|Photo by Lalie (Flickr)|
The taste buds (mushroom shaped papillae - "nipple-like structures"1) are located on the tip and sides of the tongue, while a set of "cup-shaped papillae" are situated at the back of the tongue.
Cats pick up these tastes:
So a cat's sense of taste is relatively poor. This failing is made up by the presence of an acute sense of smell. My cats are definitely more motivated to eat cat food by its smell than taste. Cats check out food by smelling it. The signals from taste buds and nose are processed in the same part of the brain, apparently, showing their close association2. See also Smells That Cats Hate and The Cats Nose.
1. Wikipedia Authors
2. Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook current edition page 491.
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