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What is Taurine for Cats?

What is Taurine?

Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats. It is a building block of protein that is found in high concentrations in the heart, eyes, and brain. In cats, taurine is crucial for normal heart function, vision, and healthy development of the central nervous system.

Unlike other mammals, cats are unable to produce taurine on their own, so they must obtain it through their diet. Taurine can be found in animal-based proteins, such as meat, fish, and eggs. However, the cooking process can destroy taurine, so it is important for cats to eat a diet that includes raw or minimally processed animal protein.

In the past, many commercial cat foods were made with low-quality plant-based proteins, such as corn and wheat, which do not contain taurine. As a result, many cats on these diets developed taurine deficiency, which can lead to a number of serious health problems. These problems can include heart disease, vision loss, and neurological disorders.

Fortunately, most commercial cat foods now contain added taurine, so taurine deficiency is less common. However, it is still important for cat owners to be aware of the importance of taurine in their cat’s diet and to choose a high-quality cat food that contains sufficient amounts of taurine.

In addition to its role in maintaining normal heart function and vision, taurine has also been shown to have other health benefits for cats. For example, taurine has been found to have antioxidant properties, which can help protect cells from damage. Taurine has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce swelling and pain in the body.

Overall, taurine is an essential nutrient for cats, and it is important for cat owners to ensure that their cat’s diet includes sufficient amounts of taurine. By choosing a high-quality cat food that contains added taurine, and by offering your cat a variety of raw or minimally processed animal proteins, you can help to ensure that your cat gets the taurine they need to maintain good health and well-being.