You’ve seen it everywhere and often in huge block letters: TAURINE.
Taurine is part of all Loveabowl wet and dry food for cats for a good reason. Your veterinarian probably mentioned that your finicky feline needs it in their daily diet. But what exactly is it, and why do our cats need it?
We’re going to help shine the light on this essential nutrient so your cat can feel fine for a long time.
What is Taurine?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 22 in total, with taurine being one of them. Many of these building blocks can be produced by your cat’s liver, but essential amino acids must come from their diets.
Sadly, our feline buddies cannot produce taurine on their own. While they do make sufficient amounts of other amino acids, this is the one that plays hard to get.
Don’t worry! There’s no shortage of it for cats. The best source is none other than meat. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, of course. Cats are ‘obligate carnivores,’ which means they have to eat meat.
Picky eaters or not, our feline friends need protein from animal sources to stay healthy! Cats do not store large amounts of taurine, which is why they need to get it regularly!
How can Taurine help cats?
Like we said, taurine is an essential amino acid. It’s found in high levels in the heart wall muscles, the retina of the eye, and the brain, among other important parts. Here’s how it helps your cat’s overall health:
Taurine is a vital part of keeping your cat’s heart healthy. Lack of it makes the heart muscle weak, which can cause heart failure. This condition, called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), can be fatal.
Cats need good vision, especially with all the jumping and prancing they do. Taurine is essential for the development and health of cat eyes, particularly the retinas. Without it, retinal cells can’t work right and may die, which can cause vision problems or even blindness.
Healthy pregnancy? Healthy kitties
Pregnant cats need the right amount of taurine to stay healthy and make sure their babies are growing properly. Deficiency can cause reproductive failure or poor growth in kittens.
Healthier brain, healthier body
A good diet helps cats grow strong and smart. With taurine, a healthy cognitive function is possible. It’s needed for brain cell growth and development.
Stronger immune system
Cats are curious creatures and need their health in purr-fect condition. Taurine’s main role in the immune system is related to its antioxidant properties. It protects tissues from oxidative stress, which is a cause of many inflammatory diseases. It also helps make bile salts necessary for fat digestion.
How to detect Taurine deficiency?
Taurine deficiency isn’t easy to spot. Sadly, cats can’t tell us when they’re running low on it or feeling sick. Depending on your cat’s age, you might not notice something wrong for months. The following can be signs that your cat is deficient:
- Birth defects
- Fetal abnormalities
- Small litter sizes
- Low birth weights
If your cat shows any of these signs or if you have any other worries about their health, it’s best to take them to the vet for a checkup.
Feeding your cat well is a crucial part of their health. By learning the importance of taurine, you can ensure you’re giving them exactly what their bodies need. Giving your cat a healthy diet means they have the best chance at a long, healthy, and happy life.
See our range of cat food here.