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Frequently Asked Questions



Answer

This is an ‘essential’ amino acid, crucial in feline diets because cats, unlike most other mammals, cannot make it from other amino acids that they have in the body. Thus it is essential that cats take in adequate taurine in their diet on a regular basis. Taurine is an important component of muscles (including the heart), the central nervous system and the retina of the eye. Among its other roles, taurine is also crucial in the formation of bile salts, necessary for the effective digestion of fats in the small intestine.

Taurine is found exclusively in meat and animal based products, a reason why cats are obligate carnivores and need a diet rich in meat (both muscles and organs). With prolonged deficiencies of taurine, cats can develop central retinal degeneration, resulting in blindness as well as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In this condition, the heart dilates, and as its walls become thinner and weaker heart failure can result. Due to the potentially very serious effects of taurine deficiency being so well recognized, proprietary cat foods now all contain supplemental taurine.

Here at Lily’s Kitchen all our feline diets contain additional taurine, as well as the naturally occurring taurine in the organic meats. This is in line with European Federation recommendations and we have levels regularly checked by an independent laboratory. 

Answer:

What's the story with taurine for cats?

This is an ‘essential’ amino acid, crucial in feline diets because cats, unlike most other mammals, cannot make it from other amino acids that they have in the body. Thus it is essential that cats take in adequate taurine in their diet on a regular basis. Taurine is an important component of muscles (including the heart), the central nervous system and the retina of the eye. Among its other roles, taurine is also crucial in the formation of bile salts, necessary for the effective digestion of fats in the small intestine.

Taurine is found exclusively in meat and animal based products, a reason why cats are obligate carnivores and need a diet rich in meat (both muscles and organs). With prolonged deficiencies of taurine, cats can develop central retinal degeneration, resulting in blindness as well as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In this condition, the heart dilates, and as its walls become thinner and weaker heart failure can result. Due to the potentially very serious effects of taurine deficiency being so well recognized, proprietary cat foods now all contain supplemental taurine.

Here at Lily’s Kitchen all our feline diets contain additional taurine, as well as the naturally occurring taurine in the organic meats. This is in line with European Federation recommendations and we have levels regularly checked by an independent laboratory.