How to Add Taurine to the Feline Diet

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Taurine is an amino acid that is essential to a cat's diet. Sufficient amounts of taurine usually exist in commercial cat foods (both dry and wet), but your cat may be at risk of a taurine deficiency if you feed it homemade foods or a vegetarian diet. Taurine deficiency in felines can cause central retinal degeneration, leading to irreversible blindness, as well as heart failure. This is why adding taurine to your cat's diet is crucial.

Things You'll Need

  • Taurine supplement
  • Beef muscle, beef liver, lamb, chicken, fish, and/or shrimp
  • Prepare or cook the fish or meat for your cat. Sprinkle a minimum of 75 to 100mg of taurine supplement on the food and mix well. Taurine can come in capsules that you can break open and sprinkle the contents on food.

  • Feed your cat a diet heavy in beef muscle, beef liver, lamb, chicken, fish, and shrimp. All of these foods contain taurine.

  • Mix in up to 300mg of taurine supplement in your cat's homemade food if you're feeding it a vegetarian diet.

  • Switch your cat to commercial cat food if you're struggling with taurine supplementation in a homemade-food diet. You can also feed your cat a mixture of store-bought food and homemade. The taurine added to commercial cat food will give your cat enough of this essential amino acid.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're feeding your cat a taurine supplement every day but still suspect that the feline isn't getting enough taurine, give it more. Cats do not synthesize their own taurine well and any excess is simply passed through the body, so "overdosing" on taurine is nearly impossible.
  • Mix the taurine into your cat's food instead of trying to get your cat to swallow the pill or capsule, unless your cat is especially good about swallowing pills.
  • Don't feed your cat a vegetarian diet without supplementing taurine. Taurine is found only in meats and fish, so you must supplement this in its food.

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