Factors influencing the food preference of cats

I. Hullár, S. Fekete, E. Andrásofszky, Z. Szöcs, T. Berkényi

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Four individual preference tests were carried out using the same 10 castrated adult cats. The main questions investigated were: (i) do the cats prefer diets having one dominant taste or diets made from a relatively wide range of compounds of animal origin and (ii) can the preference be connected to one taste? In test 1 a dry diet (K) made by a world-renowned company having a beef taste was compared with four others (I, II, III, IV) dry foods prepared at the authors' institute in order to prevent any one of the mixtures having a predominant taste. In test 2 diets I, II, III and IV were compared with each other in the absence of diet K. In test 3 another four diets with different dominant tastes (fish, liver, poultry with fat addition and poultry without fat addition) were investigated. In test 4 the same three tastes (beef, fish and poultry) were compared with each other by using diets of three world-renowned companies. From the results the following conclusions can be drawn. Cats undoubtedly use smell in the detection and selection of food. If cats find the odour of a certain food is significantly more attractive than that of the other, they will consume it exclusively and without tasting the less attractive food. If none of the diets are especially attractive, according to smell, cats will also taste the foods and make their decision on the basis of both senses. Diets having one dominant taste result in a higher feed intake than that reached by diets without a dominant taste. If a diet is manufactured well, its dominant taste may have less effect on diet consumption. Food preference does not seem to be connected to one exclusive taste but is significantly influenced by other factors connected to the manufacturing of the diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - aug. 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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