Why is too low taurine content in cat food particularly fatal?
Taurine is an essential amino acid produced by most mammals in the body in the liver itself. Cats belong to the carnivores and are therefore pure carnivores. They can only produce taurine in small proportions even in the body.
Taurine is important in the absorption of dietary fats, e.g. in the binding of bile salts. In addition, it is involved as a neurotransmitter in the regulation of body temperature and brain development of cats. Taurine is essential for maintaining the retina and heart function, it also binds toxic substances and stabilizes the cell membrane of cats.
Fortunately, taurine is present in large quantities in raw meat and fish. In the wild, it is therefore no problem for cats to absorb enough taurine. A mouse contains more than enough taurine. This is why feeding for BARF taurine is not an issue at all.
What happens in cats with a taurine deficiency?
The problem with a disease caused by a taurine deficiency is that the symptoms only appear after many years. Unfortunately, it is often too late, as degenerative retinal disease or heart disease, for example, are difficult to treat. In addition, the hearing and immune system can also be affected by a taurine deficiency.
If pregnant cats cannot absorb sufficient taurine through the feed, damage to the fetus can occur. Accordingly, stillbirths or developmental disorders can occur in the young cats.
How much taurine does my cat need per day?
An adult healthy cat needs about 50mg of taurine daily, per kg of body weight. In a cat weighing 4kg, the feed should contain a total of at least 200mg of taurine. With a 200g Mjamjam wet food can, for example, the cat gets e.g. 300mg taurine. In a pregnant cat, the demand for taurine doubles and therefore it is particularly important to pay attention to a particularly good feed quality.
How do you recognize a high-quality cat food?
In the case of a very high-quality industrially produced cat food with a high meat content, the taurine content is usually given. In the case of mjamjam’s wet feed, for example, with a meat content of 99, the taurine content is given as 1,500mg/kg. In a well-known branded food such as Kitekat, the indication of the taurine content is not found, for example.
The situation is similar for dry food, with Felix’s dry feed there is no indication of the taurine content of the feed. In the case of Purizon dry feed, the taurine content is given at 4,000mg per/kg.
In Purizon’s dry food, a cat absorbs 200mg of taurine at 50g of the tocken feed. We combine wet and dry food so that our cats absorb an average of 350mg of taurine. Incidentally, our two fur-noses are quite crazy about the dry food of Purizon.
A lack of taurine is a serious problem for cats, especially since the symptoms can only show up after many years. This is of course particularly important for apartment cats, who can not even catch a mouse like free-range cats.
Only by a high-quality cat food, which contains correspondingly a lot of taurine, one can prevent a deficiency. Another alternative is the feeding according to BARF, through the raw meat the cat absorbs sufficient taurine in any case. In case of need, however, it can also be given Dietary supplement as if, for example, a feed change does not work. There are cats that insist on their favorite food and then you can’t do much.
We do it, for example, that we give our cats a part of wet food and additionally a high-quality dry food like Purizon. This allows us to be relatively sure that our cats absorb enough taurine with the food. In addition, our grandpa Emil is a freeman and we are very sure that he will also destroy a lot of mice. Occasionally he brings a mouse as a gift to little Josie. 🙂
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