Recently the topic of taurine in a cat’s diet appeared in a pet health discussion group. Many of us who share our homes with feline companions have heard something about this amino acid, but don’t really know why we should care about it. Armed with some key information, cat parents can make sure their “masters” are getting enough.
What is Taurine?
Taurine is an amino acid, one of many that the body uses to build protein. Taurine contributes to a cat’s health in a number of ways, including supporting vision, digestion, and heart function. This essential amino acid gets particular attention indiscussions about cat health because cats’ bodies are unable to make taurine, so they must get this important nutrient from their diet.
Added Taurine in Cat Food
Pet food manufacturers are required to ensure that their cat foods contain at least a minimum amount of taurine. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has established a minimum level of 0.10% taurine in dry cat food, and a minimum level of 0.20% taurine in wet cat food.
If the food ingredients a company uses to make cat food do not contain enough taurine, they will add some. But added taurine is not natural. Manufacturers add a man-made, synthetic form of this required amino acid. When you see taurine listed among ingredients on a cat food’s label, this indicates that the food itself contain inadequate levels of natural taurine to meet the AAFCO minimum guidelines. Nearly all man-made synthetic taurine added to pet foods is manufactured and imported from China, a country not known for its safety record with respect to pet food ingredients.
Taurine from Natural Foods
The best source for all your cat’s nutrients, including taurine, is natural food, not a chemistry lab. Cats in the wild obtained plenty of natural taurine from the prey they hunted and consumed. A cat food with high levels of meat, poultry and organ tissue ingredients doesn’t need added taurine. This is why you will see no taurine is listed in any Nature’s Logic ingredient panel.
Nature’s Logic diets contain more than enough taurine from whole food ingredients. An independent analysis of our dry food revealed that it contained 60% more taurine than the AAFCO required minimum. Nature’s Logic makes the only full-line, commercial pet food with no chemically-synthesized vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. Our high-protein, low carbohydrate diets are made from whole food and 100% natural ingredients. For more information please visit http://www.natureslogic.com/.