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The taurine requirement of the adult cat H. BURGER1 andK. C. BARNETT2

Taurine in fish

Study on the lack of taurine in mothers and puppies


Taurine: Taurine (from the Latin taurus, bull, as it was originally isolated from bull bile by the German scientists Friedrich Tiedemann and  Leopold Gmelin_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-1365cf58d_ammino-sulfur-ammonium acid is an acidic chemical abundant in many tissues of various animals, including humans.

Small polypeptides containing taurine have been identified, but to date no aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase has been found capable of specifically recognizing taurine and capable of incorporating it into RNA.

Taurine   covers numerous and important functions;  is, for example, a precursor of bile salts. to produce new bile salts and replace those lost in the faeces), participates in the growth and maturation of nervous tissues, contributes to the maintenance of good eyesight and correct heart function and, in the female, has an important role at the reproductive level. A deficiency can lead to un heart failure, poor immune response, poor neonatal growth, deafness, lower number of fetuses, resorptions, miscarriages, low birth weight, low survival rate of newly born kittens born, and birth defects, such as, abnormal development of the zampe posterior, and skeletal abnormalities including curved spines and short stature.


Taurine is also found in some bacterial species  in more modest quantities and in rare cases in plants; _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb358d_ 136bad5cf

found in red algae, but not in brown algae o green , some traces in some plant foods, such as, nuts.

Taurine is also present at high levels in the insects (don't be surprised if cats love to hunt them).

Taurine is abundant in the tissues of most fish, birds and rodents, and in lower concentrations in larger animals, such as cattle.


Taurine in cats, is mainly synthesized in the liver by aminoacids containing sulfur, methionine and cysteine, and the action of numerous enzymes, including  cysteine sulfur dioxide and cysteine dioxinic acid .

In cats, as  the activity of liver enzymes is very low,   the biosynthesis of taurine from its precursors is insufficient_cc781905-bbc3b-3194 unlike dogs,  taurine intake is therefore essential.


Furthermore cats waste large amounts of taurine, in fact, like dogs, they only use taurine for the conjugation of bile acids, while humans and rats can also use glycine (Morris et al., 1987), this leads to a continuous loss of taurine, such as a substantial part is not recovered from the entero-hepatic circulation and is lost in the faeces.

Why did the cat lose its ability to synthesize an essential nutrient such as taurine?

 In these circumstances the production of taurine is a waste of energy, while the deamination and desulfurization of cysteine is an alternative metabolic pathway that allows cats to produce energy, rather than taurine from the catabolism of the sulfur amino acids .

Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in animal tissues, cats that live in the wild and which forage themselves for food by hunting, are not deficient in taurine.

A mouse - contains a very high amount of taurine compared to other types of meat - about 2.4 mg / gram . 

The good news is that taurine is present in many types of  muscle meat,   is abundant in the heart. Chicken hearts are a fantastic source of taurine for cats. 


The amino acid taurine-sulfonic is now recognized as essential for the cat that needs about 10 mg / kg adult.


In the last decade, cats fed with diets characterized by an insufficient presence of taurine have shown two diseases, such as  dilated cardiomyopathy  and progressive retinal atrophy.

Unfortunately, only some clinical pictures can be resolved with a subsequent supplementation of taurine and it is therefore important that this amino acid is present in adequate quantities in any diet for cats.

In order to have an optimal amino acid level, canned feeds need a higher concentration of taurine than dry feeds.

The reason for this difference is not known, but a reason can be found in the difference in the formulation of the two products.

Furthermore, since taurine is "free", as previously mentioned, it is not incorporated into the proteins, furthermore this molecule is thermosensitive and  si alloy_cc7 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_all water very quickly so it is easy to lose it in the defrosting phase of the meat-

For these reasons   it is advisable to administer to the cat carne cruda not minced.

A diet based on   pulpy bones and organs is abundant in taurine (arginine and arachidonic acid).

However, heat destroys about 2/3 of the taurine content (some research says that the heat destroys  between 50% and 100% of taurine).

Heat destroys all essential amino acids, enzymes, and a high percentage of nutrients.

This becomes a problem if you feed your cat cooked meat.


Not  there are clinical studies  fact on the daily need_cc781905-gattofied-136 in the diet of a takadin it takes months or even years,   to see the results of a taurine deficient diet . 

Therefore, very few experiments have been done, however, in the few controlled clinical trials that have been done it has been observed that the cats given  500 mg / kg _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_food-  of taurine in their daily diet showed no signs of deficiency.

At higher doses, researchers saw a slight improvement in reproduction.

In a 17-month study, cats given   were given 375 mg / kg  daily taurine had _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136badd a normal value ERG, as opposed to 250mg which was too low and caused cardiac abnormalities.

The National Research Council (NRC) specifies that the minimum recommended amount of taurine for adult cats is 0.0099 kg.  per kilogram of body weight.

For kittens,   the minimum quantity is 0.017 kg.  per kilogram of body weight, but la  recommended dose of 0.33 kg. of taurine per kilogram of body weight . 

If you want to see the long-term results of a taurine deficiency in cats   all you need to do is take a research from Dr. Frances Pottenger.

From 1932 to 1942, Pottenger   conducted a food experiment con foods

To summarize his experiment: he divided about 100 cats into two groups: one group was fed with  raw milk and raw meat, and the other group was fed cooked food and pasteurized milk.

Cats fed raw food, grew up healthy and si  are reproduced.

The cats fed cooked foods, destroyed their  salute, fell ill with blindness, heart disease, high death rate of the kittens, until they were no longer able to reproduce.

