Taurine for your cat
What is Taurine?
Taurine is a sulphur containing amino acid-a colorless crystalline compound- found in free form in invertebrates and in the biles of mammals.It is present in most cells of the body-adrenal glands, blood,cardiac muscle and the brain.
What does Taurine do?
Taurine is a metabolic factor involved in the conjugation and excretion of bile acids. It is an important regulator of various muscle systems and is essential for proper growth.It promotes intestinal absorption of lipds(fats) as chlolestrol.
What does Taurine deficiency lead to?
Feline Dilated Cardiomyopathy-which is a failure of the heart muscle where the heart tissue itself swells to try to meet the animal's circulatory needs, Central Retinal Degeneration-a condition in which lesions develop in the cat's eyes leading to blindness(very large quantities of Taurine are found in the retina of the eye of many mammals) and Reproductive problems.
Don't they get enough Taurine in their food?
Free roaming cats get their Taurine from rodents which form a large part of feline diet(Rodents have significant levels of Taurine in their brain). Companion cats have been removed from this food chain and are dependent on commercially prepared food. Since Taurine is thermolabile,it is denaturated in great part when food is cooked, and must therefore be supplemented.
What do cats in particular need supplementary Taurine?
Cats differ in their relative ability to biosynthesize(produce in their own bodies) Taurine unlike other animals.They require a regular supply in their diets and research has tentatively decided upon a minimum daily dosage of 250-500 ppm of taurine and an upper limit of 1000ppm.
Do cats on a vegetarian diet get enough Taurine?
No.However we can still ensure a steady supplement since vegetable sources of Taurine(as opposed to deriving from molluscs)are now available. Synthetically produced Taurine can be obtained in any pet health food store.