Natural Sources of Taurine for Cats ©

Taurine is an amino acid that is essential in a cat’s diet because they cannot synthesize it adequately like most other mammals. The feline heart, platelets and retina require Taurine for both structure and function. Your cat’s liver, gallbladder, central nervous system, skeletal muscles and bones also utilize Taurine, and it may assist in electrolyte balance.

Taurine deficiency may result in:

  • Retinol degeneration leading to vision impairment or blindness
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy leading to heart damage, enlargement or failure
  • Infertility
  • Impaired fetal development
  • Abnormal skeletal growth
  • Fur loss
  • Tooth decay

Manufactured cat food is required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials to be supplemented with synthetic Taurine. With home-made cat food becoming more common, concern and awareness of the essential amino acid Taurine for cat diets has increased.

We recommend natural sources of Taurine for cats whenever possible, including:

  • Shellfish – Excellent sources of Taurine, with high levels in clams, scallops, krill and shrimp.Natural source of taurine for cats - sardines
  • Fish – Cold water fish such as sardines or salmon are excellent, natural sources of Taurine that cat’s love.
  • Meat – All meat contains Taurine, with dark poultry meat being one of the best sources.
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Natural Taurine supplements suitable for cats – Fresh or low-temperature dried seaweed, freeze-dried krill, and brewer’s yeast. Our senior cat is fed both freeze-dried krill and a seaweed/algae mix on a regular basis.

Because Taurine is a free amino acid, it is easily lost with cooking (over 50%). If meat must be cooked, make it as ‘rare’ as possible, searing the outside to lock in the juices. Avoid cooking in water. We personally recommend heating fish to safe temperatures (140°F) for the purpose of killing parasites, or use freeze-dried seafood.  Contrary to popular belief, freezing is not a reliable method of killing parasites and their eggs.

Those who feed a variety of raw meat to their cat shouldn’t have to worry about Taurine deficiency due to insufficient intake. If your cat’s home-made diet is primarily cooked, experts recommend adding a Taurine supplement. Taurine supplements for cats are relatively inexpensive and the money we save in veterinarian expenses through premium health more than pays for itself. Of course, we’re also rewarded with a healthy, long-lived feline friend. :-)

There are manufactured Taurine supplements available specifically for cats, such as the one we currently use for our adopted feline, Thorne Research TaurineVET. Some combined natural cat supplements also contain smaller amounts of Taurine, such as the popular Nu-Pet Feline Granular with Antioxidants. We like the convenience of pre-measured capsules and simple scooping.

You may be interested in trying this easy cat food recipe, Old Fish Bones in a Pumpkin, which is a good source of Protein, Taurine and Calcium.

© All Natural Pet Care Blog – Content on this website (all or in part) may NOT be used elsewhere without expressed permission. Content theft will result in legal action. Thank you for respecting the effort that we have put into our original content.

References:
Freeman, Lisa M. Rush, John E. Nutritional Modulation of Heart Disease, Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 6TH ED.
Committee on Animal Nutrition, National Research Council. Nutrient Requirements of Cats, Rev Ed. 1986.
Lima L, Obregon F, Cubillos S, Fazzino F, Jaimes I. Taurine as a micronutrient in development and regeneration of the central nervous system.
Strombeck, Donald, DVM, PhD. Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: The Healthful AlternativeHome Prepared Dog & Cat Diets. 1999.
Little, Susan, DVM DABVP (Feline). The Cat: Clinical Medicine and ManagementThe Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and SupplementsNatural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements. 2001.

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28 Responses to “Natural Sources of Taurine for Cats ©”

  1. Noah's Cat says:

    What a handy column you write, thanks.

  2. BryanC says:

    My cat gets enough taurine but I’m totally intrigued by them loving seaweed… I had not idea. I’m going to try it on him.

  3. Declan SK says:

    Almost everything I could find about taurine was above my head or too general. Thank you * this is perfect.

  4. Heather says:

    I like the idea of giving my cats seaweed as a supplement better than giving them artificial supplements. I also give them your montmorillonite clay which makes them drink more water because they like the taste I guess. I share any meat I’m having with them too.

  5. Marie says:

    I’m another one that gives my cat raw meat, but I want to thank you for teaching people about the dietary requirements of cats so they don’t have to rely on pet food products.

  6. Calico Cats Canada says:

    The more I read about seaweed for cats the more I like it. It seems like the perfect natural supplement for them…….taurine is just the beginning!

  7. Joan U. says:

    I give my cats raw meat every other day so they should have enough natural taurine but this is fabulous information to have.

  8. Karen says:

    My first clue that I needed to read this article was when realized I didn’t know what taurine was in the first place LOL!!! I’ve just started to read about homemade cat diets obviously so thank you.

  9. Smurfette says:

    I have gained a much better understanding of taurine now & appreciate it.

  10. Rebecca says:

    We only feed meat to our cat but we cook it. This is great information to know.

  11. Design says:

    Really good post! Thanks for the information.

  12. Meow says:

    Kitty says meow yummy meow!!! and thank you!!!

  13. Not sure says:

    I’m not so sure about seaweed for cats but my 3 cats loves it so I give them a little here and there. It doesn’t seem to bother them. We feed the BARF diet to them most of the time and they’re so healthy we hardly ever go to the vet.

  14. Kat says:

    We use a mixed supplement for taurine but this is good to know.

  15. Hot-shot says:

    My cats LOVE seaweed. I’m happy to find out that it supplies taurine too.

  16. kitty says:

    It is so wonderful to find a natural pet blog that has solid and useful information! I am just starting to research natural homemade diets for my 3 cats and the turine requirement was scaring me. Thanks so much!

  17. natural supplements says:

    Wow, superb blog! How much seaweed can cats handle?

    • admin says:

      Since seaweed is different from terrestrial plants, cats can utilize it as a supplement. A little goes a long way, however. I add it as a supplement in very small portions to ensure it doesn’t tax my cat’s system too much, not more than a small dash every couple of days.

  18. philosophy says:

    Taurine is important for cats and its great to know we don’t have to rely on manufactured pet supplements for homemade cat diets. I prefer to cook the meat and had no idea it could cause a taurine deficiency.

  19. Catty_Lady says:

    Thanks for providing the information sources

  20. catscratchfever says:

    A natural diet for my cat is my new year resolution. Can you recommend a good cookbook?

  21. antivirus says:

    Great weblog here! I don’t need taurine supplements for my cats because I give them raw meat 4 times every week but its handy information to have.

  22. PhilEnsor44 says:

    Great information, my cats thank you!

  23. fatty says:

    Iove this website, thanks for all of your time & research.

  24. MaxGXL says:

    You really dig into your pet topics and I appreciate it. Do cats need taurine if they eat packaged pet food? Have a great day.

    • admin says:

      Manufactured pet food is supplemented with synthetic taurine, so your cat should not require more than that.

  25. cyra says:

    hi admin,
    i really appreciated how this post focused on providing optimal health to cats. this post provided organic and natural sources of taurine that cats greatly need. the data and information one can gain from this post can help pet owners prepare the best meal for their pet cats. thank you.

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