2022‘s Best Cat Food With Taurine: For Healthy Hearts & Eyes

Best Cat Food With Taurine

The domestic cat has evolved quite closely alongside its canine counterparts. However, unlike our dogs, cats require more meat in their diets.

Felines did not stray too far from their ancestors’ prey-based diets and cannot live on a vegetarian diet. In this article, we will discuss the importance of taurine in cats and review the 10 best cat food with taurine.

What is Taurine?

Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins, and taurine is one of them. It is found only in animal proteins.

While humans and other omnivores are able to manufacture taurine from other amino acids, cats’ bodies are unable to do the same to produce enough taurine. 

This makes taurine an essential amino acid for them – meaning your cat’s diet must be able to provide sufficient amounts of it.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, taurine is vital for normal vision, heart muscle function, digestion, maintaining normal pregnancy and fetal development, and immune system health.

Because this particular amino acid is not stored in large quantities in cats’ bodies, they need to have a regular intake of taurine.

What to Look For in Cat Foods with Taurine

High in Protein

For your precious feline friend, pick a cat food that is high in protein. Adult cats should have daily meals that are at least 26% protein on a dry matter basis. Growing kittens, pregnant, and nursing cats should be fed food that is at least 30% protein.

There are so many high-protein dry and wet cat foods on the market. All you have to do is find one that your cat would approve of.

High-quality Animal Protein Sources

Taurine is an essential amino acid that is naturally present in animal protein. It cannot be found in plant-based proteins such as corn gluten meal or soy protein.

Select cat foods that are free from unnamed animal ingredients such as poultry by-product meal, animal fat, and meat by-products. 

Instead, pick cat foods that specifically state sources such as chicken, fish meal, lamb liver, beef heart, salmon oil, etc.

This is especially important if you have a cat suffering from allergies. It will be harder to determine what triggers the allergies if the cat food does not specify all the animal sources.

Natural Ingredients

The best cat foods are the ones that are free from artificial enhancers such as colors, flavors, or preservatives.

They thrive on cat foods that are made from naturally flavorful meats like fish, chicken, lamb, etc. They don’t need artificial additives.

Complete and Balanced Nutrition

Make sure that your cat’s food is appropriate for her nutritional needs as well as the cat’s age. Cat foods are labeled as such and not as toppers, mixers, or treats, are generally formulated to be nutritionally complete and balanced. You just need to make sure that the correct life stage formula is fed to your cat.

Look for the AAFCO statement to ensure that your pet gets meals appropriate for the cat’s life stage. For adult kitties, it should state “Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance of adult cats”. Kitten frood would have a statement that says “formulated for the growth of cats”, while “formulated for all life stages” will be indicated on those that can be given to cats of all ages.

Providing daily meals with complete and balanced nutrition means that you don’t need to worry about how much taurine your cat needs. These meals are optimized to provide the right levels that kitties need.

Best Cat Food With Taurine

1. American Journey Salmon Recipe

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 40%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 4%
Taurine .15%

American Journey Salmon Recipe is a grain-free dry food suitable for cats of all life stages. This high-quality food is packed with protein and savory flavors from real salmon and menhaden fish meal.

We picked this as the best dry cat food with taurine because most of its protein content is derived from high-quality animal sources instead of plant protein.

This dry food is very high in protein at 40%, making it ideal for active cats. It has real deboned salmon and salmon meal as the most plentiful ingredients respectively.

Salmon meal is salmon meat that has been rendered to take the moisture out. The result is a highly concentrated protein source that is packed with essential amino acids. Menhaden fish meal and dried egg product are also included as additional sources of protein.

Fish such as salmon and tuna are naturally rich in taurine which supports cats’ eye and heart health. However, as cooking takes away some of the taurine and other nutrients in the food, supplements are added back to the cat food after cooking. This particular cat food has a guaranteed minimum taurine content of 0.15%.

The majority of pet parents who purchased this product are very, very pleased with the health benefits American Journey has given to their cats.

According to them, the overall health improvement is noticeable within just a few weeks from switching the cats to this cat food. 

Aside from shinier, softer fur, some owners noticed that their previously overweight indoor cats have started to lose their excess weight.

They also appear to be full with less amount of food compared to their previous dry food. Because this food is quite high in protein, the cats are fuller for much longer.

Because it is chicken and grain-free, a lot of sensitive cats are also able to enjoy this grain-free dry food without issue. The highly digestible protein and fiber sources seem to be gentle even on sensitive tummies.

