Taurine - What and why?

Taurine - What and why?

2 minute read

Taurine is an essential amino acid. Amino acids help the body’s cells create proteins needed for the proper functioning of every part of the feline body. The acids aid in the metabolic process and play an important role in the transportation and storage of nutrients.

Although many amino acids are produced by the body, some can only be obtained through food. Amino acids that must be obtained through diet alone are known as “essential” amino acids.

Importantly, people and dogs can synthesize taurine from other amino acids but cats cannot. If they don’t receive enough of this essential amino acid in their food, this can have adverse impacts on their health. Some effects of taurine deficiency include blindness, heart disease and stunted growth. 

Taurine is exclusively found in animal-based proteins. It is critical for normal vision, digestion, heart muscle function, to maintain normal pregnancy and fetal development, and to maintain a healthy immune system. Taurine is an essential amino acid in the cat.

Now that we know taurine is super important for cats, you’d want to look out for the meals you are feeding.

  • If you are opting for commercially packaged food - do read the label to learn about the ingredients. 
  • If you are cooking fresh meals, here are some ingredients which can be used as toppers or treats as they contain taurine - Shellfish, fish such as sardines, salmon & tuna, meat & poultry. 

In any case, it’s a good idea to share the diet with your pet’s veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist. These professionals can help you tweak the meal plan to ensure that it meets all of your cat’s nutritional needs.

Remember, regular vet visits are key to your pet’s good health and if in doubt about your pet's health, consult your vet.