Last Updated on: November 16, 2020
When it comes to selecting the best cat food for your precious feline, it can seem like there are way too many options to choose from. While most of us know that a high protein diet is important for our cats, it’s also vital to consider the nutrients your cat requires to stay happy and healthy.
Whether your cat needs a grain-free dry kibble or a limited-ingredient wet food, there’s one thing that all cat foods absolutely must contain, and that’s taurine. This is an essential amino acid that all cats need to stay healthy. As cats aren’t able to synthesize, or make, this protein within their bodies, 100% of their daily requirements must come from their food.
But exactly how do you go about choosing a cat food with the correct amounts of taurine? That’s where we come in. We enlisted the help of our cat friends to help test eight of the best cat foods with taurine. Our reviews include details about the pros and cons of each food, as well as plenty of information that’s easy to digest.
So, take a look through our recommendations — we’re sure one of them will be perfect for your feline friend.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||American Journey Grain-Free Dry||
|Best Value||Purina Kit & Kaboodle Dry||
|Premium Choice||Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry||
|Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend||
|Purina Friskies Classic Pâté||
The 8 Best Cat Foods With Taurine — Reviews 2020
1. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food — Best Overall
As the best overall cat food with taurine, we selected the American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. This recipe includes an impressive 40% protein, which comes from deboned turkey as the first ingredient and is supplemented with turkey meal, chicken meal, and chicken fat. This is supplemented with a range of vegetables and fruits designed to keep your cat in the best of health.
As well as being grain-free, this doesn’t contain any wheat, soy, or corn. Another sign that this is an excellent quality product is that it’s completely free from any artificial preservatives or poultry by-products. What the American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food contains plenty of is, of course, taurine, at a percentage of 0.15%. It’s also packed full of antioxidants and fatty acids.
2. Purina Kit & Kaboodle Dry Cat Food — Best Value
As the best cat food with taurine for the money, we recommend the Purina Kit & Kaboodle Dry Cat Food. This dry kibble contains four different shapes to offer interesting variety and texture for your cat, and each of these is a different flavor of either chicken, turkey, liver, or ocean fish. The taurine percentage of this cat food sits at 0.12%.
The only reason that we didn’t select this as the best overall is that it only contains 28% protein, which compared to our best overall is a bit lower. You don’t need to worry, though, as this dry kibble is still guaranteed to provide 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats.
3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food — Premium Choice
In third place, we selected the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food. As our premium choice, this is more expensive than some of our other recommendations, but it’s worth it. This kibble is cold-pressed, which preserves the potency of the ingredients to make sure your cat gets the best nutrition possible. This grain-free and protein-rich kibble also contains 0.15% taurine, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as all the vitamins your cat requires.
As a more expensive choice, this won’t necessarily prove to be the most cost-effective choice if you’re feeding multiple cats.
4. Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food
Next up, we have the Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food. This veterinarian-recommended formula includes a combination of tender morsels and crunchy bites to provide an irresistible flavor and texture. It contains a minimum of 0.15% taurine, as well as omega-6 fatty acids to help your cat’s skin and coat look their absolute best.
This kibble is also designed to help clean your cat’s teeth as they bite into the shapes. The antioxidants within this recipe will help keep your cat’s immune system strong and healthy, while the wholesome grains and vegetables provide energy and nutrients.
5. Purina Friskies Classic Pâté Canned Cat Food
In fifth place, we have the Friskies Classic Pâté Canned Cat Food. If your cat prefers a portion of wet food or if you feed a combination of kibble and wet food, this is a great choice. The variety pack of 24 5.5-oz. cans contains three flavors: ocean whitefish and tuna, turkey and giblets, and mixed grill. They all contain 0.05% taurine, which is less than the dry foods we reviewed.
Wet food is great for cats who don’t drink enough and those who suffer from urinary tract issues. This Friskies pâté contains 100% balanced and complete nutrition for adult cats, which includes all the essential vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.
6. Iams ProActive Health Dry Cat Food
Next up, we have the Iams ProActive Health Dry Cat Food. This is formulated specifically for indoor cats who often have issues with both weight and hairballs. The Iams ProActive contains 10% less fat than their original kibble, as well as containing carbohydrates that are designed to help your indoor cat feel fuller for longer.
Whole grains, rice, and beets are used to help support your cat’s digestive system, as well as reduce the formulation of hairballs. Containing 0.13% taurine, this kibble provides a good level of this essential amino acid, but not quite as much as some of our top picks.
