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

Taurine Benefits For Cats

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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.

  • All About Kitten Fleas
    All About Kitten Fleas
    All About Kitten Fleas

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    When you snuggle up to your new feline friend and notice them scratching a tad too often, it might be a sign of kitten fleas. Along with causing itching and discomfort, this dreaded parasite can also transmit diseases. In fact, during extreme cases, fleas can even cause anemia, especially in little ones like kittens. However, don't worry, we have the purrfect guide for you to handle these pesky invaders.


    Kitten flea remedy

    • Assessing your kitten's flea situation

    Before jumping to any kitten flea remedy, you must evaluate the situation. Depending on your kitten's age and weight, your approach will vary.

    Points to remember:

    1. Kittens under 12 weeks should not be introduced to chemical flea prevention products.

    2. Always check product guidelines to ensure they are suitable for your kitten’s age and weight.

    3. Only use products designed for cats, as our feline friends process chemicals differently than dogs.

    • Effective steps to tackle fleas on kittens

    1. Comb your kitten: A fine comb can effectively remove visible fleas.

    2. Bathe your kitten: If your kitten is of suitable age, use a flea and tick shampoo made for sensitive skin. For younger kittens, you might want to try non-medicated, tear-free soaps like a baby shampoo.

    3. Clean the environment: Your battle against fleas isn't just on your kitten. Wash all bedding in hot soapy water and vacuum carpeted areas thoroughly. Empty vacuum bags or canisters outside. Sprays can help eradicate fleas and their eggs indoors.

    4. Protect the Yard: Even if your kitten is an indoor kitty, fleas might sneak in from outside. Using sprays can be an effective way to safeguard your yard.

    • Safe flea treatment for kittens under 12 weeks

    When it comes to flea treatment for kittens under 12 weeks, options can be limited. Young kittens are particularly sensitive, and many treatments suited for adult cats can be harmful to them. Here's how to proceed:

    1. For kittens under 8 weeks old, your safest bet is to use a flea comb. This tool, when dipped in hot, soapy water between brushes, can help you physically remove and kill off adult fleas.

    2. Another effective method for very young kittens is bathing. A gentle bath with warm water and a fragrance-free dish liquid or natural baby shampoo can be effective in reducing the flea population. However, be sure to make this a quick affair to prevent your kitten from getting overly cold or scared.

    • Essential oils: Not always a kitten's best friend

    Natural sounds great, doesn't it? But here's a cat-sized caution: Avoid essential oils as a kitten flea remedy. Many essential oils are toxic to cats, even in minimal doses. Some flea treatments boasting 'natural' ingredients might contain these oils, which could pose risks for your kitten. Always read labels and, when in doubt, consult with your vet.

    • Safeguarding kittens from fleas: Age-appropriate treatments

    For kittens older than 8-10 weeks and weighing more than 1.5-2 pounds, topical treatments become an option. A golden rule here is always to ensure the chosen product matches your kitten's age and weight.

    • Picking the best kitten flea treatment

    It's essential to strike a balance between effectiveness and safety. Prescription treatments from your veterinarian typically offer the most robust protection against fleas. However, there are over-the-counter options available, which might be more accessible for some pet owners. No matter your choice, the key is to read labels carefully and avoid harmful ingredients, such as permethrin and certain essential oils.

    Fleas might be pesky, but with knowledge, patience, and the right tools, you can keep your kitten flea-free and happy. Always keep your veterinarian in the loop and ensure any treatment or remedy you use is age and weight appropriate. Remember, a flea-free kitten is a happy kitten!