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The Importance of Taurine in Kitten Foods

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The Importance of Taurine in Kitten Foods

Taurine is an important component found in all IAMS™ kitten foods. This essential amino acid is critical for normal heart muscle function, vision and reproduction in kittens. It is also needed to form the bile salts that aid in digestion. Unlike other amino acids, taurine is found as a free amino acid in body tissues, such as the heart and eyes, and is not incorporated into proteins.

Most mammals manufacture taurine from other amino acids. However, kittens cannot manufacture a sufficient amount and therefore must acquire enough additional taurine through diet to meet their needs. In pet food, taurine is naturally found in animal-based protein ingredients and also can be added separately.

 

 

Why Does IAMS Add Taurine to Kitten Diets?

IAMS kitten foods are formulated with high-quality animal-based proteins as their primary ingredient. In addition, they are supplemented with extra taurine.

We supplement taurine in IAMS dry and canned cat foods to ensure we provide optimal levels of this essential nutrient. IAMS wet kitten foods, such as IAMS™ Perfect Portions™ Healthy Kitten Paté with Chicken, are supplemented with taurine because they must contain as much as twice the amount of taurine found in dry food for cats to maintain adequate blood taurine levels. The canning process may affect the complex taurine balance in your cat or kitten. Our wet cat foods are supplemented with taurine to meet these higher needs.

IAMS dry kitten foods, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Healthy Kitten, also include taurine as an ingredient to supplement the primary source of this amino acid, which is animal-based protein from sources such as chicken, egg, lamb and fish. However, these sources can vary in their taurine content, and adding more taurine is a sound approach to ensure optimal taurine levels.

 

 

Effects of Taurine Deficiency

Kittens that eat a diet deficient in taurine can develop several serious health conditions.

 

 

Blindness

Taurine is essential to the proper development and function of cells in the retina of the eye. If insufficient taurine is present, the retinal cells don’t function properly and may die, eventually causing impaired vision and even blindness. This process is referred to as feline central retinal degeneration.

 

 

Heart Disease

Taurine is also necessary for normal function of the heart muscle cells. Taurine deficiency leads to a weakening of the heart muscle, which, in turn, can lead to heart failure. This condition is known as dilated cardiomyopathy and can be fatal.

To help protect your kitten’s health, both now and when she is fully grown, make sure to feed a diet with sufficient taurine. Learn more about the nutritional needs of kittens.

 

Reference

Case L, et al. Canine and Feline Nutrition. 3rd ed. Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier, 2011.

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  • The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds
    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds

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    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds

    This article is part of a series on how to spot signs of a healthy cat. You can learn more about the key signs here.
     

    Cats don’t lack personality; that’s for sure. They can be shy, outgoing, snuggly, independent, energetic, relaxed and everything in between. Yet some breeds tend to exhibit certain traits more strongly than others. Here are our picks for what we’re calling the Cat Personality Awards.

     

     

    The friendliest cat breed:


    Maine coon

    This larger cat has a big heart to match. They’re often very social and happy to chat with you, whether they’re curled up on your lap or following you around the house. They make excellent family pets because more family members means more people to snuggle and play with.
    Also outgoing: Ragdoll, Siamese, Burmese

     

     

    The most laid-back cat breed:


    Ragdoll

    Gentle and calm, this soft and silky-furred feline is friendly without being demanding. Ragdolls are usually totally cool sharing a house with other pets and kids. They don’t stress much about routine changes or even being carried around. Their motto? It’s all good.
    Other cool kitties: Scottish fold, Birman, British shorthair

     

     

    The most playful cat breed:


    Domestic shorthair

    Making up around 90% of cats in the U.S., with more than 80 colors and patterns, domestic shorthairs are a melting pot of different breeds. They were originally working cats used to hunt mice and other critters on farms. They still love to stalk, hunt and pounce on toys and play games with their owners — so expect to spend lots of energetic playtime together.

    Also ready to play: Siamese, Maine coon, Manx

     

     

    The most independent cat breed:


    Persian

    This popular breed has been around humans since the 1600s, but is satisfied doing its own thing. Gentle, docile and quiet, Persian cats don’t insist on a lot of attention. They’re just as content sitting on your lap or observing what’s going on by themselves from a sunny perch across the room. They can be discerning in who they give their affection to, but you’ll be on their good side once you earn their trust.

    Also fine on their own: Russian blue, American shorthair, Norwegian Forest cat

     

     

    The most trainable cat breed:


    Abyssinian

    The idea of training a cat may seem hilarious, but the curiosity and intelligence of Abyssinians make them highly trainable. Some can even be taught tricks or to walk on a leash and harness. Training and playing games are perfect ways to direct their affectionate energy.
    Also eager to learn: Bengal, Siamese, American shorthair

     

     

    The cleanest cat breed:


    Sphynx

    Owning this affectionate, hairless breed means you can spend more time cuddling and less time lint-rolling your clothes. They do require regular baths, but that just means more time to hang out together.

    Other neat freaks: Siamese, Russian blue

     

     

    The best cat for first-time owners:


    it’s a toss-up!

    Thinking of getting your first kitty? It’s hard to pick just one breed, so we’ve got three:
     

    • Maine coons are super friendly and charming, and adapt well in a variety of living situations.
    • Siamese are clean, love to talk and are very loyal.
    • American shorthairs are smart, playful and independent.
       

    Remember, most cats — especially those found in shelters — are a mix of breeds, which just means they often combine the best of all cat personality traits! Whatever personality you’re looking for in a cat, you’ll know it when you find your fuzzy soulmate.

    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds
    Maine coon
    Ragdoll Cat
    domestic  shorthair
    Persian Cat
    Abyssinian Cat
    Sphynx Cat
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