Pros:

  • Taurine for heart and eye health
  • High-protein: 40%
  • Suitable for active cats
  • High-quality animal protein sources: salmon and menhaden fish
  • Grain, chicken-free
  • No corn, wheat, soy
  • Antioxidants from superfoods
  • Probiotics for gut support
  • L-carnitine for metabolic support

Cons:

  • Few reports of too much food dust
  • Not widely available

2. Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe 

First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Whitefish, Dried Egg Product, Dried Peas, Oatmeal

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 32%
Crude Fat 16%
Crude Fiber 5%
Taurine .10%

Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe is a grain-inclusive dry food formulated to provide the nutritional needs of adult kitties. Instead of corn or wheat, the main carb and fiber sources in this cat food are peas and oatmeal.

Real salmon and whitefish are the main sources of essential amino acids in this recipe. Both are naturally flavorful, high in omega 3 fatty acids, rich in taurine, and highly digestible. These high-quality animal protein sources are responsibly sourced to minimize environmental impact.

In addition to salmon and whitefish, dried egg product and soy protein concentrate are also included in this recipe as supplemental sources of protein.

Like most holistic cat food brands, Halo has formulated its recipes to be super digestible. According to the brand, they use whole meats that are slow-cooked for a more digestible source of protein with up to 16 times less ash than rendered meat. 

To further promote a healthy digestive system, probiotics are included in this crunchy cat food. Probiotics promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. This not only aids digestion but also helps the body absorb more nutrients.

Based on feedback from buyers, this Halo Holistic recipe seems to be loved by numerous kitties. The highly palatable, crunchy kibbles get even the picky cats excited for mealtimes. 

The pet parents noticed an improvement in the cats’ stool quality as well. They take the decreased volume of stool in the litter trays as a good indication that more of the nutrients are absorbed by the body, instead of being turned into waste. Some also remarked glossier and thicker coats in their cats with this formula than when they were on other dry foods.

Pros:

  • Taurine for eye and heart health
  • High-protein – 32%
  • Whole salmon and whitefish as the main sources of protein
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Antioxidants from superfoods
  • Probiotics for gut health
  • No corn, wheat
  • Highly palatable
  • Highly digestible

Cons:

  • Contains plant-derived proteins such as soy protein concentrate and potato protein

3. Health Extension Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Dried Egg Product

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 36%
Crude Fat 16%
Crude Fiber 6%
Taurine .17%

Health Extension Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is a grain-inclusive dry food that is formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition to cats of all life stages.

This recipe costs relatively cheaper than many high-quality cat food, but is completely free from unnamed animal products, by-product meals, and artificial additives, unlike most cheap cat food products.

This budget cat food has real chicken and chicken meals as its main sources of protein. Both are high-quality sources of amino acids that help cats build lean and strong muscles. They are good, natural sources of taurine as well. 

Instead of adding plant protein to increase the protein percentage, this recipe has dried egg product and menhaden fish meal.

All these high-quality animal protein sources make up most of the 36% protein content of this chicken recipe dry food. 

Free from corn, wheat, or soy, this recipe has wholesome grains such as brown rice and oatmeal as the main sources of fiber and carbs.

These high-fiber grains help improve cats’ digestive health and stool quality. Many holistic pet nutrition experts believe that good gut health is the way to good overall health in cats. 

Having a healthy digestive system helps the body absorb more of the nutrients present in the food. This strengthens the cat’s immune system and improves various organ functions.

This is another product that has received great feedback from numerous cat owners. They appreciate the excellent quality of the ingredients in this kibble.

Cats seem to love them too. If you have a feline chicken and fish fan, this affordable kibble is worth trying.

Kitties with sensitive tummies are also thriving on this recipe. The pet parents also noticed that compared to other cat foods, their cats do not gorge themselves on this chicken recipe dry food. They appear to be fuller for longer and don’t beg for food.

Pros:

  • Taurine for a healthy heart and eye function
  • Affordable
  • No corn, wheat, soy
  • No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
  • Antioxidants from superfoods
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for healthy intestinal flora
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Highly digestible
  • High-quality animal-based proteins: chicken, chicken meal, menhaden fish meal

Cons:

  • Kibble size may be too big for small kittens

4. ACANA First Feast High-Protein Kitten

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Herring Meal, Oatmeal, Whole Peas

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 36%
Crude Fat 18%
Crude Fiber 4%
Taurine .1%

ACANA First Feast High-Protein Kitten is a multi-protein recipe formulated specifically for the growth of kittens.

