Amino acids are specialized molecules that are the building blocks of all proteins in both plants and animals. Taurine is one of these amino acids. Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats since they are unable to manufacture enough of it from other amino acids in their systems, despite the fact that most mammals can. Cats must therefore have taurine in their diet.
What Does Taurine Do and Why Does My Cat Need It?
Taurine serves a variety of purposes in the body of your cat. Mawithin is renowned for its capacity to support retinal and cardiac health, but it also helps with digestion and reproductive development. Numerous symptoms connected to these processes may be experienced by cats that don’t consume enough taurine daily. The signs and symptoms could take anywhere from five months to two years to manifest. If your cat isn’t getting enough taurine, you may notice any of the following:
- Cats with central retinal degeneration (FCRD)
- Pregnancy difficulties and a delayed fetal development
- Cats with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
- Stomach issues, particularly flatulence, in your cat
Untreated, long-term retinal degeneration can make your cat blind. Although feeding your cat taurine can slow the progression of retinal degeneration, it won’t reverse whatever blindness your cat may already have.
If detected early enough and subsequently treated with dietary supplements, the effects of your cat’s taurine-related dilated cardiomyopathy can be reversed. DCM, however, can cause heart failure and even death if it is not treated.
Low taurine levels during pregnancy in cats can lead to fewer litters, smaller babies, and other congenital issues. If the kittens are then fed a diet deficient in taurine, their growth and development may be hindered.
What Sources Does My Cat Use for Taurine?
It was discovered that taurine is an important amino acid for cats in the 1980s. Taurine has been added to all commercial cat foods as a result to assist your cat in obtaining the concentrations that are necessary. Cats must be carnivores since taurine can only be found in animal tissue.
It has been established by scientists and pet food producers that not all of the taurine added to canned cat diets is absorbed by your cat’s body. This is partially the fault of the heat used to manufacture the canned cat food. The pet food producers have made up for this by putting more taurine in the wet food formulae than the dry food formulas. As long as you feed your cat commercial cat food that is appropriate for his or her age group (growth, adult maintenance, gestation/lactation), you can be sure that its diet contains enough taurine.
It’s important to remember that while determining the life stage of your cat’s food, you shouldn’t just rely on the information displayed in bold letters on the front of the bag; you should also take the AAFCO statement into account. The agency in charge of overseeing pet food regulations is known as AAFCO. Typically, you can find an AAFCO statement on the back or side panel, adjacent to the guaranteed analysis and/or ingredient list. The AAFCO declaration will let you know if the food has been developed or tested and will also specify the life stage it is intended for.
Simply put, “formulated” means that the pet food manufacturer followed the AAFCO guidelines while creating a pet food for that species and that life stage. The term “tested” means that the pet food maker not only adhered to the rules but also placed the food through diet testing to ensure that it was healthful, complete, and safe for your pet to eat.
The amount of taurine in the food is taken into account when creating a prescription diet to treat your cat’s condition. If your protein source includes sufficient amounts of the amino acid, you may not need to add a taurine supplement if you prepare food for your cat at home. However, to make sure that your cat is getting all of the necessary nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, you should talk to your veterinarian about your individual recipe.
Does My Cat Need a Supplement of Taurine?
It’s not always necessary to supplement your cat’s diet with additional taurine. Again, the amount of taurine in every commercially available cat food is appropriate for the cat’s life stage. Supplementation may be required in addition to a healthy diet if your cat has a condition brought on by a taurine deficiency, at least until symptoms go away. Supplementation may also be required if your cat’s diet does not primarily consist of commercial cat food.
There are several over-the-counter solutions available, and adding taurine supplements to your cat’s food is generally considered safe. However, consult your veterinarian first before giving your cat a taurine supplement. Because of this, not all nutritional supplements are made equal. Supplements are not subject to the same FDA regulations as medications. You can get advice from your veterinarian on the best taurine supplement to choose.
The important amino acid taurine must be a part of every cat’s regular diet. If you’re concerned that your cat isn’t getting enough taurine, speak with your veterinarian. They can help you resolve dietary problems for your cat and answer any questions you may have about your cat’s nutrition.
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