Do Cats Have a Sweet Tooth?

When you take out a tray of roasted turkey from the oven, your cats are probably already waiting by your feet, begging for a share of your food. However, unwrapping a candy bar or munching on your favorite cookies does not seem to intrigue them the same way at all. Most cats are not interested in sweet foods.

There are receptor cells situated on our tongues that send out signals to our brains every time we taste something. There are five taste sensations that we often experience: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, a taste that is associated with meats and other high-protein foods.

However, cats’ taste buds are not as versatile as humans. They lack a major protein that regulates sweet receptors. Since they cannot detect the taste of sweetness, they are most likely indifferent about it.

However, there have been many anecdotes of cats begging for ice cream or yogurt. That is because these foods contain a large amount of a protein that produces amino acids. Cats are naturally drawn to amino acids rich foods because that’s one of the most vital parts of their diet. Also, many diary products contain a high quantity of fat which is also very attractive to cats.

A caveat for cat owners:

Most human foods are not suitable for cats to consume since cats have a very sensitive digestive system. Feeding them high quality cat food is the best way to maintain a healthy and happy feline in your family.


the Cat Behavior Answer Book by Arden Moore

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4 Responses to “Do Cats Have a Sweet Tooth?”

  1. deathwitch says:

    My cats eat fruit… i have two 2 year old moggies, brother and sister, and they both eat fruits such as mangos, bananas – they have to be really sweet, and they like to lick at the skins.. weird!

  2. Ashley says:

    My cat LOVES yogurt she will go crazy for it! .

  3. Evey says:

    I don't know…I think some cats might really enjoy sweets. My one kitty Homer used to LOVE pecan tarts. He wouldn't eat the crust (which you think he would as it's so buttery), and he wouldn't eat the pecans, but he really liked when I put a little bit of the sweet gooey stuff on my finger…he'd lick it off and beg for more. He liked them so much I caught him attempting to drag a package of them onto the floor so he could eat them. He also liked yogurt and ice cream, but not actual milk or any kind of cream.

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