7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat Food
Coming in at a seventh place, we have the Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat food. As well as containing a good level of taurine at 0.15%, this dry kibble also lists real U.S. farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient. What it doesn’t contain is any ground corn, wheat, soy, or other fillers. Happily, it’s also free from meat by-products.
As well as real chicken, this dry kibble blends nutritious brown rice and vegetables with all the essential vitamins and minerals that your cat needs to stay in the best of health. What it doesn’t contain are any artificial flavors or preservatives.
8. 9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food
As our final suggestion, we have the 9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food. Containing three flavors of chicken, beef, and salmon, this is a good choice for cats who like a bit of taste variety in their dinner. It’s also been formulated to suit all life stages, so if you have multiple cats of different ages, this is a great choice to keep all them happy with the correct nutrients.
This dry kibble only contains 0.10% of taurine, which is at the lower end of the range. As you might expect from a budget kibble, the ingredient list does include meat by-products. The first ingredient is whole ground corn, rather than meat. So, while this is a good budget option, don’t expect a kibble that’s packed with meaty ingredients.
Making sure that you select a cat food that contains the correct levels of taurine to keep your cat healthy is important. Before you make your selection, however, it pays to research your options so you choose the best one for your cat’s individual needs. So, what exactly do you need to look for?
Let’s take a look at important points to consider.
How much taurine is enough taurine?
We’ve already mentioned that cats need to obtain 100% of their taurine from their food. As a reminder, this is because they can’t synthesize this essential amino acid within their body.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommend that dry kibble should contain a minimum of 0.10% taurine, and wet cat food should contain a minimum of 0.20%. Those percentages remain the same for both kittens and adult cats.
What if my cat doesn’t get enough taurine?
Taurine deficiencies can lead to serious health problems for cats. These include heart problems, blindness, and tooth decay. Because these conditions can take a long time to become apparent, you might not realize that your cat has a taurine deficiency until they start showing visible symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to make sure to check the taurine levels in your cat’s food.
Read the ingredients
On the back of every pack of cat food, the nutritional information and guaranteed analysis of each of the vital ingredients will be listed. It’s worth checking the percentages of taurine and other vitamins and minerals.
You should also look out for a nutrition statement guaranteeing that the cat food in question is “formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance (or growth).” This means you can be confident that that particular brand contains the correct levels of everything your cat needs to stay healthy.
It’s a good idea to check that the food you’re interested in lists quality protein sources, such as real deboned chicken. Of course, if you’re selecting a budget cat food, you can expect to see a certain amount of lower quality ingredients, including meat meal, meat by-products, and fillers such as carbohydrates or guar gum. This doesn’t mean the cat food won’t provide all the nutrition your cat needs, however, as long as you can still see a nutritional statement mentioning the levels meet AAFCO guidelines.
Check with your veterinarian before changing cat food
While you might have an idea of which new food is going to suit your cat best, it’s always a good idea to speak to your veterinarian before making any major diet changes.
Your cat might need specific food to support their weight issues, or one specifically formulated for indoor cats. Cats with kidney or urinary issues may require a wet food to make sure they’re adequately hydrated.
Your veterinarian will be able to check your preferred options and either give the go-ahead or suggest an alternative. You can always schedule these chats to coincide with your cat’s annual vaccinations or arrange for a phone consultation if that’s a possibility.
We hope that you found our round-up of the best cat foods with taurine useful, and we’re sure that out of the eight foods in our reviews, one of them will suit your cat perfectly.
As a reminder, for the best overall cat food with taurine, we selected the American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. Containing an impressive 40% protein and 0.15% taurine, this grain-free blend lists deboned turkey as its first ingredient.
As the best value cat food with taurine, we highly recommend taking a look at the Purina Kit & Kaboodle Dry Cat Food. While it contains less of both protein and taurine — at 28% and 0.012%, respectively — it still provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition for your cat.
Hopefully, we’ve made the job of navigating your way through the myriad cat foods out there a little easier. Naturally, the real test will be making your choice and then waiting to see if your cat enjoys their new food!
Featured Image: Pixabay
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 8 Best Cat Foods With Taurine — Reviews 2020
- 1. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food — Best Overall
- 2. Purina Kit & Kaboodle Dry Cat Food — Best Value
- 3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food — Premium Choice
- 4. Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food
- 5. Purina Friskies Classic Pâté Canned Cat Food
- 6. Iams ProActive Health Dry Cat Food
- 7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat Food
- 8. 9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food
- Buyer’s Guide