With increased awareness of the importance of feeding cats a healthy, biologically-appropriate diet, many are choosing raw food for their feline friends. As natural carnivores, a raw food diet of meat is very healthy for cats, as long as it is nutritionally complete. One essential nutrient to be aware of in your cat’s diet is taurine. Selecting raw foods carefully will ensure your cat gets enough taurine for optimal health.
Cats Cannot Make the Taurine They Need
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 in discussions about cat health because cats’ bodies are unable to make taurine, so they must get this important nutrient from their diet.
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. Pet food and supplement manufacturers that add taurine to supplement a cat’s nutrition use a man-made, synthetic form, most often from China. But the best source for all your cat’s nutrients, including taurine, is natural food, not a chemistry lab.
Taurine from Organ Meat
Cats in the wild obtained the taurine they needed from the prey they hunted and consumed. They ate all of the prey, including the organs. A raw food with high levels of meat, poultry and heart and liver tissue doesn’t need added taurine. If you are using at least 10% organ meat when making your raw food, there will be plenty of natural taurine in your cat’s diet. If you are purchasing a commercial raw frozen food, make sure organ meat is one of the first few ingredients on the label.
Nature’s Logic diets contain more than enough taurine from whole food ingredients. NL raw frozen diets contain both liver and heart tissue. For cat parents supplementing a homemade raw diet with kibble, to provide vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients, 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 of raw, canned and dry 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 www.natureslogic.com.
Do you feed your cat a raw diet?