Cats. The pets that we all love to hate and hate to love. I have two glorious bastards. One is social, cuddly and nice. The other is not. When I look at them though, I don’t only see two cuddly pets. I also see two ferocious predators. Predators which have annihilated species and is possibly one of the biggest human caused threats to wildlife. So how do I know that they are not plotting to kill me? Well, cats are actually pretty good communicators. They will let you know what they think: meow = hungry, kneading = hungry, purring = hungry. All in all, I love my hungry cats.
Now, considering the latest human diet fad, LFHC and co., how can cats get so adorably fat? This is actually super interesting! First of, they lack the taste receptor responsible for sweet taste, which should make resisting cake rather easy. Further, they lack the enzymes that humans (and dogs) have evolved in order to break down starch already while we are chewing. So what do they have that we do not? As you probably know, the mighty human brain is fueled by glucose, lots of glucose. But what happens when we fast for long periods of time? During sleep, for example, when we deplete our glucose stores, our livers actually have to convert stored protein into glucose. All in order to feed that greedy brain. During fasting, or the “argh I have eaten so much I want to lie down and sleep”-condishun, our blood glucose levels never change by more than 100% (if we are healthy). Our bodies are able to maintain this tight balance due to the livers’ ability to turn glucose production on and off depending on the energy status of the body. So, what about cats then? Cats never eat any sugar, and consume only limited amounts of carbohydrates. How do they feed their (less mighty) brains? And, how come they dont get the figure that all LHFC prophets strive for?
As opposed to our livers ability to regulate glucose production according to energy status, cat livers are constantly on call in order to maintain necessary blood glucose levels. Which means that cats are basically on a constant Atkins-diet. No wonder all they ever communicate is hunger.
Which reminds me, I have to feed them.