Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.
- According to the Christian Science Monitor, cats have a very highly developed sense of bitter flavors. How does this adaptation benefit cats—why is it a “product of evolution”?
- In the wild, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they depend on meat for survival. A bitter taste can indicate that meat is rotten or toxic. Learn more about how we taste—and why it matters—with our video spotlight here.
- What other animals do you think might have a highly developed sensitivity to bitter flavors?
- So, cats have a high sensitivity to bitter flavors. Why is this research important? What organizations do you think funded this research?
- The research may help pet-food companies make more popular and profitable products.
- The research was funded by corporations devoted to “pet palatability.” These businesses “partner with pet food manufacturers to create better-tasting dog and cat foods, treats, and supplements.”
Christian Science Monitor: Why is your cat such a picky eater? Scientists reveal clues.
Nat Geo: Crazy Cats video
Nat Geo: What is a carnivore?
(extra credit!) BMC Neuroscience: A functional comparison of the domestic cat bitter receptors Tas2r38 and Tas2r43 with their human orthologs