Monday, July 25, 2005

Bitter Kitty

According to this story, cats are unable to taste sweet things.

Researchers, pet owners and cat chow manufacturers have long recognized that cats, in stark contrast to their canine counterparts, show no particular attraction to sugar. Having sampled two dishes of water, one spiked with sugar and the other not, a cat is as likely to lap from one as the other.

But why? Until now, scientists have not known whether cats simply lack the lingual apparatus to detect sugar; or have functional sugar detectors on their tongues but faulty wiring from their taste buds to the brain; or — as some might presume — are simply too snooty to admit to such a common craving.

Now researchers studying the DNA of house cats, tigers and cheetahs have settled the question: Cats both large and small harbor a genetic mutation that renders the sugar detectors on their taste buds inoperative.

Well, damn. There goes my idea for marketing chocolate mouse [rimshot]. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.