This feast for little kitties has the deliciously meaty flavors of chicken, herring, turkey, quail, and chicken offal all in one bag. All these animal protein sources naturally contain taurine which supports the healthy development of kittens’ heart and eye functions.

This premium kitten food has chicken and chicken meal as the main sources of protein. As chicken is easy to digest and appeals to many dogs and cats, you will find that a lot of kitten and puppy foods are chicken-based. 

The addition of herring, turkey, quail, as well as chicken liver and heart further enhances the rich flavors of this kitten food. This helps stimulate the appetites of young kitties.

Pollock oil provides most of the omega 3 fatty acids needed by cats to support skin, coat, and cognitive health, while chicken fat provides omega 6 fatty acids that kittens need to fuel their high energy requirements.

The carb and fiber sources in this recipe are carefully selected for their high nutritional value. Instead of corn, wheat, or soy, it has oatmeal, whole peas, and whole green lentils. These are not only fiber-rich, but are also high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

One of the highest-rated premium food for kittens on the market, this Acana First Feast is being credited for helping numerous kittens grow up to be healthy cats. The high-protein, meat-packed recipe means a little goes a long way in terms of keeping little kitties’ tummies full and satisfied. 

The kittens are showing boundless energy, healthy skin and fur, and good overall health with this food. Not to mention, healthy appetites for these flavorful, bite-sized kibbles.

Pros:

  • Taurine for healthy eye and heart development
  • High-quality animal protein sources: chicken, herring, turkey, quail
  • High-quality essential fatty acid sources for brain development; skin and coat health: chicken fat and pollock oil
  • Antioxidants from superfoods
  • Probiotics for gut health
  • Highly palatable
  • Highly digestible
  • Small-sized kibbles for kittens

Cons:

  • Expensive

5. Now Fresh Senior Weight Management Recipe

First 5 ingredients: De-Boned Turkey, Potatoes, Peas, Pea Fiber, Potato Flour

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 14%
Crude Fiber 5.5%
Taurine .28%

Now Fresh Senior Weight Management Recipe is a grain-free recipe specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of mature kitties.

To help ensure that older cats' eye and heart health do not deteriorate due to taurine deficiency, this dry cat food has a 0.28% minimum taurine content.

This savory grain-free meal for cats has amino acid-rich protein sources like deboned turkey, egg, deboned salmon, and deboned duck.

It is formulated with moderate levels of protein and fat (30% and 14% respectively) which are appropriate for the needs of older cats. 

The right balance of fat and protein also helps senior kitties to maintain healthy weights. Excess weight can put a strain on their aging bones and joints. L-carnitine is added to this recipe to help cats’ bodies utilize fats efficiently. 

Instead of cheap fillers, this senior cat food has superfoods, including antioxidant- and fiber-rich cranberries to support urinary tract health, and pumpkin for healthy digestion. Probiotics are also included for healthy intestinal flora and to help maintain a healthy immune system.

Owners of senior kitties have been quite pleased with this multi-protein recipe. It is gentle even on sensitive stomachs, yet a small amount is enough to keep them satisfied until their next meal.

The small kibbles are also quite easy to chew, which is another win for senior cats who may no longer have all of their teeth.

Pros:

  • A good amount of taurine to support eye and heart function of senior cats
  • High-quality animal-based proteins: turkey, egg, salmon, duck
  • Protein-fat ratios are optimized for older cats
  • Grain-free
  • L-carnitine for metabolic support
  • Antioxidants from superfoods
  • Probiotics for gut health, immune support
  • Highly digestible
  • Easy to chew kibbles

Cons:

  • A handful of cats are not fans of this kibble

6. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Complete Care Sensitive Stomach Recipe 

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 34%
Crude Fat 16%
Crude Fiber 2.5%
Taurine .2%

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Complete Care Sensitive Stomach Recipe is a grain-free recipe made for adult kitties with sensitive tummies or digestive issues.

It is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients such as taurine to ensure that cats get all the essential nutrients to keep them healthy.

Formulated to be gentle on sensitive stomachs, this grain-free recipe is made of real deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, and dried egg product.

These are all highly digestible animal ingredients that are high in amino acids such as taurine. Peas and pea protein are included as supplemental sources of protein.

While many commercial cat foods contain cheap fillers as the sources of carbs and fiber, this recipe has sweet potatoes and potatoes.

It also has ground flaxseed which is not only high in fiber but is also high in omega fatty acids that promote healthy skin and glossy coats. 

