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Taurine seems to help an 18-year-old cat

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

My kitty is l8-years-old and spry for her age. About 3 weeks ago, her hind legs started giving way and she would fall about every 5 footsteps. She then seemed to fall on her side appearing to have a seizure. My kitty got better after a stroke and/or seizure ...

After making an appointment for the next day with a vet, I checked on the internet and found that Taurine might help. I went to our local pet store (Mudbay Grainery) and asked if they had some. They said they had been trying to get it but the company that makes it would not give it to them unless they ordered all their supplements. They referred me to a Super Supplements store where I found some capsules. I have been giving my cat just a little bit from the capsules in her food and her recovery has been remarkable.

We did take her to the vet the next day after the falling episodes. The vet said our cat had a heart arrhythmia and maybe we should have her seen by a cat cardiologist with an ultrascan etc. Well we couldn't really see what we could do on an 18-year-old cat so that wasn't really an option. The vet said there should be enough taurine in the pet food but considering that a lot of it is coming from China with plastic in some of it, I don't think so!!

Anyway, so far the Taurine is working miracles ... it has seemed to put new life into her. She is running and jumping and eating and doing all the things a young cat would do !!

Dr. Debra what do you think of Taurine?

Pat J. Bothell, WA


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Sounds like your cat did great – I'm very happy for you. Taurine is an essential nutrient for cats. It has a variety of important functions.

Taurine deficiency has been associated with an eye problem called "feline central retinal degeneration" and with feline cardiomyopathy (heart disease). Taurine deficiency may also lead to abortion, low birth weights of kittens, and various problems related to retarded growth and development of kittens.

Taurine deficiency is relatively uncommon as pet food companies have done a great job supplementing taurine in their foods.

It doesn't sound like all your cat's signs are from taurine deficiency but if is responding and your vet thinks it is a good idea, I'd keep at it!

Here is an article from our drug library that might be useful – go to taurine.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad to hear he is doing so well!

Best regards,

Dr. Debra




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