As you can see, cats that were fed cooked foods had all the classic symptoms of a taurine deficiency.


(NOTE: Pottenger's intention was not to study the nutritional needs of cats, but to demonstrate that "facial deformities" in humans - narrowed jaws, crowded teeth, brittle bones, and even difficult pregnancies - was the result of our Western diet made of industrial foods).

Earlier this year, I had a couple of clients who came  to me with cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a heart disease that causes the heart to thicken. , what I found interesting is that both of these cats were fed the same brand of a processed "holistic" cat food (how can holistic food be processed? this is what   I call a oxymoron!). For me, this was a red flag.

And, this is why ... most vets will tell you that the cause of HCM is unknown, or that some breeds are predisposed to HCM. I believe the nutrigenomics _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_ should be considered.

Nutrigenomics is the study of the effects of foods and food components on gene expression.


I suspected that this particular brand of cat food may have been  deficient in taurine, but I checked the pet food recalls page on the FDA website , did not see the brand indicated ...

However, this reminds me of a story:

In 1988, a veterinary cardiology student noticed that one of his feline patients   who was being treated for congestive cardiomyopathy had an extremely low blood serum  ur .

Now, this cat has been fed "" best quality "feed"  food  "premium _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-1365cf58d_commercial label, which they contained all the daily requirement of taurine.

 The perplexed veterinarian,   came back then check other clinical cases of cardiomia_cardiomia-136b-136b-big surprise found that almost all cases of this disease had low levels of taurine in the blood.

When the cats were given a taurine supplement many of them showed a noticeable improvement.


What was going on?

All the cats were eating "di premium quality"   which supposedly contained the necessary levels of taurine!

The problem was that the taurine was deactivated during the cooking procedure of processing the cat food.


You see, the "feeding paths" of pet food manufacturers'   only last about 6 months, so if the animal is still alive and appears to be in good health after 6 months, _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ pet food is authorized  for public sale. However, it takes more than 6 months to see the effects of a taurine deficiency in a cat.

In any case, due to the discovery by this veterinary student, the pet food manufacturer corrected their mistake but, I can assure you these nutritional errors continue to occur today.

If you don't believe me, just take a look at the FDA website on pet food.


Now, to answer the question:

Is it necessary to add a taurine supplement to raw meat?

Well, I have already mentioned what happens to vitamins, enzymes and all essential amino acids when the meat is cooked ...

but, with a raw meat diet the concern is only for the   defrosting phase.

When the meat is  frosted there is only a slight decrease in taurine.


Furthermore, since taurine is soluble in water and during defrosting some water is released from the meat,  taurine can get lost in it ...


If you are still concerned about the taurine content in raw meat then I would suggest the following:

Since the highest amount of taurine is present in the muscle make sure you give it to your cat, muscle, and especially the heart (the heart is a muscle).

Let's take a look at the taurine content of some meats: HERE

(NOTE: Taurine is at its highest level in the small heart muscle of a mouse).


If you still want to add a taurine supplement to your cat's food, remember that what you are adding   is synthetic and not   natural taurine.

Synthetic Taurine  is obtained from isethionic acid (2-hydroxyethanesulfonic acid), which in turn is obtained from the reaction of ethylene oxide with aqueous sodium bisulfite. Another approach is the reaction of aziridine with sulphurous acid, which also leads directly to taurine.

Personally, I would avoid any taurine coming  from China, simply based on their reputation for exporting contaminated food.

  Perhaps it is impossible to avoid buying from China as it is the leading exporter of synthetic taurine.

As of 2010, China alone has more than 40 taurine producers.

Most of these companies employ the ethanolamine method for a total production of around 3,000 tons per year.

An Important Word About Ready Commercial Barf   & Taurine

I'm not a huge fan of raw ground beef for several reasons:   Firstly, it's soft, so_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136ccbad5cf58d -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_does not clean teeth, ( is the chewing of the bones to  track _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136badaro). furthermore, minced meat is not a natural way in which  a cat would have eaten its prey. Also, I do not like i specialized brands in raw ground   they do not contain appropriate fruit, vegetable and vegetable to a carnivore), and synthetic vitamins.


Some ready-made barf preparations, already contain bones e  organi which is OK if you have a cat that doesn't eat them, _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136_bad5cfandoli all i days  this would be too much and could cause; liquid stool,  overdose of vitamin A.

(bones and organs must be added in proportion to the diet).

But, more importantly, grinding the  meat reduces the taurine content, _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d _cc790-5 therefore increases the surface of the meat -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_la exposes the most to air,   which entails the oxidation of the to air,  this entails the oxidation of the_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ Also, due to exposure to air, grinding may cause a decrease in other nutrients  , such as, vitamin E or vitamin B6. Additionally, grinding creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, and bacteria also use the taurine in the meat, further reducing the total amount of taurine available to your cat.

So, if you feed your cat a raw ground diet, they can't get all the taurine they need to thrive.


What we   can do for our cats is give them a rotation of various solid whole pieces of fresh meat (rabbits, chicken, turkey, quail, mice, etc.), organs, bones, and limit the time the meat is kept in the freezer e above all, do not grind.


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Taurine deficiency

Typical bleached retina due to taurine deficiency in a cat
Echocardiograph of taurine-deficiency associated dilated cardiomyopathy (time-movement mode) before (on the left) and after (on the right) taurine supplementation. In this patient, the echocardiography shows a reduced shortening fraction and a dilatation of the left cavities (left picture). These alterations are reversible after taurine administration (right picture). ESD: end systolic diameter of the left ventricle / EDD: end diastolic diameter of the left ventricle.

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