Taste rejection of nonnutritive sweeteners in cats

J Comp Physiol Psychol. 1975 Oct;89(8):971-5. doi: 10.1037/h0077172.


Cats reject saccharin and cyclamate and are indifferent to dulcin, although they, like other mammals, prefer sucrose. The rejection threshold for saccharin found in this experiments, .0001 M, is about 2 log steps lower than a previously reported rejection threshold for sodium saccharin. Water produces a taste in cats adapted to their own saliva. The high sodium saccharin threshold may have resulted because the taste of the sodium saccharin was masked by the taste of the water solvent; however, saccharin may also be somewhat more aversive to the cat than sodium saccharin. Saccharin may produce an aversive taste because it stimulates receptor sites sensitive to substances bitter to man as well as those sensitive to sugars. In addition, saccharin may not be an effective stimulus for all sugar-sensitive sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Cats*
  • Cyclamates*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Male
  • Saccharin*
  • Sucrose
  • Taste Threshold
  • Taste*
  • Water


  • Cyclamates
  • Water
  • Sucrose
  • Saccharin