Taurine is an amino acid that is found in meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and fish. This is an amino acid that dogs produce internally in sufficient quantities, and although cats do not produce taurine themselves, they require it daily and so must obtain it from their diet. Unfortunately, taurine deficiencies can produce blindness and heart failure.
Cats eating a homemade diet, even a raw one with plenty of meat should receive a taurine supplement to make sure they have adequate levels. If your cat is eating a commercial food especially if it is one that is primarily cereal or a single processed food such as canned food, they may not be getting enough taurine in their diet. It is unknown if all commercial cat foods contain adequate taurine. A therapeutic dose for supplementing the diet is 250 to 500 mg daily. Most vets agree that cats should consume 1000mg (1 gm) or taurine per 2.2 lbs of food.
Taurine is found in most meat, but is especially prevalent in liver and hearts. A diet containing a healthy amount of meat will give most people and animals all the taurine they need.
Scallops, shrimp, clams and other shellfish are particularly high in taurine. The levels of taurine in these seafoods are even higher than those found in meat.
Here is a recipe from “The Ultimate Pet Food Guide” by Liz Palika that is designed to be used as an add-on to a good-quality cat food, it should not be used alone. It features sardines which are good source of taurine. Human grade sardines are safe for cats, however, owners should refrain from feeding their pets oil packed sardines or those with high salt content. These types of canned sardines are not good for cats because of the high amount of salt that can contribute to the formation of urine crystals.
Sumptuous Sardines with Cat Food
1 six ounce can of sardines in tomato sauce
1 hard boiled egg, crumbled with shell
1/4 cup grated summer squash, steamed
1/4 cup yogurt, plain, regular
1. Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor and kiquefy. Stop the machine and stir a couple of times to make sure all of the pieces (especially the eggshell) are finely ground.
2. Add one teaspoon to each meal to begin with; add slightly more later, as noted earlier.
Here is a helpful video I found on YouTube about preparing Tuna Cat Treats. The ingredients are very simple – tuna, parsley and flour. This is part of a series of videos on preparing homemade cat food and treats.