Symptoms of taurine deficiency in cats are usually associated with visual changes, failure to reproduce, poor oral health, and symptoms that are associated with a heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Cats with this condition may also look unkempt and unhealthy and may become depressed or lethargic.
Symptoms of Taurine Deficiency in Cats
Taurine deficiency is a very slow occurring condition that may take many months to years to develop. Symptoms usually appear slowly and progressively worsen over a long period of time.
As taurine deficiency causes an eye condition known as retinal degeneration, cats with this type of condition may slowly begin to lose their vision. Pet owners may not notice any subtle changes to the eyes, but they may notice that their cat is misjudging distances during jumps, bumping into the corners of the walls, or is suddenly becoming easily startled.
Taurine deficiency may also cause hair loss, tooth decay, and slow growth. This is especially true if kittens or young and still growing cats are suffering from this condition. Pet owners may notice that their cat looks unthrifty or stunted, that the cat’s teeth are becoming decayed, and that the cat’s coat is starting to look patchy.
Taurine deficiency also affects the reproductive systems, and cats with this deficiency may fail to go into heat or successfully reproduce. Pregnant females that are suffering from taurine deficiency may not be able to carry their fetuses to full term.
Symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy are also associated with taurine deficiency. As this nutrient deficiency begins to affect the cat’s heart, pet owners may notice symptoms such as loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and lethargy.