Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Taurine issues for cats

A growing number of our customers are using the Darling's vegetable-free dog food to feed their cats.

This makes sense because it is pretty much the purrrfect (sorry, I can never resist a pun) recipe and although we aren't actually promoting it we have set up a special page for it at Darling's Real Cat Food.

One issue that is coming up a lot is that of taurine levels. Is there enough taurine in our food? And - just as importantly - will it survive freezing?

The second question is easily answered. We have done an analysis of our food and the taurine levels after freezing for a month come in at:

Lamb 1260 mg/kg
Beef 638 mg/kg
Rabbit 376 mg/kg

Which is pretty reassuring.

Logic would say that this should be sufficient. Our food replicates what cats would eat if they lived in the wild - that is to say a raw food diet of meat, offal and bone. This was what they thrived on for the six or seven million years before processed cat food was invented and it is reasonable to assume that it contains sufficient taurine.

Anyway, the whole taurine issue only arose after it became clear that modern, processed cat food was short of the stuff and that it is vital to feline health. No one really knows, however, exactly how much taurine cats should be absorbing. The levels set by the various pet food manufacturers strike me as incredibly arbitrary.

I mean, a cat living on a mouse diet would only be getting 240mg of taurine per kilo. Rather less than a cat being fed on Darling's.

This, in turn, leads to the concern that cats could be overdosing on taurine. There is no research on this that I am aware of. Tom, our Chief Veterinary Surgeon, is having a think about this whole issue. In the meantime, our food is 100% natural and an analysis shows it has plenty of taurine in it. Therefore, we don't believe that this is an issue for cats eating Darling's. Moreover, we do not recommend adding taurine unless there is a clear reason to do so. Nature, we feel, knows best.

1 comment:

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