Why Do Cats Need Valine?

Valine is one of the three essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) necessary for optimal growth and development. The other two BCAAs are  isoleucine and leucine.

This hydrophobic BCAA must be provided in diets since cats cannot synthesis in their body.

Valine foods

It is gotten from crude proteins given cats, dogs, and other pets, and a good feline diet must have it in its required amounts.

Some of the sources or foods rich in valine include eggs, meats, fish (sardine, mackerel, halibut, salmon etc.), milk and dry products including cheese, soy products, beans and legumes, peanuts, whole grains, vegetables among others.

Do cats need valine
Do cats need valine?

Some supplements such as Platinum Performance® Feline Complete Omega-3 Wellness Formula for Cat have it as well as most of the other essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, crude fats including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Another supplement with valine is the Great Lakes Gelatin Supplements for Dog, Cats & Horses (found commonly Canada), among others.


AAFCO 2014 recommends a minimum of 0.64% of valine based on dry matter for reproduction and growth while for adult maintenance, the amount should be 0.62%.

Based on energy requirement, the minimum amounts are 1.55g per 1000kcal ME for growth, reproduction and maintenance.


It is a vital protein constituent especially the proteins in muscles. According to Veterinary Practice, it can undergo “reversible transamination to enrich the organism’s nitrogen pool.”

Finally, together with leucine and isoleucine, it helps in protein synthesis or slowing down degradation of proteins inside muscles.

Deficiency symptoms

Cats, especially kittens which do not get enough valine have been noted suffer from reduced food intake and consequently lost weight or poor weight gain.

Deficiency diagnosis for this BCCA and its other two counterparts “is based on fated plasma amino determination”, states WikiVet.


There are not incidents toxicity both acute and chronic in these pets due to consuming amounts higher amounts.

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