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Taurine in Cats

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by FEWill, Apr 28, 2010.


  1. kimouette

    kimouette PetForums Junior

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    No way!!

    If you look at the current thread, so many people have been asking about their specific cat's condition/food/food analysis.
    If really extra taurine is just flushed, then it means we can just add plenty of taurine to our cat's food and not even worry about the quantity!

    Can anyone else confirm that this is the case... that extra taurine is not toxic?
     
  2. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    As the poster had pointed out, taurine is water-soluble so any excess gets secreted out. So, you cannot easily feed an excess as you can with fat-soluble vitamins (say) as these get stored in the body.

    Incidentally, the vast majority of studies that have been done have looked at the effect of not feeding enough rather than on feeding too much. However, one perhaps ought to keep in mind that any excess of even water-soluble vitamins/amino acids etc need to be secreted out by the kidney; but, as long as you are still sensible with the amount you add...

    When you use a taurine powder do make sure that it is dissolved in water as it is an irritant.



    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/2736.pdf
     
    #102 hobbs2004, Oct 21, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  3. kimouette

    kimouette PetForums Junior

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    Thanks Hobbs for all the infos and for that very detailed PDF!
    I still can't believe it! I have bought a huge bottle of taurine couple of months ago and wanted to add some to my 14 year old cat's food who is starting to have cataracts and couple of "normal aging issues". But since I had read about that "2000-2500mg/kg" taurine recommendation I was too scared to add any to my cat's food : I thought 2000 to 2500 was a minimum/ maximum dosage and that anything above or under could be just as much harmfull. And since the food she is currently eating ALMOST meets that requirement, I was scared to play arround with such tiny dosage!

    Thanks a lot for clearing that out! I will finally add taurine to my cat's food and feel comfortable doing it !
    :)
     
  4. wildaboutcats

    wildaboutcats PetForums Junior

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    hi everyone. :)

    I am sorry but i still do not understand all this taurine. From what i have read, if you feed raw then some say you do not need to add taurine, as this is in the meat, chicken livers, heart and some in the egg yolks (along with other excellent vitamins & minerals) etc, etc. Recipes for raw feeding do vary as far as my research takes me. Some say to add taurine and some say it is simply not necessary. To me it does sound a bit "silly" to add taurine if it is already there. One recipe said that you absolutely do not have to add taurine to raw home made diet. So why would you? It is like saying you do not believe that there is taurine in the meat. So is the taurine in it or not? Do ferrel cats buy taurine and add it to their raw diets? Do they keep a tally of how much taurine in the mouse or bird they have eaten that day? No, i think not, so it does not need to be so exact, the same as we do not need to be so exact about the quantity of vitamin A we eat every day. If you cook the meat in homemade diets then it recommends you add a small amount (as the meat already contains taurine, but just tops it up because of the cooking process). But, compared to bought sachets of food like whiskers etc etc where many, many people do not add taurine anyway, probably never evan heard of it, their cats are not suffering from taurine deficiencies, so why is that then? And why is there not a load of blind cats walking around where i live? Some cat foods do not add taurine at all, and they claim to be a balanced diet, but the cats appear fine. So why would a diet rich in chicken meat/chicken livers etc, even when cooked, need taurine added, when compared to ready made stuff it is a lot healthier anyway and must have more taurine in it as well by virtue of the fact it is not made of crap. It simple just does not add up! It is all very well reading research papers, but you also need to understand the research methods used, not all research is good research, in fact quite a lot is very poorly done ---- this is true. So unless you understand the scientific pitfalls of all the different type of research etc you are scuppered. :D So it is not simple about reading the results and/or conclusions.

    There also seems to be a difference of opinion on many issues of cats food, not just taurine. Some times i think "we" will never really know exactly what cats should have, despite the research done to date.

    One thing that does annoy me, is some of the very expensive cat foods, which still contain unhealthy stuff in it. Commonly charge 99pence or more for one small sachet which has chicken in it and the broth (so there is only a small amount of chicken in it) and then they put rice in it!! :confused:

    Also, years ago, there was no such thing as cat food or taurine additives etc etc. Cats where feed on home made food and/or raw because thats all there was (apart from the farm cats which caught their own food). Like a vet said the reason why they live longer today is due to advances in vet medicines, vaccinations, surgical procedures, treatments etc, etc.

