Taurine Supplements for Cats

Supplements for cats contain varied amount of vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids that promote optimal health. Cats may require supplements during stressful situations and to help recuperate post-surgery. Taurine supplements are necessary for use in cats of all ages and breeds as it's an organic acid that cannot be synthesized by felines. Taurine, also known as 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid is generally found in the tissues of animals. Since taurine cannot be synthesized by cats, pets suffer from various health conditions due to taurine deficiency if supplements aren't administered.

Taurine Requirement in Cats

Taurine is necessary for normal eye function, digestive health, immune support and heart health. Pets suffering from taurine deficiency often develop health concerns such as cardiomyopathy, and central retinal degeneration. Kittens born through mothers deficient in taurine also exhibit retarded growth and birth abnormalities. Since the cat's body cannot substitute other ingredients for taurine, pet owners should ensure that cats obtain their daily requirements of taurine through food and dietary supplements. Several commercial food products contain certain amounts of taurine and it's important to read package labels to determine the percentage of taurine present. As a guideline cats should obtain 1000 mg of taurine per 2.2 lbs of cat food. Although raw meats contain certain amounts of taurine, cooked food breaks down taurine and may thus fall short of the daily requirement.

Commercially Available Taurine Supplements for Cats

  • Tomlyn Felvolite 2 daily supplement gel with taurine for cats
  • Mark & Chappell Nurish-Um vitamin and mineral supplement for cats
  • PetAg Taurine tablets for cats
  • Vibrac Pet tabs cat supplement with taurine

Taurine in Cat Food

Apart from dietary supplements that contain a blend of ingredients to promote optimal health, various types of wet and dry cat food contain taurine. If the cat obtains taurine from food, it's best to discuss with the vet, the amount of taurine necessary through dietary supplements. Since taurine also interacts with drugs such as fluorouracil and cisplatin, it's important to determine the quantity of taurine, suited to individual pets.

Commercial Food Enhanced with Taurine:

  • Natural Planet Organics dry cat food
  • Purina Cat Chow Healthful Life adult formula dry cat food
  • Iams Original with Ocean Fish & Rice ProActive Health dry cat food
  • Hill's Science Diet Adult Minced Savory Chicken Entree canned cat food

Taurine Deficient Pets

If cats suffer from taurine deficiency, the vet will recommend taurine supplementation twice a day for nearly 3 months. If the pet is suffering from cardiac problems associated with taurine deficiency, minor symptoms are reversed after administration of taurine for 3 to 4 months. Eye conditions can also be reversed to a certain extent with taurine supplementation. Apart from taurine supplements, pet owners should ensure that cat's obtain the daily requirement of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Since home cooked diets are lower in taurine, pet owners should administer taurine supplements for life, to avoid health concerns.

The symptoms of taurine deficiency develop over a prolonged period of time. Pet owners should watch for any unusual symptoms that include vision problems, periodontal diseases or hair loss and seek medical care.