Monday, September 25, 2006

Sweet-tooth Mutated Right Out of the Cat's Mouth

Anybody who's a cat owner has noticed their complete indifference to sweets. Wave a chocolate bar, sugar cube, or even a gummi fish under their nose and all you get is the classic feline ho-hum. What explains this strange behavior - or more accurately this lack of behavior? For an answer, with great illustrations and analogies, check out P.Z. Myer's post over at Pharyngula.

The short of it is that the TAS1R2 gene which codes for the TAS1R2 taste receptor, which just happens to bind to, you guessed it, sugar, has a deleterious mutation in felids that makes them incapable of even perceiving sugar.

Poorrr, poorrr, kittykat.

Posted by PWH.


At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what week is this?

At 10:06 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I have 5 cats and this summary is very interesting. But I do have an interesting story. My youngest cat Gimley, was drinking my leftover tea that was sweetened with plenty of honey and pop cans left on the table. So he went to the vet for his snip and I mentioned it to the vet. He was very concerned when I told him this and ran a series of test. Turns out he will drink anything liquid, my cat can not taste sugar as expected but he is a little neurotic and suffers from a neurological condition called psychogenic polydipsia, meaning he expresses his stress through drinking and dirnking until he makes himself sick. He is ok now but the vet was suprised he was drinking mommies sweet tea.



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