Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Do cats taste sweet?

Species: Cat
Breed: Mix
Age: 8-11 years
Dr. Marie,

This is really more of a general question than a question about my pet in general...I was reading about cats on Wikipedia and the article for cats states:

"An interesting example of a mutation that is shared among all felines, including the big cats, is a mutant chemosensor in their taste buds that prevents them from tasting sweetness, which may explain their indifference to fruits, berries, and other sugary foods."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat

I thought this made sense, since cats are carnivores and have no benefit to tasting sweetness, but a friend called BS, citing the common statement that cats are prone to drinking antifreeze because it tastes sweet.

So, I was wondering if you could help us with this question: Do cats in fact taste sweetness and if not, why are they attracted to ethylene glycol?

Thanks!
Andrew



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

What a GREAT question!

I did some looking for you and found this article:

Do cats taste sweet?

The article shows that cats do not have sweet receptors and so they can't taste sweet.

I think it is a common misbelief that animals drink antifreeze because it is sweet. No one has actually proven that this is true. Many vets (myself inlcuded) believe that animals will drink antifreeze because they mistake it for water. Also, if an animal is out in the cold and all of the normal sources of water are frozen, then a puddle of antifreeze would look like a welcome source of water.

Some cats can ingest antifreeze if they walk through it and then groom themselves.

Thanks for a great question!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---



Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

Flea dirt around nipples? She is a 20 month old seemingly very healthy happy cat. There is a very good chance... (37245 views)

Bad euthanasia Hello, I had to have my dog euthanized. After she got her first injection to be... (5334 views)

Dog won't eat. well dr my dog he always wants to go outside and doesnt want to eat his food and we... (11119 views)

Golden Retriever puppy diarrhea. Dr, All of a sudden last Sunday my 8 week old male Golden had two large stools... (19089 views)

Howling and very sick. My 13 year old male cat, since yesterday is sick, and I don't know why. Yesterday... (73779 views)

Where can I buy Tramadol? Steve has a degenerative disease.He is doing well.I give him steroids almost every... (50701 views)

Will neutering help my dog? my dog is constantly licking his genital area, my question is if i get my dog... (10082 views)

Vaccine FeLV positive cat? If my cat tested positive for FeLv should he still get vaccine boosters like fvrcp,... (6624 views)

Clear discharge from eye. Hi there, My one year old cat has had a slight watery discharge from her left eye... (10785 views)

Baby shampoo for a cat? My cat accidentally got pee on himself after we had to take him somewhere in his... (15824 views)

See all questions...

Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.