Saturday 23 December 2023

The reason why domestic cats are obligate carnivores (hyper-carnivores)

This article is going to be short and it is an extension of another article I wrote a few moments ago. It's a nice theory (a suggestion but a good one) proposed by James Sanderson PhD in his book Small Wild Cats (co-author Patrick Watson). In that earlier article I explained why the entire family of cats cannot taste sweetness. 

Cats evolved from a fierce sabre-toothed predator that prowled North America 42 million years ago, according to new research. San Diego Natural History Museum SWNS. Image assessed as being in the public domain. Wrong? Tell me please.

It is due to a genetic mutation which occurred very early on in the evolution of the cat which is why every lineage of which there are eight are affected by this 'defect'. 
In 2005, scientists discovered that all cats lack one of a pair of proteins required to sense sweetness. The missing protein was the result of a deletion, the loss of part of a chromosome or sequence of DNA in a gene. - Sanderson and Watson
This defect was caused after all by a genetic defect or mutation which resulted in the omission of some DNA which in turn resulted in the failure of the cat to have receptors in their tongue to detect sweetness although they retained the skill to detect bitterness which helps to protect them because often toxins are bitter.
Unlike humans and some other animals, cats lack the taste receptors known as "T1R2" and "T1R3," which are responsible for detecting sweetness. - AI computer Poe.
So the reason why domestic cats and all cats of all species are hyper-carnivores is because they can't taste sweetness. It is only plants that can taste sweet because of photosynthesis creating sugars such as sucrose. Cats can't enjoy the sweetness of plants and therefore they don't eat plants whereas cats enjoy the taste of flesh and became obligate carnivores.

That's the argument. It's a very interesting argument and one which states that the entire evolution of the cat species into hyper-carnivores can be put down to a single genetic mutation of chromosomes and genes in the very early evolution of the true cat which has taken about 30 million years or longer. The scientists are still working that out!


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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