Why Your Cat is a Picky Eater – Simple Solution Explained by Science
Thanks to a study published in a 2016 issue of Royal Society Open Science, we now know why your cat is a picky eater. Thankfully, there is a simple solution explained by the science and research done to help our feline friends with a healthy diet.
Cats are very in tune with their instincts. While we humans may struggle with food ratios, cats instinctively know that they need nearly twice as much protein as fat. They can also easily recognize when their food doesn’t have that magical healthy ratio of 1 to 0.4 according to the study. Where humans prefer tasty treats, cats naturally crave protein-rich foods. Basically, if our brains worked the same as a cat, we’d choose tofu over donuts every time.
In fact, cat’s don’t factor flavor and taste into food the same way we do. Joseph Rucker, from Integral Molecular, and co-author of a study published in the journal BMC Neuroscience, explained, “Feline bitter taste has not been well studied. We applied our experience in studying membrane proteins, such as taste receptors, to enable this first glimpse into how domestic cats perceive bitterness in food at a molecular level.” And, low and behold, our furry friends are sensitive to bitter compounds, but have a limited range beyond that. “We were surprised to see that one of the cat taste receptors responded to a more limited range of bitter compounds compared to humans, suggesting that cats may be detecting a narrower, or at least a different, repertoire of bitter-tasting compounds.”
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This healthy diet habit naturally built into cats brains may be a huge factor into why your cat is a picky eater. However, if your furry friend was doing well with a food, but had a sudden change of heart, that could be a cause for concern. Any sudden shifts in diet preferences should be discussed with your vet, but it could be as simple as a change in routine that your cat dislikes.
Of course, it’s always best to check with your vet when it comes to your pet’s health. Is your cat a picky eater? Share your experiences in the comment section below.