I am not really coveting her nine lives etc. The kitty characteristic I yearn for is tied up in the taste buds.
The average pussy cat can’t taste sugar !
Sweet blind and loving it
Cats, both domestic and wild, are unable to taste sweet compounds because the gene that programmes the sweet taste receptor is defective.
The loss of this receptor has not left the average pussy cat feeling miffed and deprived. Mother Nature ordained the feline to be an OBLIGATE carnivore i.e. cats ONLY eat meat.
Not sure, pet food companies received this memo from Mother Nature, ingredients of modern day cat food often fall short on meat and err towards potatoes and things.
Not just a cat thing
Researchers from Monell Chemical Senses Centre looked at several other animals, to see which other animals would intuitively say NO, to sweet things.
The team discovered lots of meat eaters did not DO SUGAR. A biological surprise, since it was believed that tasting sugar was pretty much part of the mammal wiring i.e. ALL mammals did it.
Sweet is OUT, for : sea lions, fur seals, Pacific harbour seals, Asian otters, spotted hyena, gossa and banded lingsangs
Sweet is IN, for : the aardwolf, Canandian otters, spectacled bears, raccoons and red wolves
Use it or lose it
Since Asian otters CAN’T, and Canadian otters CAN – the sugar taste “problem” is species specific. In fact, the researchers discovered that each species had a different “mistake” in their sweet receptor gene.
The presence of so many random mistakes, suggests when it comes to taste perception – it all boils down to use it or lose it.
Pity it is not a human thing
Sweet is IN, BIG TIME, for humans. And modern man is definitely using it.
Of course, Mother Nature never intended us to be exclusively meat eaters, we’re generally considered all rounders (omnivores). Vegetarians being the exception – falling into the herbivorous category. LOL.
Lapping up that sugar
Too much sugar, especially fruit sugar (fructose) is definitely a big contributor to poor health.
- it triggers metabolic imbalances by inducing leptin resistance,
- then packs the fat into the fat cells and
- torments big toes i.e. causes gout, by raising uric acid levels
- sends the blood pressure spirallying precipitating heart breakdowns .
But it tastes so…………………………… GOOD. And when you’re feeling stressed, it tastes even better.
Don’t you wish you were a cat ?Major taste loss in carnivorous mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2012) 109 (13) 4956-4961 . Peihua Jiang, Jesusa Josue, Xia Li, Dieter Glaser, Weihua Li, Joseph G. Brand, Robert F. Margolskee, Danielle R. Reed, and Gary K. Beauchamp.
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