Fiber aids digestion by helping food move through the digestive tract. It also improves cats’ stool quality.

Healthy gut flora is important in maintaining the gastrointestinal health of cats, as well as in keeping the immune system strong. Probiotics help cats’ gut health by promoting the growth of good bacteria.

According to feedback from buyers, this Merrick grain-free cat food has helped a lot of cats with various digestive issues.

Many of them were cats who were always vomiting their food. The owners feel relieved that their pets can now eat cat food without any issues.

Aside from vomiting, some of the issues that this formula was credited with solving are flatulence, loose stools, and diarrhea. 

Pros:

  • Taurine for heart and eye health
  • High-quality animal protein sources: chicken, turkey, egg
  • Specially formulated for sensitive stomachs
  • Grain-free
  • High-quality fiber sources
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for healthy gut flora
  • Has helped numerous cats with various digestive issues

Cons:

  • Has pea protein as a supplemental source of protein

7. Feline Natural Beef & Hoki Feast 

First 5 ingredients: Beef Heart, Hoki, Beef, Beef Kidney, Beef Liver

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 9.1%
Crude Fat 6.3%
Taurine 0.7%
Moisture 81%

Feline Natural Beef & Hoki Feast is a pate that is formulated for cats of all ages. This nutrient-dense wet cat food is packed with the red meat flavors of beef and the fish flavors of hoki.

This grain-free wet cat food is made even richer with beef heart, beef kidney, beef liver, and beef blood. It is one of the best wet cat foods to come from New Zealand.

A high-protein wet food at 9.1%, this hydrating meal is very low in carbs. It is ideal for cats who require a low-glycemic diet.

The high taurine levels of this food can help with blood sugar regulation in cats. The only plant-based food ingredients in this wet food are flaxseed flakes and dried kelp. 

Flaxseeds are naturally high in fiber and omega fatty acids, while dried kelp contains amino acids that aid tissue repair. It is also high in iodine which helps stimulate thyroid activity, support metabolism, and weight loss.

Cats’ joint health is given a boost with this wet cat food through the inclusion of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels.

These mussels contain omega 3 fatty acids and glycosaminoglycans (chondroitin sulfate) which promote healthy joints in pets.

One of the best-quality cat foods on the market today, it is no wonder that Feline Natural is getting more popular every day. Cats love this meat-rich pate. It is highly recommended for picky cats.

Pet parents love that it is packed with animal proteins, and has almost no carbs. The naturally healthy cat food not only fights taurine deficiency but is also free from artificial additives.

Pros:

  • High taurine content
  • High-protein
  • High-quality animal protein sources: beef organs, beef meat, hoki, 
  • Joint support from green-lipped mussels
  • Low-glycemic
  • Highly palatable

Cons:

  • Expensive

8. Solid Gold Purrfect Pairings Savory Mousse with Chicken Liver & Goat Milk

First 5 ingredients: Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Liver, Tuna, Potato, Pea Protein

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 11%
Crude Fat 4%
Moisture 78%

Solid Gold Purrfect Pairings Savory Mousse with Chicken Liver & Goat Milk is a soft mousse that can be enjoyed by young kittens, adults, and senior kitties. Served in portions, wet cat food can now be easily packed for road trips and travels.

Chicken liver is the main protein source in this grain-free wet cat food. It is packed with nutrients such as vitamin A, which supports a healthy vision, vitamin B12, and iron for more energy. It also has vitamin C, folate, selenium, and copper. Liver is also one of the best natural sources of taurine.

Aside from the rich and tasty liver, this smooth mousse also has tuna. Tuna offers highly digestible proteins to help cats maintain a healthy and lean muscle mass. It is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids that help improve the skin and coat health of cats. 

Goat milk not only adds richness and hydration to this grain-free wet food, but it also provides vitamins, antioxidants, triglycerides, and essential fatty acids to help maintain your cat’s health.

The main carb sources in this recipe are potato and tapioca starch. Both are easy to digest and are less likely to trigger allergies in sensitive cats compared to wheat and corn.

Based on comments from buyers, many cats seem to like the taste of this rich cat food. However, those who prefer wet foods with textures much softer than a pate, may require a bit of warm water or broth added to their meals. 

