Can Cats Taste Sweet?

Cats can’t taste sweet flavors.

Shocker, right?


Here’s why they can’t:

Development of Taste in Cats

Cats develop a sense of taste during their infancy stage, which is usually during the first six months of their life. This is why it’s a good idea to introduce your kitty to different flavors, textures smells, and shapes as early as possible, in order to encourage their adaptation and keep them from being a picky eater as they grow older.

Also, try not to get your kitten used to eating the same food every single day. Otherwise, it’ll grow up to be a demanding diner.

It’s important to remember that the changes in living with human beings may also affect your cat’s eating habits. Although cats are unable to identify sweet flavors, when you get them used to sweet foods, you’ll end up creating unwanted adaptation and trigger countless damages to their digestive tract.

So, What Flavors Can Cats Taste?

Compared to humans, cats have a more defined sense of vision and smell. However, when it comes to taste, your feline pets have a less developed sense of taste than us.

Cats only have 500 taste buds while humans have more than 9,000. It’s for this reason why cats can’t identify the sweet taste and why some foods that taste good to us will be uninteresting to cats.

Here are the top flavors that domestic cats are able to taste:

Tortoiseshell cat with bowl cookies in studio


Cats have plenty of acidic flavor receptors all over their tongue. Thus, they’re able to identify acidic foods and they find these foods more pleasing compared to neutral or alkaline foods.

Bitter Taste

Cats are less likely to recognize bitter taste than humans and dogs. This is why toxic substances like strychnine won’t appeal to them.

Salty Taste

Cats are able to recognize salty tastes better since they have more receptors for salty flavor in their tongue.


Cats can perceive texture pretty well and the consistency and temperature of their food too. It’s for this reason why they find canned foods more palatable than dry food.

Why Can’t Cats Taste Sweet?

Humans are able to perceive sweet taste due to the presence of two proteins in their taste buds.

For cats, however, they’re unable to recognize sweet taste since they barely produce any of these two proteins that would make them identify the sweet taste.

So what would be the reason behind this?

Studies show that this has something to do with evolutionary reasons  because cats in the wild are living a carnivorous diet, which is usually sweet free. Eventually, the sweet receptor disappeared slowly with time until it became non-existent to them.

There are some cats that might be interested in a certain type of sweet food that has high-fat content like ice cream and other protein sources, such as yogurt. However, they totally avoid sweeteners and foods that have them.

On the other hand, some experts believe that a cat’s rejection of sweets is some sort of self-defense. Since sweet foods have the potential to cause damage to their body and could make them suffer from diarrhea, flatulence, and colic, their palate tends to evolve, which is why they avoid eating sugary substances.

If you’ve found your cat eating something sweet, most especially in large amount, make sure you take it to the vet immediately.

Cats Want Meat Instead

Felines are only interested in eating one thing and that’s meat. They aren’t interested in other treats, unlike dogs.

Nevertheless, most of the commercial cat foods today contain corn and some other grains. On average, about 20% of the ingredients used for these treats have grains and other ingredients in them, which is also why some cats end up suffering from diabetes. The body of a cat just can’t seem to handle all the carbs from these foods.

Cats Develop Their Sense of Taste in Infancy

As mentioned above, cats develop their sense of taste since their infancy, which is usually during their first six months of being born.

Exposing your cat to different flavors is one way to make them adapt to different foods and keep your pet from being choosy on food when they reach the adult years.

red cat lying on owner feet in bed at christmas

Getting your kitten to eat the same type of food every single day can make them a demanding eater. As they enter adulthood years, they will find it difficult to adapt to the different flavors of aroma from the various foods that you introduce to them.

However, we should be very mindful of the living conditions of our cat because this could greatly affect their eating habits.

Cats are unable to identify sweet taste but if we let them eat the same sugary foods that we eat, we’ll end up exposing our pets to unwanted adaptation that could pose a risk to their health.

Final Thoughts

As a pet owner, it’s very important that you know what foods are safe to feed to your cat. Just because your cat behaves like a human being doesn’t mean it has the same sense of taste as that of humans.

You should know by now that cats are unable to taste sweet foods and exposing them to these types of foods can put them in a lot of danger.

Also, you need to be careful with the type of commercial food that you’re buying for your cat. Read the ingredients well to ensure that they don’t contain lots of carbs that your cat may not be able to process well.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on print

Other Posts You May Like...

Cat coughing

Confirmation Ezoic 2021 Coughing is a common problem in cats. Here are the key points we’ll discuss in our post: Causes of Coughing in Cats

Read More »