    Any replies would be most welcome of course! :D:D
     
  5. Cosmo Curry

    Cosmo Curry Banned

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    I'm sceptical about forums generally mainly on account of the bad information that's posted by the self styled 'experts' that are always to be found in them. Ive just read through the 11 pages in this thread where various people claim to understand the topic at hand only to find that the very important and fundemental questions posted by wildaboutcats remain unanswered.

    These basic questions where asked over 2 months ago why have they not been clarified?
     
  6. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Because it's a forum not a scientific site, and sometimes things slip through the net - MAYBE you would like to answer the said question?

    EDIT: just read back and Wildaboutcats answered her own question and gave references - why would we need to answer it again?!
     
    #106 spid, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  7. wildaboutcats

    wildaboutcats PetForums Junior

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    Hi Spid & Cosmo Curry. I think you both have some good points. I suppose i was just trying to discuss the Taurine -- problem, perhaps in an attempt to find out about other peoples views, which seem to differ. I think sometimes you can acquire a little knowledge about some think and away you go! It is not uncommon. Sometimes it just helps to "hear" what others have to say. It's like, various articles cannot evan decide on how much taurine a cat should have. I think, it may be difficult on forums to discuss things because your not talking face to face, so all you get is the writing. I did not think i had answered myself, i am sure there are lots of people who could look things up on the internet and post on here, about Taurine, and they may all say some think different. So perhaps there is not an absolute answer? Anyway, please do not worry about it, i certainly did not mean any harm. ;)
    Thank you for your contributions and help.
     
  8. Cosmo Curry

    Cosmo Curry Banned

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    I'm a first time cat owner that knows nothing at all about the care of cats. I stumbled on this site by accident in an attempt to gain info. On the question of nutrition I'm not interested in opinions unless they are scientifically grounded or based on long experience. Its simply to important. Wildaboutcats has asked key questions that still remain unanswered. Maybe in your latest post you have gone some way to help educate people and answer your own question when you say ''So perhaps there is not an absolute answer?''

    Its not hard to understand why some vets are against home prepared diets.

    For the record Ive taken the decision to feed raw but I dont want to be responsible for any health problems as a result due to lack of knowledge, ignorance or mere opinion.
     
  9. Space Chick

    Space Chick PetForums VIP

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    I don't mean to be rude Cosmo Curry, but you have contradicted yourself.

    In your first post you have said how you are sceptical of Internet forums due to self styled experts. Then in your second post, you said you came across this forum as you are looking for advice and are reading the advice.

    So which is it? ;)

    I agree, that there can be some misleading information at times on forums, but equally there is am awful lot of quality helpful information by people who are genuinely experts (Hobbs here for example). I certainly do not consider myself to be an expert but I am well read on the subject.

    You say you are a first time cat owner, and I applaud you for taking nutrition seriously.

    I feed my two cats one meal of quality tinned per day and one raw meal per day... My logic being, if I do lack anything in the raw (I don't think I do) then I can make up for this in the wet.

    From my understanding, taurine is found in muscles that work hard, so there is the most taurine in the heart, then more in leg meat.... Next to none in breast etc. However, with changes in farming today, some animals to not get the required exercise they need due to intensive farming methods, so taurine levels in meat have dropped. For this reason, I only buy the same excellent quality free range meat from the farmers market for my cats that I do for myself. Even so, I still add taurine, as any excess is secreted through the urine, and I'd rather "waste" my money and give them too much than not enough.

    Hope this helps, it's only repeating what has been said before, but gives some extra information. Although I am neither a scientist or someone with decades of experience either, so feel free to ignore me ;)
     
    #109 Space Chick, Dec 30, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  10. wildaboutcats

    wildaboutcats PetForums Junior

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    HI, how do you know the tined meat you give is quality? If it is tinned then there must be some sort of preservative in it. I think any tinned meat cannot be of "good" quality. That is like saying tinned food for humans is good quality, and it is not. All ready made meals are unhealthy, some more than others, of course.
    I think i already said it, but why do people add taurine when it is already in the meat? If cats where not getting sufficient then there would be many more (1000's) which would be going blind, etc, etc. Many people do not know about taurine.
    Also, i read about taurine itself, is not necessarily good for cats, if it is the manufactured taurine. Cats in the wild do not add taurine just in case to top themselves up. :cool:
     
