Cats cannot create their own taurine from other amino acid building blocks. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the diet the cat is eating provides sufficient amounts of taurine. Cats are unable to synthesize their own taurine because of their minimal activity of the enzymes Cysteine Dioxygenase and Cysteine Sulfinic Acid Decarboxylase. Cats must receive taurine requirements from the muscle tissues of their prey.
Taurine is an essential amino acid needed to maintain proper eye and heart function, but it is also found to be important for fetal development, growth, reproduction, neuro-modulation, sight, hearing, blood platelet, immune response, antioxidation, and production bile acid.
For dogs, taurine is not considered an essential dietary amino acid. Dogs are able to synthesize sufficient taurine when the sulphur amino acid precursors, methionine and/or cysteine, are present in adequate amounts in their raw diet.
The average cat needs about 1000mg of taurine for every 2.2 pounds of food, or roughly 100mg per day. A species appropriate, Prey Model Raw (PMR), diet is abundant in taurine. It is important to note that heat destroys more than half (about 65%) of the taurine content and vegetables contain almost no measurable amounts of taurine.
Feeding whole prey is optimal for raw fed cats. Small whole prey is high in taurine, fully balanced, and the appropriate size for a cat. Second to feeding whole prey, Franken Prey feeding is a way to provide whole cuts in a variety of proteins. These two feeding methods provides adequate amounts of taurine.
Grinding meat decreases the taurine content by increasing the surface area of the meat and exposes the amino acid to the air. This results in oxidation of taurine which decreases the overall available taurine.
Muscle meat contains fairly high amounts of taurine. The amount of taurine in meat depends on how much work the muscle does. Darker meat indicates hard working muscles thus higher levels of taurine. The heart, being the hardest working muscle in the body, contains the highest amounts of taurine.
Larger animals, such as cattle, have a lower concentration of taurine. Smaller animals have a much higher concentration of taurine. Taurine is abundant in most fish, birds, and rodents.
When defrosting frozen meats to feed, be sure to feed the thawed out juices in the meal. When meat defrosts, majority of the available taurine is left behind in the thawed raw juices.
Tongue 1752mg taurine/kg
Lung 956mg taurine/kg
Spleen 874mg taurine/kg
Liver 688mg taurine/kg
Heart 652mg taurine/kg
Round Steak 362mg taurine/kg
Kidney 225mg taurine/kg
Heart 1179mg taurine/kg
Liver 1100mg taurine/kg
Dark Meat 1690mg taurine/kg
Necks 584mg taurine/kg
Backs 584mg taurine/kg
Leg 337mg taurine/kg
Boneless and Skinless Breast 159mg taurine/kg
Leg Meat 1780mg taurine/kg
Whole Mackerel 2070mg taurine/kg
Whole Herring 1544mg taurine/kg
Salmon Fillet 1300mg taurine/kg
Smelt 687mg taurine/kg
Leg Meat 473mg taurine/kg
Kidney 239mg taurine/kg
Liver 855mg taurine/kg
Lung 775mg taurine/kg
Kidney 773mg taurine/kg
Loin 610mg taurine/kg
Sirloin 560mg taurine/kg
Dark Meat 3060 ± 690mg taurine/kg
Light Meat 300 ± 70mg taurine/kg
Taurine amounts in cuts of meat collected from: Taurine concentrations in animal feed ingredients; cooking influences taurine content (A. R. Spitze et al, 2003). Do not worry about over feeding taurine. Taurine is water-soluble and is processed through the kidneys. If the cat cannot process the amount of taurine ingested, the excess is passed in the urine.