Welcome to our Peculiar Pet Facts sequence, the place we examine the eccentricities of our pets and discover the science behind them.

While the digestive system of cats isn’t at all times peculiar, precisely, there are some things that make it totally different when in comparison with different mammals. For occasion, cats can’t make the amino acid taurine. They can also’t make energetic vitamin A, they usually lack the enzyme that converts linoleic acid to arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid.

But one of many details that we predict is peculiar is that cats can’t style candy meals.

Peculiar Things Cats Can Taste

Cats have comparatively few style buds (about 470) in comparison with people (about 9,000). This means in addition they have a weaker sense of style than us. Even although cats can’t style candy flavors (we’ll get to why quickly), they do have style buds for issues we don’t, together with water and peculiarly, the vitality compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides vitality in dwelling cells, and it’s thought {that a} cat’s means to style it indicators the presence of meat to them. This is necessary since cats are obligate carnivores and should eat meat to outlive.

Taste + Smell = Flavor

The scent of meals additionally influences what cats eat. Even for people, about 70 to 75 p.c of what we style comes from scent, as a result of it’s the mix of style and scent that creates taste. So a cat’s superior sense of scent could make up for his or her lack of style buds, they usually can nonetheless get pleasure from totally different flavors of meals, like rooster or whitefish.

A Fake Gene and a Missing Receptor

So why can’t cats style candy flavors? Well it’s because of their genes — extra particularly, a “fake” dysfunctional gene. A examine in contrast the genes of cats to different species, like canine and people, that reply to candy tastes. They regarded particularly at two genes, Tas1r2 and Tas1r3, that collectively encode the receptor for candy style. While Tas1r3 was the identical because the Tas1r3 gene present in canine, Tas1r2 had a number of variations (flaws), and it was concluded that Tas1r2 is a pseudogene (a faulty copy of a practical gene). This implies that cats can’t make the receptor mandatory for detecting candy tastes.

But My Cat LOVES Ice Cream!

If your cat does like candy meals (word: ice cream shouldn’t be beneficial for cats), it’s the opposite flavors they’re tasting — not the oh-so-yummy sweetness of ice cream that we love.

Remember there are many causes to inform cats “No people food” together with that the meals will be hazardous to their well being. Sweet meals like sweet are a pleasant deal with for us, however not for cats — they usually can’t style the sweetness that so appeals to us anyway.



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