Pros:

  • Taurine for heart and eye support
  • High-quality animal protein sources
  • Goat milk for more nutrients and hydration
  • Highly digestible
  • Pre-portioned cups

Cons:

  • Has more of a pate than mousse consistency

9. Fussie Cat Premium Tuna with Chicken Formula in Aspic

First 5 ingredients: Tuna, Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken Meat, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Carbonate

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 12%
Crude Fat 1.4%
Taurine 0.05%
Moisture 84.5%

Fussie Cat Premium Tuna with Chicken Formula in Aspic is a limited-ingredient wet cat food with taurine ideal for sensitive cats. It is basically just tuna, chicken meat sunflower oil, gelling agents, and vitamin and mineral supplements.

If you have a cat who is allergic to beef, grains, or other meat proteins except for tuna and chicken, this may be one of the best cat foods for her.

This low-carb canned food is very high in protein at 12%. Tuna is naturally rich in taurine, but taurine and other nutrient supplements are still added to ensure that cats get their daily dietary requirements.

Tuna is naturally high in omega fatty acids that not only support skin and coat health but also support cats’ cognitive function.

Sunflower oil is packed with omega 6 fatty acids. It provides energy and supports a healthy immune function, heart health, and normal organ function.

This jelly-encased fishy meal for cats is beloved by so many kitties. With no veggies and just pure meat, it is no wonder that cats get excited when their owners open a can of this Fussie Cat recipe. 

Because it has very limited ingredients, a lot of sensitive cats are thriving on this complete meal. They are able to keep this down without getting upset tummies.

However, it does contain carrageenan – a thickening agent made from seaweed that is commonly used in wet pet food. Some experts claim that it could potentially contribute to certain conditions in pets. 

Pros:

  • Taurine for eye and heart health
  • Limited-ingredient for sensitive cats
  • Single-source protein: tuna
  • Low carb/ low glycemic
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • Sunflower oil for omega 6 fatty acids
  • Highly digestible
  • Highly palatable

Cons:

  • Contains carrageenan

10. Tiki Cat Raw Duck, Turkey Bone Broth & Pumpkin 

First 5 ingredients: Duck, Turkey Bone Broth, Pumpkin, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 11%
Crude Fat 12%
Moisture 78%

Tiki Cat Raw Duck, Turkey Bone Broth & Pumpkin Puree is a raw cat food with taurine formulated for adult kitties.

It comes frozen in a 24-oz tub. This convenient meal makes putting your cat on raw food diets much more convenient. To serve, simply thaw in the fridge and feed at room temperature.

This limited-ingredient cat’s diet has real duck that is sourced from France. Duck is not only very tasty, but it is also highly digestible and packed with amino acids. For an extra yummy and hydrating raw meal, turkey bone broth is added to the recipe.

This low-phosphorus cat food has pumpkin as its only source of carbs and fiber. Pumpkin is one of the best foods to give to cats with digestive issues. It is naturally rich in soluble and insoluble fiber that improves digestion as well as stool quality.

With basically just three food ingredients, this raw cat food is ideal for sensitive cats. It has no chicken, peas, potatoes, grains, soy, or legumes.

It is a simple recipe that is fortified with the vitamins and minerals that cats require for complete and balanced nutrition.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are included in this recipe to promote healthy joints in cats, making this a great meal for senior kitties.

Pet parents love the high-quality ingredients in this recipe. A lot of them purchased this raw food for their very sensitive cats. The naturally savory duck seems to have won over some very picky cats.

Tiki Cat has a lot of fans due to their high-quality cat foods, as well as the wide range of choices to suit every fussy kitty. No cat food recalls have impacted this brand to this date.

Overall, the cat owners credit this raw formula with giving their pets soft, shiny coats, renewed energy, and healthier tummies. 

Pros:

  • Taurine for eye and heart health
  • Limited-ingredient for sensitive cats
  • Single-source meat protein: duck
  • Low carb/ low glycemic
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
  • Highly digestible
  • Highly palatable

Cons:

  • Not as widely available as other Tiki Cat products

Best Taurine Supplement for Cats

LICKS Pill-Free MULTI-VITAMIN Cat Supplement

LICKS Pill-Free MULTI-VITAMIN Cat Supplement is an easy-to-administer multi-vitamin for cats that helps make sure your cats don’t get a taurine deficiency.

Instead of bitter pills and powders, this supplement comes in a creamy, lickable gel that is packed with the savory flavor of chicken.

While it is chicken flavored, it does not have the proteins from chicken, which makes it suitable even for sensitive cats.

The taurine supplement gel comes in sachets, similar to lickable cat treats. You can have your cat lick the vitamins directly from the sachet, or you can squeeze the recommended amount onto her dish. According to the brand, this pill-free administration allows for up to 98% absorption.

