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Why are cats such picky eaters

Would you eat cardboard?
Would you eat cardboard?
Karla Kirby

Cats are scandalously finicky eaters, as millions of pet owners can attest. Scientific studies explain in part why cats have these utterly high and mighty eating habits.

Felines can’t taste sweets; nearly every other animal on earth can to a certain degree. If a cat can’t taste the food, he/she does not see the pint in eating it. Food is supposed to taste good and be a pleasure to consume. Why eat nothing?

Researchers took blood and salvia samples from six cats, including a cheetah and a tiger and discovered each had an ineffectual gene that other mammals use to manufacture a "sweet receptor" on their tongues. The gene does not create one of the two vital proteins needed to form the receptors. A feline’s sense of taste has driven him/her to become a carnivore.

All mammals have receptor cells on their tongues that propel taste signals to the brain to process. The receptor cells are grouped together as taste buds. Each human taste bud is comprised of 50 to 100 receptor cells on behalf of the five major taste sensations: salty, sweet,, sour, bitter and umami. Most mammals' sweet receptors are shaped by two proteins, one of which cats don’t posses.

Food simply must be palatable enough for a cat to eat and cat food companies are constantly working on making their foods more and more tasty for a cat’s enjoyment. Many people enjoy their cat’s finicky heating habits and spend more on their cats food than on their own.