You must be sure that your cat gets adequate taurine in his food whether you are feeding canned commercial food, home cooked food, or raw food. Taurine is an amino acid essential for your cat’s good vision and healthy heart.
From an article in Wikipedia as well as articles on web sites devoted to animal welfare, almost all animals manufacture this amino acid as part of their metabolic processes adequate food safety practices lead to less. Cats cannot do this; they depend entirely up their food to provide the necessary amount to maintain health.
The articles I have researched on this topic all concur that insufficient amounts of taurine eventually result in retinal degeneration leading to blindness. Gradually weakening of the walls of the heart muscle is another serious health issue directly related to a lack of this dietary substance.
Since taurine plays such an important role for the healthy cat, you need to evaluate your feeding program to you ensure your cat gets the required amount of this vital ingredient. Frankly, the web sites dither about the exact quantity considered as the minimum requirement. The recommendations range from 1000 grams per two pounds of meat to “a pinch for each meal.” Personally speaking, I go with the pinch per meal as high end equals about four cups of the stuff and far more appropriate for the big cats.
Muscle meat, including heart muscle, is the source of this amino acid and there are higher levels of it in dark meat than white meat. The catch-22 is that heat destroys large amounts taurine. The temperatures used for processing commercial cat food are so high virtually all nutrients are destroyed and subsequently added in again as a final stage of processing. Home cooking also destroys a substantial amount even though the temperatures used are much lower. One veterinarian suggests that freezing temperatures may also reduce the amount of this amino acid, so there could be some deficiency in raw food as well.
The good news is that supplemental taurine is readily available in both powdered and in capsules. I paid approximately eight dollars for an eight ounce container that is the equivalent of two hundred and twenty-seven grams of pure amino acid. That is relatively inexpensive unless you are feeding a pride of lions.
Everyone deals with stress at some point in their lives, but studies have shown that diet can contribute to stress levels, whether positively or negatively. There are vitamins in food to help stress levels decrease and these natural ingredients are found in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products. While it is possible to take a multi-vitamin to get these vitamins, eating foods high in vitamins helps absorption and functioning better. These are a few of the vitamins that help to decrease stress.
B-complex vitamins. This includes several vitamins that are most effective when found in the same food source. B-complex vitamins include B1 which helps to improve mood, B3 which regulates sleep, B6 which helps produce serotonin, and B12 which help with energy and overall mood. The B vitamins are found in most whole grains and can be found in whole grain products like cereals and breads.
Consuming adequate vitamin A is a great way to relieve stress as well. This vitamin works to get rid of toxins in the body which can slow us down. Individuals who have adequate vitamin A have more energy throughout the day. The most common source of vitamin A is carrots, and this source is an easy and economical option. Green leafy vegetables also are a good source of vitamin A, and eating just a serving a day is usually enough to get 100% of this vitamin.
While scientists are not sure whether vitamin C decreases stress by itself, they have found out that being deficient will lead to individuals feeling anxious and irritable. Citrus products are high in vitamin C and can be found in many juice beverages as well. Potatoes contain large amounts of this nutrient as well.
Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is not usually included in the B-complex vitamins, but it has an important role in regulating stress. This nutrient works in the body by effecting the activity of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands have a large part in regulating stress levels, especially individual’s responses to stress and stressful events. Pantothenic acid is found in many foods including legumes, vegetables, and eggs to just name a few.
One final vitamin that works to prevent and manage stress is Vitamin E. Vitamin E is best known as an antioxidant. This essential nutrient works to neutralize free radicals, compounds that can damage the body over time and are believed to be one of the major causes of aging. Without adequate vitamin E to combat free radicals, individuals are more prone to cellular damage, leading to overall feelings of tiredness and an inability to function as well.