Cats and Sense of Taste

We think of cats as finely tuned animals. Their senses are much more acute than ours. These animals can jump, smell, twist, hear and run much better than we humans ever could. It is thus surprising that humans have a better sense of taste than cats. Our tongues have 9,000 taste buds. A cat’s tongue has only 470. It means that for your cat, the taste is at best a marginal affair.

Smell contributes to taste

The animal’s sense of smell supersedes the sense of taste in cats. The second one is vital to attract other cats to a potential food. The sense of smell helps a cat (and you) to taste the food. The nose of a cat is much more sensitive than humans. It is believed that their superb sense of smell helps cats to differentiate between the many different flavors present in any food. Other than the sense of smell, cats have something extra which humans do not have: an auxiliary sense. The roof of the mouth of any cat has Jacobson’s Organ, a particular biological structure. This organ connects the nasal passage of the cat to its mouth. It is surmised that animals which possess this organ use this to taste and smell the aromas around them. The aromas could be of food or pheromones. The odors get inhaled to the cat’s tongue. The lip gets a little curled, and the feline’s tongue gets rubbed on the mouth’s roof. The mouth, Jacobson’s Organ and nose in some manner permit the cat to sense the essence of flavor of the food. The origin of the scent is also determined. We humans can never experience it.

Sweets are fats

The taste buds in cats are not much reactive. They cannot differentiate sweets but can sense other flavors a little. Felines are obligate carnivores and must eat meat to survive. There is no need for cats to consume sugar or carbohydrates. This is why kitties have no taste for sugar-as there is no evolutionary requirement for it. The taste buds of the cat cater only to meat and also the fats present in the feed. The appetite of the cat is only for meat.

Many cat owners claim that their pets love to eat ice-cream and pudding. In such cases, the cat eats these sweets as they are high in fat. The sweet taste is immaterial to a kitty. Felines can detect fat easily and will consume it whenever they get the chance. Conversely, cats hate bitter tasting food and a sour smell to a cat warns them of poisonous food. This aversion has led companies to develop bitter sprays which stop a cat to lick on wounds, bandaging, and even furniture.

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