Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid principally detected in muscle flesh and organs such as the liver, kidney, and heart. It is also found in seafood.
According to ASPCA, taurine is of more importance to cats than other mammals such as dogs. The reason for this is because unlike dogs, felines are unable to generate their own taurine by utilizing pre-existing amino acids that are within their systems. Animal products and taurine supplements are the only sources of taurine for a cat.
Benefits of Taurine
Some of the problems in cats such as sluggish neonatal development and other birth defects come in due to lack of taurine. A cat that is expecting kittens should be fed with a proper diet that includes sufficient taurine levels.
Taurine deficiency in cats has some detrimental effects including loss of vision and degeneration of the feline central system according to the National Academy of Sciences. To ensure an excellent vision, feed your kitty on a diet with sufficient levels of taurine.
Taurine plays an important role in keeping the heart in excellent condition. Some of the heart problems that are common in cats include heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy. These two are closely linked to lack of taurine.
Other benefits-liver disease, Type I diabetes, proper functioning digestive system and seizure disorders.
Dosage for Cats
All cats require taurine as a part of their daily diet. Supplemental taurine is mainly administered on cats that have health problems. It is not required for a healthy cat that gets a high-quality food in line with its life stage. The supplement will also be good for those cats that lack high-quality commercial cat food.
While considering the appropriate level of dosage of taurine for you cat, it is good to keep in mind the fact that taurine tends to dissipate when under extreme heat. It loses about 50 to 75% of its natural value when subjected to high levels of heat.
The typical recommended dosage for cats is 200 to 300 mg per meal. This is easily achieved with a diet that is made up of 50% raw meat. In order to prevent the loss of taurine to heat, most commercial pet foods have high levels of synthetic taurine.
Taurine is found is huge quantities in the retina, blood cells, brain, and the heart. The best source of this nutrient is meat and fish.
Potential Side Effects
Taurine is generally safe to use, and side effects occur rarely. One of the side effects that may be noted is stomach upsets from time to time. There is no documented report of harmful effect associated with an intake of excessive taurine in cat diet.
When using supplemented taurine to treat dilated cardiomyopathy, the supplement will only be effective if used in the early stage of the condition. Its use for retinal degeneration will only slow or stop its progression, but it can never reverse the damage caused.
Where to buy Taurine Supplement
Different manufacturers offer supplements that vary widely when it comes to quality. Therefore, it is prudent to seek advice from a competent vet since they may have in mind a preferred supplement manufacturer. Nonetheless, you can still purchase the supplement over the counter without any prescription.
Ailments Treated by Taurine
Taurine supplement treats these conditions:
- Heart diseases
- Poor vision
- Birth defect prevention and poor neonatal development
Impacts of Taurine Deficiency
Lack of sufficient levels of taurine has some serious effects that include; central retinal degeneration, heart cardiomyopathy, reproductive failure and sluggish fetal development.
It is crucial to avoid the irreversible effects of taurine deficiency by feeding your kitty with a diet that is rich in taurine. Clinical signs of its deficiency are not apparent right away and therefore by the time they come clear, substantial damage has occurred. The deficiency can go undetected for months or even years.
It is quite clear that the benefits of taurine to you kitty is immense. It is prudent to give your cat the right amount of the nutrient in its diet regularly. Do not wait until he or she is extremely sick for you to seek medical intervention.