Taurine is an amino acid and is an essential amino acid for your cat. Essential meaning your cat or kitten cannot create this amino acid from other sources and must have it included in their diet.
A lack of sufficient taurine levels in a cat or kittens diet can lead to multiple health conditions down the track including, but not limited to, blindness, deafness, heart failure, pregnancy issues and health concerns for fetal and newborn kittens, so when it comes to taurine levels, it’s important to ensure you’re getting it right.
Cats source taurine from raw meat, with muscle meats (including heart) having the highest levels. So the best way for them to intake taurine naturally is to include raw meats in their diet. I’ve highlighted raw because it’s important to know that heat actually destroys taurine dramatically. So if you’re including fresh meat in your cats diet but are choosing to cook it prior to feeding, it’s important to understand that you are lowering the taurine level in the meal by 50-100%!
You can, of course choose to add taurine supplements to your cats diet if you wish to continue cooking the food (as they do kibble), however we recommend always checking where the taurine supplement is manufactured and doing some research as to if you’re comfortable feeding that or not.
We strongly suggest trying your best to have them intake taurine in its natural state rather than adding synthetics to the diet, plus it’ll save you money! If you were feeding your cat or kitten a Raw & Fresh diet, you wouldn’t need to worry about this addition as it’s already included naturally.
There can be a slight decrease of taurine levels with the freezing and defrosting of raw meats, but this is only minimal. This is due to taurine being water soluble and a small amount of it potentially leaving the meat with the defrosted water once thawed. Pouring this water over the meal itself so the pet can still eat/drink it can lessen this also.
Unlike a lot of other vitamin and mineral deficiencies, taurine deficiencies take more than 6 months to show up on testing. In other words, you would need to be feeding your cat the same diet for 6+ months before testing for the taurine results to see if they are receiving enough taurine in their diet to stay healthy.
If you’d like more info about feeding your cat or kitten a raw diet with the correct vitamins and minerals needed, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
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