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

Taurine Benefits For Cats

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.

  • Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes-mob
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

    Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.


    What Is a Product Code?

    A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.

    As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.

    The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.

    Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)

    Example: 040220 04FEB20

    Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ

    This product should be used before February 4, 2020.

    Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.


    What Is Shelf Life?

    Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.

    The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.


    How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food

    Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.

    Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.

    *IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.

    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes