page title icon Best High Quality Cat Foods with Taurine

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by Linda Mathews Last Updated May 28, 2021

When choosing the best cat food for their pets, many owners carefully study the nutritional info. However, many ingredients are obscure substances for ordinary people. Taurine is one of them.

You may probably know that cats are carnivores, therefore, they need protein to stay healthy and full of energy. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and essential amino acids are the acids that aren’t synthesized in the body. Taurine is an essential amino acid that must be present in a cat’s diet.

To help you understand what taurine is, how it affects the health of a pet, what taurine sources are, and how much taurine cats need, we have created this guide. Keep reading to learn about this essential amino acid and the best cat food with taurine to choose for your furry friend.

What Is Taurine?

Taurine is an essential amino acid that is involved in providing the proper functioning of various body systems, including vision, hearing, digestion, and intrauterine development of the fetus. Some mammals synthesize taurine from other amino acids, but cats do not have this ability, therefore, they get taurine from cat food or special supplements.

Why is Taurine Important for Cats?

Why do cats need taurine? Taurine plays an important role in many processes of the animal’s body:

  • Participates in the formation of bile and its constituents, contributing to the breakdown and digestion of healthy fats.
  • Strengthens blood vessels, contributes to the normalization of the peripheral nervous system, brain, and heart.
  • Supports the cat’s immune system and digestive system at any cat’s life stage.
  • Promotes blood sugar regulation, and prevents the development of diabetes.
  • Participates in the development and functioning of retinal cells. A sufficient amount of taurine ensures long-term preservation of sharp vision in cats and helps prevent retinal atrophy.
  • It has a beneficial effect on the coat quality.

Taurine Deficiency in Cats: Causes and Symptoms

In nature, the source of taurine for cats is raw cat food. Taurine deficiency is observed in cats who eat cat food of poor quality or homemade cat food with low meat content. Taurine deficiency cannot be detected immediately, the cat starts showing symptoms only after a while.

Taurine deficiency can cause severe health problems; the symptoms are the following:

  • Feline central retinal degeneration with subsequent blindness.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Birth defects in kittens: low weight and delayed development.
  • Decreased reproductive performance.

The Source of Taurine for Cats

There are three main sources of taurine. Below we will consider each of them in detail.

Commercial Cat Food

Many commercial cat foods feature taurine. Choose an option that offers the best nutritional value and is packed with all the necessary vitamins and minerals your cat needs. There are wet foods for kittens and adult cats with adequate taurine levels and dry cat food with fresh chicken, fresh tuna, and fresh fruits for balanced feline nutrition.

If possible, buy several cat foods with different taurine levels to keep a taurine deficiency at a bay. On top of that, recheck the taurine level regularly if a cat’s diet contains many grains.

Commercial Supplements

Taurine supplements come in various forms: paste, powder, or granules. In addition, taurine supplements often contain valuable vitamins and minerals as well. If you are feeding your cat homemade cat food, then your cat needs extra taurine. Consult your veterinarian to prescribe the correct dose of the taurine supplement.

Typically, the dosage of taurine is 250-500 mg 2-3 times a day. If you choose a food with a sufficient percentage of taurine (0.2-0.3%), then consult your veterinarian to know for sure if more taurine is needed.

Others

Excellent sources of taurine include seafood (shrimp, shellfish), meat, dairy products, and eggs. Be sure to add these foods to your pet’s diet. If these foods aren’t incorporated into the diet, always give cats taurine supplements to avoid health problems caused by taurine deficiency.

Top 10 Foods Highest in Taurine

So, you know what taurine is, why it is important, and how to spot taurine deficiency. Thus, you are ready for shopping. Check out the list of the best foods high in taurine to make your choice.

Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe – Best Cat Food with Taurine

Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken RecipeIngredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Fiber, Menhaden Fish Meal, Fish Oil (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), DL-Methionine, Calcium Sulfate.

Find on: Amazon, Chewy

If you are looking for cat food with adequate taurine content that has been designed with kitten’s digestive health in mind, then Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe is the way to go.

The main ingredient is chicken – one of the food sources of taurine and animal based protein that contributes to healthy muscles. Besides, this food is enhanced with the necessary vitamins, minerals, probiotics, FOS prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.

On top of that, whole-grain carbohydrates (oatmeal, brown rice) support a cat’s digestive health.

PROS

  • Suits cats with sensitive stomachs and felines prone to vomiting
  • This cat’s food doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe features digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, prebiotics, and probiotics
  • Rich in taurine and animal based protein

CONS

  • Contains pea protein
  • Can cause chicken allergy in cats
  • Overpriced

Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Entrée Wet Food

Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Entrée Wet FoodIngredients: Fresh Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Cranberries, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Taurine

Find on: Amazon, Chewy

A rich formula of the best affordable wet cat food is designed to support various systems of your cat’s body and give the energy to fuel his adventures.

It contains protein for healthy and strong muscles, omega fatty acids for shiny fur and healthy skin, and antioxidants for a strong immune system. Besides, it is grain-free, therefore, it is easily digested.

We recommend this canned cat food because it features vegetables and fresh fruits that are the main sources of all the necessary vitamins and minerals, and it is supplemented with taurine.

PROS

  • Highly palatable and digestible
  • This wet cat food with taurine contains fresh veggies and fruit
  • Features enough taurine in food
  • This best cat food with taurine has a blend of omegas
  • Loaded with antioxidant-rich cranberries and balanced minerals
  • Supports urinary health
  • Promotes your cat’s well-being: healthy skin, coat, eyes, digestive and immune systems
  • Great value for money
  • It is a good option for cats prone to allergies and diabetic cats

CONS

  • Wellness cat food with taurine has plant protein
  • This cat food with taurine contains thickeners
  • High phosphorus content (382 mg/100kcal) is not suitable for cats with kidney problems and senior cats
  • Some cat owners complain that their pets have lost weight due to this food
  • Some people say that the smell is strange
  • This pet food does not have a pop-off lid

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Food

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated FoodIngredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Dehydrated Eggs, Dehydrated Potatoes, Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Pumpkin, Dehydrated Spinach, Dried Cranberries

Find on: Amazon, Chewy

This taurine cat food is packed with chicken and spinach that should be dehydrated for maximum digestion. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe provides balanced nutrition (39% protein, 28% fat, and 2.5% fiber) for adult cats and senior cats of all breeds and sizes.

This recipe has 70% free-range chicken (a source of taurine and protein) and provides your furry pal with everything he needs to live healthy and happy. Besides, it is rich in various vitamins and minerals that come in the form of fruits and vegetables.

This food is safe and healthy for your feline because it doesn’t contain grains, GMO ingredients, and low-quality fillers.

PROS

  • Features protein-rich and taurine-rich chicken
  • Contains fresh vegetables and fruits
  • It is not cooked at high temperatures
  • Features human-grade ingredients

CONS

  • Pricey
  • It smells strongly of vegetables

Crave Grain Free Recipe

Crave Grain Free RecipeIngredients: Salmon, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Split Peas, Tapioca, Potato Protein, Dried Plain Beet Pulp

Find on: Amazon, Chewy

This cat food features real salmon as the main ingredient that gives your cat the necessary strength and energy he needs. This food contains 40% protein, therefore, it is a win-win option for overweight or active cats.

This adult cat food is packed with all the necessary vitamins and minerals that make up a balanced diet and aid in muscle development, healthy digestion, heart and eye health, and a strong immune system.

On top of that, it skips out on grains, corn, and soy, therefore, this is a perfect pick for cats who are prone to allergies.

PROS

  • It is grain-free
  • Contains much protein
  • Has a good ingredient profile, doesn’t contain by-products
  • Makes poop less smelly
  • Features all the necessary vitamins and minerals

CONS

  • More expensive in comparison to other options
  • Some cat owners complain that it can cause vomiting
  • Has a lack of probiotics

American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Food

American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry FoodIngredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Dried Egg Product, Pea Protein, Peas, Deboned Chicken, Natural Flavor, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

Find on: Chewy

American Journey Turkey and Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food has been created to fuel your cat with the energy he needs. This food ensures a balanced diet because it features real turkey as the first ingredient, deboned chicken, wholesome vegetables, and fruit.

The protein content is 40%, therefore, the muscles are strong and healthy, and other essential nutrients, essential amino acids make sure the heart, eyes, skin, and coat are in a good condition. Besides, this food is grain-free, so if your cat suffers from an allergy, this food won’t disappoint him.

If you are looking for a healthy diet for your feline but don’t want to spend a fortune, then this dry cat food is a great compromise.

PROS

  • This best cat food with taurine is grain-free, doesn’t contain soy, corn, and artificial preservatives
  • Has a taurine source (meat) that supports a healthy heart and eyes
  • Contains antioxidants for a healthy immune system and omega-3 and omega-6 for a healthy coat
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • Contains pea protein
  • Doesn’t suit picky eaters

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging

Blue Buffalo Healthy AgingIngredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids)

Find on: Amazon, Chewy

This cat food is perfect for your senior kitty because it helps your cat maintain an active and youthful lifestyle. Thanks to a healthy dose of an essential nutrient, the cat’s eyes, brain, and heart function well.

Blue Buffalo features a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants known as LifeSource Bits to support feline’s overall well-being and immune system.

On top of that, this food with a rich formula is free of wheat, soy, corn, and by-products so that it is a perfect choice for cats with allergies.

PROS

  • Provides a free amino acid taurine for healthy eyes and heart
  • It is a safe option for cats with allergies
  • Includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals

CONS

  • The protein content is 32%

Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe Dry Food

Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe Dry FoodIngredients: Salmon, Whitefish, Dried Egg Product, Dried Peas, Oatmeal, Soy Protein Concentrate, Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

Find on: Amazon, Chewy

This Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe Dry Food with a crunchy texture is a win-win option for your cats. The pack has premium-quality ingredients that support overall health.

This best cat food with taurine is rich in protein (fresh salmon and whitefish), highly digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, and omega fatty acids.

All the essential minerals make sure your furry friend feels and looks his best.

PROS

  • Features dried fruit and vegetables
  • This food with taurine includes whole-grain carbohydrates for healthy cat’s digestion
  • Provides a rich blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Doesn’t have artificial ingredients and preservatives
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • Contains peas and soy protein concentrate
  • Some people say that their cats don’t like the smell of this food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain RecipeIngredients: Rabbit, Fish Meal, Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Canola Oil (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Egg Product, Pea Fiber, Potatoes, Beef Meal, Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids)
Find on: Amazon, Chewy

This cat food with rabbit contains zero grains or by-products, so it is completely safe for your feline. Thanks to protein in its formula, your cat has strong muscles and stays active all year round.

Probiotics ensure your feline has a happy tummy, well-balanced calories maintain a healthy weight, a blend of antioxidants and vitamins LifeSource Bits plus omegas keep your cat healthy.

On top of that, this food is loaded with taurine, therefore, the heart and eyes function well.

PROS

  • Prebiotic fibers and probiotics support healthy digestion
  • Taurine promotes heart and eye health
  • Suits cats with sensitive stomachs because it doesn’t have chicken, poultry, grains, and corn

CONS

  • Pricey
  • The smell can turn cats away

Sheba Perfect Portions Wet Cat Food with Taurine

Sheba Perfect PortionsIngredients: Chicken, Water, White Fish, Poultry Liver, Chicken Broth, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Fish Oil

Find on: Amazon, Chewy

The best cat canned food is crafted with premium ingredients, essential vitamins, and minerals.

All the necessary nutrients maintain the cat’s health, whereas plenty of taurine supports the feline’s eyes and heart.

Due to the absence of various allergens, this wet cat food with taurine is the way to go for cats who suffer from allergies.

