It’s an amino acid, is critical for healthy eyes, normal heart functions and the dietary fats in cats. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that taurine helps with epilepsy, diabetes, hairloss, tooth decay and liver and heart problems in cats, just to name a few.
If cats don’t get enough taurine in their diet, they may become blind and develop serious heart problems (for example: the heart dilates, its walls become thinner and weaker, making the heart less effective and resulting in a form of heart failure), because cats aren’t efficient at producing taurine on their own. They get this amino acid in only two ways: From meatm and in the form of a supplement. Although, meat contains taurine, levels vary greatly across different meat sources.
It is considered fact at this point that cats do require taurine in their diet. It is even fairly widely agreed upon that cats should consume 1000mg (1 gm) or taurine per 2.2 lbs of food.
Taurine is now a requirement of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and any dry or wet food product labeled approved by the AAFCO should have a minimum of 0.1% taurine in dry food and 0.2% in wet food.
So it’s important for your cat that his diet contains enough taurine.
To give you an idea of the amount of taurine in foods, Here is a list, but please understand, these numbers are not concrete.
- beef muscle 10 mg/oz raw 1.7mg/oz cooked
- beef liver 5.5 mg/oz raw
- lamb13.5 mg/oz raw 3.6mg/oz cooked
- chicken 9.5mg/oz raw 2.3mg/oz cooked
- fish 36mg/oz raw
- shrimp 48mg/oz raw
- nutritional yeast 30mg/tablet or 1/2 teaspoon
So when given the inexact science behind figuring these numbers and the known dangers of under-feeding this essential amino acid to cats, it is recommended to supplement taurine in cats who are on a homemade diet.