Suitable for cats of all ages, this supplement gives your cats a healthy dose of vitamins that may be lacking from your cat’s meals.

This is highly recommended if you are feeding homemade meals to ensure that your cat gets all the nutrients she requires at the appropriate levels.

Taurine is the number one active ingredient in this supplement. This is because cats are not able to produce sufficient amounts of this essential amino acid on their own.

Ensuring that your cat gets taurine from her daily meals or supplements can help protect her eyes and heart from degenerative conditions.

This highly rated lickable vitamin supplement is quite popular among cats and cat owners. The cats think that it is treats time instead of pill time. This makes giving supplements incredibly easier for cat owners. 

Some pet parents noticed renewed energy and overall better health in their previously less active cats after a few days of giving this lickable vitamin supplement.

Pros:

  • High taurine content 
  • Has all the vitamins and minerals essential to cats
  • Easy to administer
  • Highly palatable gel
  • Made of human-grade ingredients

Cons:

  • Some buyers find it a bit pricey for the amount of gel they get
[year]'s Best Cat Food With Taurine: For Healthy Hearts & Eyes 1

What Will Happen if My Cat Does Not Get Enough Taurine?

Taurine deficiency can cause several problems in your cat's health. It can take months of deficient levels for signs to show.

As most cat foods commercially available in the market today contain enough taurine, the number of cats that suffer from diseases caused by taurine deficiency is much lower compared to the time when nutrient profiles are not regulated.

Conditions Caused By Taurine Deficiency

Central Retinal Degeneration (CRD)

According to Dr. Mary Belle Glaze of the Gulf Coast Animal Eye Clinic in Houston, Texas, feline central retinal degeneration happens when taurine deficiency affects first the cone photoreceptors most prominent in the area centralis dorsotemporal to the optic disc. The degeneration of the retinal walls can lead to blindness if left untreated. 

Adding taurine supplements to the cat’s diet can slow down the progression of the disease. However, the condition is irreversible. Lesions or damage to the retinal walls can no longer be repaired. 

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a type of cardiomyopathy that has been quite uncommon in cats these days. This is because most cat foods or complete meals contain sufficient taurine levels. 

DCM in cats occurs when there is a thinning and weakening of the heart muscle walls, as well an enlargement of the heart chambers.

Treatment involves the use of meds that help the heart beat stronger, and/ or drugs that eliminate fluid that may accumulate in the chest. Taurine supplementation or multi-vitamins with taurine are also recommended to treat taurine deficiency.

If left untreated, DCM can cause the heart muscle to have difficulty contracting normally. This may lead to congestive heart failure.

Low Birth Weights, Fetal Abnormalities, and Small Litter Sizes in Pregnant Cats

A mama cat with taurine deficiency may produce a smaller litter size, or the kittens may show poor or delayed growth. 

The mother cat must have adequate taurine levels to help ensure the healthy development of the kittens. 

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Does My Cat Need Taurine Supplements?

If your cat’s daily meals include a commercial cat food that is nutritionally complete and balanced, then your kitty does not need taurine supplements unless otherwise recommended by your vet.

As a general rule, pick a cat food that is at least 26% protein on a dry matter basis for adult kitties, and 30% for kittens and pregnant/ lactating cats.

To ensure that the cat food you are feeding to your pet is nutritionally complete and balanced, look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement on the bag or can of the cat food.

If it is meant as a complete meal for adult pets, it should have a statement that says, “Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance of adult cats”, and “Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for growth” for kittens.

If the label says has a statement that says “for supplemental or intermittent feeding”, then it is not a complete meal and does not contain all the nutrients required by cats from their daily meals.

However, if you are making cat food from scratch, it can be quite challenging to make sure that all the essential nutrient levels are being met unless you are a vet or a vet nutritionist.

In cases of homemade cat food, you may need to give your cat supplements to ensure that she gets a sufficient amount of not just taurine, but other nutrients as well. 

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, supplementation is quite safe, and there are no reports of problems associated with too much taurine in cats.

You can also consult your vet on how much taurine you need to add to the homemade cat foods. They can help guide you on the best way to ensure that the right balance of nutrients is present in the food to keep your cat healthy.

[year]'s Best Cat Food With Taurine: For Healthy Hearts & Eyes 3
  • April 5, 2022
Mary Nielsen
 

A huge animal lover, born and raised around dogs, cats, chickens... Self-educated pet care nerd. Currently parent of three adopted cats and one small mutt. Animal adoption advocate. Loves a good book (about animals) and playing the piano.