PROS

  • This wet food comes in easy peel trays
  • Doesn’t contain grain, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • It is a good value for money
  • Contains enough taurine
  • Promotes proper hydration
  • Sheba wet cat food comes in a variety of packs with different flavors

CONS

  • Expensive

Purina Tender Selects

Purina Tender SelectsIngredients: Salmon, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Soybean Meal

Find on: Amazon, Chewy

If you are looking for a purr-fect combination of a vet-recommended formula and a reasonable price, then look no further, this no-filler food is your ultimate choice.

Packed with the essential vitamins, minerals, omega-6 fatty acids, protein, and taurine, this food keeps your feline healthy and happy.

Kibbles with a crunchy texture and nice smell make sure your cat gets pleasure with every single bite.

PROS

  • Reasonable price
  • Real salmon is the first ingredient
  • Provides balanced nutrition for a strong immune system
  • Has lean protein, that is why it helps your cat maintain strong muscles
  • Purina One is veterinarian recommended
  • Fun-shaped kibbles have a crunchy texture
  • Features omega-6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and silky coat
  • Doesn’t have any fillers

CONS

  • Doesn’t contain as much protein as its counterparts (contains 34% protein)
  • This food with taurine includes by-product meals

What To Look For In A Cat Food With Taurine

If you want to find the best food for your cat, make sure it meets the following criteria.

Taurine Content

What percentage of taurine should be in cat food? Look for cat foods with 0.2%-0.3% of taurine. We don’t recommend going lower than 0.2% because this food won’t improve your cat’s eye and heart health.

Other Perks of the Food

Many foods offer extra benefits for felines, that is why always pick the food, keeping in mind your cat’s needs. If your kitty is allergic, has a sensitive stomach, experiences urinary problems, or has a dull coat, go for the food that solves these specific needs. Pay attention to the titles you see on the pack, for instance, “grain-free”, “indoor cats”, “sensitive stomach”, etc.

Customer Reviews

When it comes to food quality, the only indicator is if the cat likes the food and if it solves his specific problems. Pet owner reviews are a gold mine of valuable information because they reflect reality. Even if the food is fortified with all the vitamins and minerals, it may have certain side effects that cat owners will tell you about. When choosing the best cat food with taurine, be sure to look at the rating of the cat food – do not choose a product rated by buyers below 4 stars on Amazon or Chewy.

Price

If you are looking for the best value for money, stick to $2-$3 per pound or serving range for a cat. You can go for wet cat foods, dry cat food with high taurine content, canned cat food with taurine according to your cat’s age and needs. Don’t repeat the mistake of many pet owners – don’t buy cheap cat food because often this cat food is not only unhealthy but even harmful to the cat’s body.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have read all the information below, but there are some questions left, check out this FAQ section.

How much taurine do cats need?

There is no clearly defined amount of taurine required for cats. Many manufacturers do not indicate the taurine content. In this case, we advise you to choose a food that meets the AAFCO requirements. You can be sure that this food will prevent taurine deficiency.

What foods are high in taurine for cats?

Taurine is found only in animal-based proteins. The foods that are high in protein should include seafood, dark meat, organ meats.

Can you give a cat too much taurine?

There is no evidence that high levels of taurine lead to toxicity. You can feed your cat commercial food and give taurine supplements to eliminate a lack of this essential amino acid.

How do you treat taurine deficiency in cats?

If your cat shows various signs of a lack of taurine (dilated cardiomyopathy, digestive issues, tooth decay, weakness), then start treatment asap. Taurine deficiency treatment encompasses several steps. First of all, it is necessary to eliminate the main symptoms, for example, vision problems or cardiovascular system issues.

The next step is a regular taurine intake: you can switch to foods that are high in taurine, add taurine and bile salts supplements to your cat’s raw food diets, or diversify your cat’s diet with natural sources of taurine for cats. Always consult your veterinarian and never treat a cat without professional assistance.

We’ve rounded up the best cat foods high in taurine for cats, and it is up to you which option to choose. Our ultimate choice is Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Cat Food because it is free of by-products, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and probiotics so that owners of cats with allergies or digestive problems can incorporate it into the cat diets.