  11. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    I don't get your query - sorry. Re raw food, right at the beginning of this thread is a link to a paper that contains the taurine levels for some meats raw and cooked. So, if you make up the food yourself (raw), that should give you some guidance as to how much taurine you are feeding in the raw food yourself (there are some sources though that say that processing - i.e. mincing - depletes some of the taurine content in raw food; there are apparently other sources that also claim that taurine levels get depleted as part of the freezing process).

    I know you say that cats in the wild wouldn't add taurine to their food - that is true and according to some sources mice are the animals with the highest concentration of taurine (apparently in the region of 240mg/100g). I don't think anyone really has a clue as to how much taurine is in the other smaller mammals and insects cats would prey on. And that is exactly where a lot of the guess-work comes in. We know little enough about mice as it is - and even less about their other prey - yet most feeders try to approximate a "mouse" using available raw meats (and organ meats) that are rather more limited than what mother nature naturally provides for for cats.

    However, little is known (largely because humans can synthesise taurine themselves - so don't need to take it in with their food, unlike cats, yet most of the available information on taurine relates to humans; though thankfully the Feline Nutrition society now is going to explore the "mouse" in more detail - something that is long overdue) what happens to taurine levels (and other nutrients for that matter) once the animal has been slaughtered, hung, displayed on shelves etc.

    The available guidelines for taurine in cat food largely refer to cooked tinned food (2000mg/1kg) and dry food (1500mg/1kg), so they aren't necessarily of help to raw feeders. I agree, there are many, oftentimes widely diverging, values being bantered about on sites and links and it is hard to know whom to believe and trust. Hopefully, the work by the Feline Nutrition Society will help throw much needed light on this area - as well as many others.

    I personally add taurine to the meat I make up myself.
     
  12. Sussexplumber

    Sussexplumber Banned

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    I just give mine plenty of variety and she appears to thrive on it. I try to give her a wide variety of foods (day old chick/beef or lamb heart/tinned catfood/pouches/pate and I want her to be used to all different types of food, but no dry. If I`m cooking a stew then she often gets a small lump of beef as a treat. But day old chicks are a hit! I like this because not only are they cheap but are a whole food, no additives and (esp when thawed out in warm water) very rich in moisture. Particularly first thing in the morning, shes full of beans and when she comes in from using the garden, I have to stand back from the back door due to the speed she comes charging in at! lol
     
    #112 Sussexplumber, Dec 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  13. Space Chick

    Space Chick PetForums VIP

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    I do not feed tinned "meat" I feed quality tinned cat food, food that has minimal grains and high meat content, and has the nutritional breakdown for optimal health.

    As previously mentioned, I also make my own raw to which I do add taurine.

    Some tinned food is good for humans.... Tinned tomatoes, chickpeas etc.... Then there are rubbish tinned bologneses, currys etc....

    The same is true of cat food tins.... Grau, Amonida carny etc is good..... Whiskars, Kitekat etc is bad!

    I appreciate you learning, but not everything is as black and white as you are trying to make out ;)
     
  14. wildaboutcats

    wildaboutcats PetForums Junior

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    Hi I did not mean "tinned meat" in that way, never mind. Grains are not good. Tinned tomatoes/chick peas/butter beans etc are not good for you --- read the label. Now, fresh on the other hand is a different ball game. I think i would have to disagree with you about tinned food being healthy for humans, even some of the so called fresh is not much good and not of great quality either. Maybe, we should define what we mean by healthy.
    I'm glad you take the time to make your own raw food --- (thats a compliment by the way!):thumbup:. I do not disagree with anyone adding taurine if they like. I like to give mine raw too, but they also get some cooked as well. I think this could be a useful debate, and that is all it is meant to be. In my grand mothers time there was no such thing as taurine additives or any other additives! and there was NO cat food either! All of a sudden people are making cat food and giving it posh names and selling it at ridiculous prices, and claiming all sorts of stuff. It's the same with the salmon oil that they say you should add to home made food, since when? Humans are also meant to eat a balanced diet, aren't we? Cats can still get all their nutritional requirements (thats if the scientists know what these are and can agree on them), but they do not necessarily need them ALL in EVERY meal EVERY day, in the wild it does not work that way. Neither does it work like that for us. I don't sit down calculating how much vitamins & minerals mine are getting, that would be almost impossible. Whats all this about black & white?:p
     
  15. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Well, not sure how old your grandma is but they probably didn't even know about taurine and the importance of it at her time. Have a read around the history of taurine and cats (if that is something that interests you) and you will come across Pottenger who found out just how important taurine is for our feline friends.

