Why don’t cats enjoy the taste of sweets?


LAST UPDATED: June 7, 2019 by Ryan M

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Cats have a genetic deficiency that essentially deletes the sugar detectors on their taste buds. In other words, cats do not possess the “wiring” to taste sweets.

Other than cats, every other mammal (including humans) examined to date can taste sweetness. This is due to us having five types of taste buds. We can taste sourness, saltiness, umami (meatiness), bitterness, and sweetness. Now, this doesn’t mean that we will all enjoy the taste of sweets, but we all have the “wiring” to taste sweetness.

There is a small percentage of cats that will actually eat sweets. This doesn’t mean that they can taste the sweetness, though. Cats that eat sweets might be doing so because they are attracted to the bitterness, saltiness, amino acids, texture, or possibly just the smell.

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1. Cats have a “bitter tooth.”
2. Cats might be able to taste flavors that we don’t know exist.
3. Cats have “nose prints,” and no two cats’ nose prints are the same.


1. Petful.com – Why Can’t Cats Taste Sweet Things?
2. Scientific American – Strange but True: Cats Cannot Taste Sweets


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