How Much Taurine Should I Add To a Raw Meat Diet?

candy kitty
Question: How much taurine should there be in the raw frozen diets? The brand I have says each patty contains 0.06%. Another brand I have says their chicken variety has 0.064% and the rabbit only 0.04%. Both companies claim to be providing complete and balanced diets in their raw formulas. It’s so hard to know. I would really rather avoid adding supplements if I can help it.
There is no “precise” feline requirement for taurine, as many factors influence requirement levels. These include protein source, dietary fiber levels, food processing, sulfur-containing amino acid content and the metabolic needs of the individual cat.¹Recommended ranges for an average cat fall between 35 and 250 mg a day.² TheAAFCO lists .2% as the minimum for canned/wet foods (dry matter percentage), so here are some calculations: ³
The first brand you mentioned lists the taurine content of .06% on an “as fed” basis, not on a dry matter basis, so we have to convert. The moisture content is 70%, so dry matter is 30%. So, .06 divided by 30 = .002 or .2%, exactly the required minimum.
To measure in ounces, we convert again: 1 oz = 28.35 grams, 28.35 x .2% = .0567gr or 56.7 mg. So there is about 56.7 mg of taurine per ounce of food. Multiply that by how many ounces you feed a day to get your total. An average cat would probably eat about four ounces of food a day, so the daily taurine intake would be over 200 mg.
Both grinding and freezing reduce available taurine, but by how much is not clear. That is why I add supplemental taurine when making homemade or supplementing pre-ground meat/bone/organ mixes. Taurine is not toxic in cats and is water-soluble, so any extra the cat can’t use just gets flushed out in their urine. I would rather add some extra taurine to the food and have a cat with expensive pee than risk a taurine deficiency which could lead to serious heart problems or death.
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