The body of cats cannot produce taurine and it is an essential amino acid for them. In its natural habitat, a wild cat usually obtains Taurine through its diet based on mice or other prey.
Taurine in cats has been found to be necessary for:
- The production of bile.
- To act as an antioxidant.
- To aid muscle growth.
- It works as a neurotransmitter.
- It is a regulator of salt and water within cells.
- Helps the proper functioning of cell membranes.
Taurine deficiency in cats can cause significant biological damage:
- Central nervous system disorders of the cat.
- Blindness or feline central retinal degeneration: since taurine is present in the cells of the cat's retina. Without Taurine, the cells die and the cat ends up losing its vision.
- Cardiomyopathy or heart disease.