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Staff member
Jan 13, 2009
Taurine is an amino acid that cats, all breeds, cannot synthesize on their own. They acquire taurine through consuming meat, there is no taurine at all available in fruits, veggies or grains. Most cat food companies add in a small amount of taurine to try to cover the daily needs of the cats.

In addition, feeding just raw meat or raw diet can also leave cats deficient in this area because the level of taurine is not calculated or, in some cases, known. The parts of the body that are high in taurine are the brain, eye and heart (usually not used in raw feeding). The most important thing to note here is that no matter what food you're feeding, you need to know that it either has a supplemented amount of taurine or YOU are supplementing the taurine.

Without taurine, cats will eventually suffer from DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) (resulting in heart failure) and retinal degeneration. At its worst, taurine deficiency can leave a cat permanently blind and with a rapidly deteriorating heart. This can happen within as little as a few months. Taurine deficiency can also cause problems with breeding cat mothers like spontaneous abortions, abnormal newborns, development problems, or kittens who "fail to thrive", etc.

It's important to ensure that your cat is receiving somewhere between 100 and 300mg of taurine per day (check the back of your food packaging, if you're not sure and always consult your vet before administering any food supplement or medication).

Those of you who have had pets diagnosed with eye and heart conditions or have had females with abnormal reproductive status or problems--speak with your veterinarian about taurine supplementation.