Wednesday 22 April 2020

S is for Sugar

Chocolate for you is fine but don't feed it to your cat

WHY do our carnivore cats turn up their noses at chocolate bars but wait expectantly by their bowls for chicken chunks?

Bears, who are technically carnivores, would probably snaffle down a chocolate bar or two, given half a chance, especially if they contained honey. The difference is that cats do not have sweet-taste receptors on their tongues but bears do.

Never feed chocolate to your cat, it is harmful to them. Read this post for a list of harmful items: Household Products That Can Harm Your Cat

Domestic cats aren’t the only carnivores to have no taste for sweet things. Their close relative the Asiatic lion is another. Now researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, USA, have discovered other species that lack the sweet receptor.

Researchers studied 12 species of carnivores and analyzed their taste-receptor genes to see if cats were the only ones that lacked the sweet taste receptor.

Of these the bottle-nosed dolphin, the sea lion, the fur seal, the Pacific harbor seal, the Asian otter, the spotted hyena, the fossa and the banded linsang also lacked the sweet-taste receptor.

The dolphin has even lost the ability to taste bitter substances, and has very few taste buds in general.

Sugars are carbohydrates but if your diet is practically all meat, there’s no need to keep the receptor intact.

My sassy, grumpy cat Toffee is also taking part in the A to Z Challenge. Take a look here:

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If you are a cat lover - especially a lover of the grumpier members of the species, this is the book for you. Written by Toffee who, despite her name, is the least sweet cat you can imagine. The world according to Toffee exists to serve her and woe betide anyone who forgets it. Paperback on left, Kindle version on right.


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  1. This reminds me of an old lesson we learned. Our first cat came in off neighborhood streets. I thought nothing of buying food off store shelves. But when at the vet with her and discussing severe halitosis that I dubbed 'death breath', I learned that cheaper kibbles contain sugars as filler. Shocked, I switched to higher quality foods and the issue cleared up. I once again enjoyed kitty getting in my face. ~grin~ Be well, my dear.

  2. well our cat Lucy loves ice cream....vanilla only and preferably licked off my ice cream cone....bah! She is spoiled! Cheers!

  3. It makes a certain sort of sense. Sweet is something that we need to make sure we get certain nutrients. And bitter is one way we determine poisons. Critters that don't need those cues don't have them.

  4. That is very interesting. Then my Benny loves my cookies not for the sweetness, but for the buttery-ness I guess.

  5. I think my Joanie tastes sweets. I don't give her chocolate, but she likes frosting and whipped cream.

  6. I had no idea they could not taste sweet....maybe that’s why I think of them as super models


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