The Importance of Taurine in Cat Food
The Importance of Taurine in Cat Food

Taurine For Cats It's Benefits, Sources & Requirements

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Taurine is an important component to all IAMS™ cat foods, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Adult Original with Chicken.

Taurine is an essential amino acid that is critical for normal heart muscle function, vision, and reproduction in kittens. It is also needed to form the bile salts that aid in digestion. Unlike other amino acids, taurine is found as a free amino acid in body tissues such as the heart and eyes and is not incorporated into proteins.

Most mammals manufacture taurine from other amino acids. However, cats cannot manufacture enough and, therefore, must acquire enough additional taurine through diet to meet their needs. In pet food, taurine is naturally found in animal-based protein ingredients and can also be added separately.

How Does Taurine Help?

Taurine helps in maintaining normal vision, heart muscle function, digestion, normal pregnancy and fetal development, and a healthy immune system. Taurine for cats can only be found in animal-derived proteins.

Taurine Occurrence In Dogs Vs Cats

  • Dogs:

    Taurine can be made by dogs from two other amino acids: cysteine and methionine. As a result, it isn't regarded necessary in their diet. But since taurine is an important ingredient, you can add it to your pet’s diet due to its numerous health benefits.

    Taurine criteria for commercial dog food have yet to be established. If you are worried that your dog may have inadequate taurine or if you need guidance on how much taurine to include in your dog's diet, it is best to consult your veterinarian. 

  • Cats:

    It is vital to include taurine in your cat’s food because cats cannot synthesize it. If your cat's food has too little taurine, it will become taurine deficient, which can lead to a range of major health concerns. For example, taurine could cause your cat’s retinas to degenerate and make your pet go blind. Further, this lack of taurine can stifle growth and make it difficult for you cat to reproduce.

    Therefore, the minimum taurine requirement for adult cats in commercial pet food is 25mg/100 kcal for dry food and 50mg/100 kcal for canned foods, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials Publication, 2018. However, because taurine requirements vary from one cat to the next, it's always a good idea to check with your vet if you're concerned that your pet isn't getting enough.


Why Does IAMS Add Taurine To Cat Diets?

IAMS dry cat foods also include taurine as an ingredient to supplement the primary source of this amino acid, which is animal-based protein from sources such as chicken, egg, lamb, and fish. However, these sources can vary in their taurine content, and adding more taurine is a sound approach to ensure optimal taurine levels.Ü

Importance Of Taurine For Cats

Health benefits of Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid found in muscles, the heart, the brain, and the retina, among other tissues and organs. Unlike most amino acids, taurine does not form cell proteins but has a variety of other functions. Here are some taurine benefits for cats:

  • It helps to strengthen the heart.
  • It helps to maintain a healthy blood flow.
  • It helps to protect the retina and vision.
  • ıt enhances your cat’s reproductive health.
  • Its antioxidizing effect aids in the prevention of ageing.

Why Do Cats Need Taurine?

Taurine deficiency can cause serious health problems for your cat over time because it is required for many regular metabolic functions. Some of the issues include:

  • Immune system weakness - Disease recovery is slow
  • Low energy - Energy levels are affected by nutritional deficits
  • Feline Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) – It is a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged
  • Digestive issues - Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Feline Retinal Degeneration in the Center (FCRD) - Loss of vision with time
  • Problems with reproduction - Infertility or kittens born with a low birth weight and poor growth
  • Problems with health - Taurine impacts blood sugar levels, and taurine shortage can lead to feline diabetes
  • Skin and coat that ae dry and unhealthy – Your cat's fur may grow dry and flaky if he doesn't get enough taurine
  • Problems with the teeth - Tartar accumulation, cavities, and bad breath.


What Are Some Effects Of Taurine Deficiency?

  • Blindness
    Taurine is essential to the proper development and function of cells in the retina of the eye. If insufficient taurine is present, the retinal cells don’t function properly and may die, eventually causing impaired vision and even blindness. This process is referred to as feline central retinal degeneration.
  • Heart Disease
    Taurine is also necessary for normal function of the heart muscle cells. Taurine deficiency leads to weakening of the heart muscle, which, in turn, can lead to heart failure. This condition is known as dilated cardiomyopathy and can be fatal.
  • Decreased Reproductive Performance And Growth
    Taurine is necessary for optimal reproductive and growth performance. Both the queen and kittens must maintain adequate taurine levels during pregnancy, lactation, and growth to ensure proper structural development.
  • Immune System Disorders
    The immune system of cats may not work properly if they don't get enough taurine. As a result, cats may be unable to fight viruses and become prone to disease.
  • Decreased Energy Levels
    Cats with low energy levels may look fatigued and sedentary.
  • Digestive Problems 
    Taurine for cats also aids in the production of bile salts, which are necessary for fat digestion. Cats may get diarrhea and digestive problems if they don't get enough taurine.
  • Reproductive Issues
    Cats with taurine deficiency can also face fertility issues.
  • Dental Issues 
    Taurine is an amino acid that keeps a cat's teeth strong and healthy. Cavities are more likely to build when there is a lack of it.

Taurine In IAMS Cat Foods

IAMS cat foods are formulated with high-quality, animal-based proteins as their primary ingredient. In addition, they are supplemented with extra taurine to ensure balanced levels of essential amino acids. 

IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Adult with Chicken and Salmon are one of the best foods to feed your cat. This nutrient-dense cat food is available in chicken and salmon flavors. These food ingredients act as the first ingredient to promote a healthy body for play. It also contains natural fiber and prebiotics, which help your cat's digestion. What’s more is that it helps your cat develop strong muscles with rich amounts of protein and provides a complete and balanced diet with no fillers. 