    Since around then, possibly also coinciding with cats become "pets" rather than just pest control, research into cat nutrition and cats' nutritional needs - though still lagging behind that of canines - has taken off.



    (Salmon oil - well, that can be added to food because of changed farming practices. If you are certain that your meat comes from animals that are grass-fed, then you might not need to supplement with stuff containing omega 3. You might not want to supplement with omega 3 at all - irrespective of what meat you feed - but there might be benefits to be had for doing so. Your call).
     
  16. Space Chick

    Space Chick PetForums VIP

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    NHS Myth Buster... see number 4.

    Food & exercise myths that aren

    I know some can have added salt and sugar but not all do, and they count towards your 5 a day as much as fresh.

    Anyhow, this is off topic now, so I'll leave it there ;)
     
  17. jordanandmeeko

    jordanandmeeko PetForums Junior

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    how do you delete posts!
     
    #117 jordanandmeeko, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  18. jordanandmeeko

    jordanandmeeko PetForums Junior

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    What are the correct levels?

    Taurine in cats can be supplied by the diet supplements. If you feed your cat dry food diets, they will require at least 1000 to 1200 mg/kg in their food. The term mg/kg simply implies milligrams per kilogram of food. If your cat has a canned diet, they will require a lot more taurine as they will need at least 2200 to 2500 mg/kg. Both types of commercial foods are cooked and processed, but dry forms hold taurine levels better than do moist or canned foods.



    Why do cats need different levels of Taurine, dependent on what type of food they are fed?

    I just want to clarify this as I am confused. I understand that cooking the food in different ways will affect the levels, but surely if a taurine reading is given for individuals foods, the number and level of taurine is what it is in each individual food....

    So I do understand why double the amount of Taurine is needed for a cat that eats wet food compared to dry...


    (I hope you can understand what I am saying and help me. Many thanks!!!!)


    Incidentially my cat is fed on a mostly wet diet, but some dry is also offered. Now I admit I am not very good at maths and calculations so.. if the wet food says it has 445mg of Taurine.... and it is in a can of 400g what is this in kg. or is it just 445mg/kg? and so i would need to supplement another 1000+ mg of taurine etc?
     
  19. Space Chick

    Space Chick PetForums VIP

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    Ok, I'll answer the first two questions in one... As this is a wet/dry set of questions. Basically when a cat eats dry food, it eats far less in terms of weight of the food, due to fact that water has been removed (one of the reasons that so many of us are anti dry, but that's another matter). With wet food they eat more grams.

    So for an example (figures plucked from my head) a cat may only need 75g of dried food a day but 200g of wet food.... So the higher taurine in dry is due to the lower weight eaten. With both diets they should get the same amount of taurine.

    As for the second question, you'd need to look at the analysis as to whether its per tin, or per kg. if its the can then multiply by 2.5 to get the amount per kilo, so it'll be roughly (early morning head maths here!) 1110mg taurine per kilo.

    Hope this helps!
     
  20. jordanandmeeko

    jordanandmeeko PetForums Junior

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    Thankyou very much for your help. I have since found out it is per kg.
    As you are knowledgeable on the subject and I have read many different things.. what in your opinion is the required level of taurine? and how often is this level required... as in every meal, per week etc?

    One other thing if you also wouldnt mind sharing your opinion or anyone else is that I have read that livers for example are a good source of Taurine, however I have read in a book, that was published not long ago that cats fed on liver are suspectable to a deficiency of too much calcium as it said that the required level of taurine is found in just 5 mg of liver..?? It is my understanding that everything else I have read somewhat disputes this.

    Thankyou, sorry I am just a bit confused!
     
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