As we all know, cats are very picky. Anyone who likes cats knows their “faults”, but they don’t know why they are picky. Now scientists have largely unraveled the secret of cats’eating habits. The answer is genetic defects. To be more specific, cats lack “sweet receptors” and they can’t taste sweetness at all. This may also be an important reason why cats become carnivorous animals that depend on high protein levels to survive.
Cats have many hobbies: stealing fishes, catching mice and sleeping late. But no one can associate cats with sweets. The best sweets are put in front of cats and they don’t even smell them. But have you ever wondered why cats don’t like sweet food? In fact, cats and cats don’t like sweet food. Why on earth?
Because of genetic defects, cats cannot taste sweetness.
Researchers and their collaborators at the Meniel Center for Chemical Sensation in Philadelphia recently released their findings. They found a defective gene in cats that might make them less sweet. Except for cats, almost all mammals on the planet can taste sweetness to varying degrees.
Researchers took saliva and blood samples from six cats, including a tiger and a cheetah, and found that all of them had a defective gene that other mammals used to produce “sweet receptors” on their tongues. Sweet receptors are formed by two proteins called “T1R2” and “T1R3”, respectively, but cats do not form one of the two important proteins because of genetic defects.
“We spent about three years trying to find out why cats don’t like sweets,” said Joseph Brand, deputy director of the Meniel Center for Chemical Sensation, which led the study. He also joked, “Because cats can’t taste sweetness at all, if you feed them sweets, they will naturally feel insipid and even lose their temper.” Brand’s report is published in the latest issue of Genetics, a journal published by the Public Library of Science.
Lack of “sweet receptors” may be an important reason for cats to become carnivores.