Because cats may be so picky about what they eat, you’d believe they had a highly sophisticated palette and sense of taste. They can smell more than we can, thus must they be more sensitive to food flavors? Or, at the very least, do they have the same fundamental degree of taste perception that humans do?
The first thing to remember is that taste and flavor are not the same thing. Our tongue perceives taste, but flavor is a mix of taste and smell. Cats have fewer than 500 taste buds, while humans have over 9000. They, like humans, can detect salty, sour, bitter, and sweet flavors. Do they have a ‘umami’ flavor? We don’t know, but they seem to be sensitive to the amino acids contained in meat. Regardless, their total taste sense is far lower than ours.
✅ Best Wellness Health Grain Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food
Your cat highly recommends this food! – Everyone is happy in your home with this brand! Wellness is a brand you can count on to keep your cats healthy!! Multispecies approved!!
A cat’s ability to feel sweetness is the least developed of the fundamental tastes. Although a cat may appreciate ice cream, it is likely that he prefers the creaminess rather than the sweetness, as well as the cool temperature.
All of this implies that meals taste substantially different to cats than they do to us. It’s difficult to tell what they’re actually feeling. They are unable to inform us!
However, lest you assume your cat is restricted by his lack of taste buds, cats depend on their sense of smell the most to inform them what foods are safe to consume. Cats have significantly more odor-detecting nerve endings in their nostrils than humans. Even though we are considerably bigger, their olfactory mucosa covers 2 to 3 square inches, which is a significantly greater area than ours.
When a cat sniffs something, air does not just travel through the nose, over the scent-detecting cells, into the lungs, and out. Instead, part of the air lingers above the subthemoid shelf of the cat’s nose, giving the cat extra time to receive smell information.
They also have a smell organ called the vomeronasal (or Jacobson’s) organ in the roof of their mouths. If your cat ever made a goofy gape-mouthed expression with her tongue hanging out and her snout wrinkled, possibly while watching birds, she was moving air over this organ to collect a fragrance. In reality, this gesture is usually known as gaping, but it also goes by other names, such as sneering, snake mouth, or flehming.
So, although cats lack our sense of taste, their sense of smell is so much more keen than either our sense of taste or scent that their experience of food may be sharper, albeit in ways we cannot comprehend. Even though their eyes are not yet open, kittens can identify their mother’s nipple thanks to their keen sense of smell. They do not depend on scent as much as dogs do while hunting. Cats, on the other hand, have ambushed predators using their excellent eyesight and motion sensing.
Cats seem to be quite sensitive to the taste of water. This might explain why cats drink from the toilet. While you may not be able to discern the difference between bottled distilled water with a fancy label and true spring water, your cat most likely can.