  1. Does Taurine Have Any Side Effects For Cats?
  2. Taurine has no significant side effects and is well-tolerated by cats when added correctly. The only side effect reported is minor vomiting which is lessened by providing a supplement with food.

  3. Is Taurine Ok For Cats?
  4. In the late 1980s, taurine was discovered to be an essential component of a cat's diet. Since then, all cat foods have been enriched with plenty of taurine to suit their individual demands.

  5. What Causes Taurine Deficiency In Cats?
  6. A high number of cats given unfortified commercial foods suffer from taurine insufficiency. Because cats can't absorb all of the taurine in processed foods and/or can't synthesis the difference between absorption and demand, taurine is considered an essential amino acid for cats.

  • How to Take Care of a Kitten: 8 Tips on Raising a Kitten Into a Healthy Cat
    How to Take Care of a Kitten: 8 Tips on Raising a Kitten Into a Healthy Cat
    How To Take Care Of A Kitten

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    Bringing a kitten home is an experience full of joy and warmth. The internet is filled with kitten photos and videos, and you are soon going to find out why! However, these cute creatures are extremely delicate and need hands-on attention while growing up. If you bring home a kitten without a mother, you will have to be extra careful with it. Every cat parent should be well-informed about how to take care of newborn kittens or kittens in general.

    We have put together a few tips to get you started on your journey of raising a kitten. From vet visits and food selection to grooming and keeping it hydrated, this article will give you a basic understanding of how to take care of a kitten.

    Take your kitten for regular check-ups

    Routine check-ups are highly recommended for kittens. Once you get a kitten home, your responsibility as a caregiver is to take it to the vet for a basic health check-up. During this check-up, the veterinarian will check for any health concerns that need to be addressed immediately. They will also walk you through the vaccination and spaying/neutering process. If you are a first-time cat parent, do not hesitate from asking doubts and questions regarding your cat’s health and well-being.

    Keep your kitten hydrated

    Since a dehydrated kitten can be vulnerable to many diseases and infections, make sure that fresh water is easily accessible. In fact, place multiple water bowls around the house for it to drink from. Clean these bowls regularly and fill them up with fresh water. If the vet recommends, you can also give your kitten electrolyte water.

    Provide your kitten with balanced nutrition

    A newborn kitten should be fed by its mother for the first few weeks. However, kitties that find a new home generally get separated from their mother at an early age. If you have adopted a newborn pet, you probably do not know how to take care of a kitten without a mother. Start by visiting a vet to receive a comprehensive feeding guide. It will help you meet the kitty’s nutritional needs. You might also have to switch to a different type of food at different stages like teething.

    Cats are carnivores; hence, their food intake is majorly meat. Ensure that the dry food you give your cat is made with high-quality protein. Made with chicken as the main ingredient, IAMS Proactive Health Mother and Kitten is a protein-rich meal option for your kitten. This kitten food also contains Omega 3, Colostrum, and DHA to support healthy eye and brain development!

    Comfort and pamper your kitten

    Cats are independent creatures that enjoy their space. However, from time to time, they also like being cuddled and picked up. They will also show affection in their own unique ways. Give your kitten some time to settle in and gradually start introducing it to your touch. Gently hold it and pamper it. Bring a few fun toys for it to play with. Kittens generally love playing with bells, strings, or anything that they can chase.

    Help your kitten socialise with other family members

    Taking care of a kitten involves introducing it to its new family members – including other pets – from the day it is brought home. After all, your new kitten will be the newest addition to the clan! If you are worried about your dog and cat not getting along because of age-old assumptions, let us assure you, it is nothing but a myth. However, some dogs may not be able to differentiate a cat from a rabbit and their prey instincts could kick in. If this happens, you need to train your dog by familiarising it with your kitten’s scent. Most dog breeds are hostile in nature and can coexist with other pets easily. Socialising for your kitten will also include grooming days, check-up days, and more.

    Groom your kitten’s fur

    Cats love grooming themselves and are very particular about how they look. However, kittens may need some help, especially in cases where they dirty themselves. Your vet will educate you about ways in which you can give your delicate and tiny kitten a bath. Post that, brush your kitten’s fur coat. Now, brushing its coat does not only remove dirt and dead hair, but it also regulates blood circulation, giving your kitty a healthy glow!

    Litter train your kitten

    Litter training is one of the most important aspects of raising a kitten. Choose a litter box that is big enough for your kitten to do its business. Finding the right type of litter may take some experimenting, but you will soon get there! Fortunately, cats usually eliminate in sandy or granular places by nature. So, when you introduce it to a litter box, chances are that it will use it right away. If your feline friend doesn’t, give it some time to get comfortable. Keep cleaning the litter box periodically to ensure hygiene.

    Dedicate a comfortable sleeping space for your kitten

    As a cat parent, you must pay attention to your kitty’s sleeping space. Kittens and cats are heavy sleepers; kittens can even sleep for 20 hours a day! For the first few nights, make sure your kitten sleeps next to your bed. It is normal for these feline creatures to cry during the first few days as everything is new. However, your kitten will eventually start getting used to its new space and sleep for long hours. Once it starts doing that, you can set up a cosy corner for it to sleep in. If you are wondering how to take care of a newborn kitten, just make sure that you place it somewhere near your bed. This will help you hear any cries and come to their aid as soon as possible.