Cats are unique as mammals in that they are genetically incapable of tasting sweetness. Unlike other mammals, cats lack the ability to produce the amino acids necessary to create the "sweet" taste awareness in the brain, making sweetness a foreign concept to them.
More facts about cats:
- Though cats cannot taste sweetness, they do have the ability to taste adenosine triphosphate, a compound found in meat, which humans do not.
- Some scientists speculate that the reason so many cats get diabetes is because they also lack the ability to metabolize sugar properly, and many cat foods are made of corn or other sweet grains.
- The inability to taste sweet things applies to both big and small cats — from a lion to a house cat. However, even close relatives such as mongooses and hyenas can taste sweet things easily.