The cat sense of taste is one sense that human beings rein dominance over cats. While we have approximately 9,000 taste buds on our tongues, your cat only has 473. So compared to humans’ cat taste is weak. Your cat’s pleasure for food is stemmed from his acute ability to smell rather than his taste. Therefore, your cat may sniff at that costly delicacy you just put down for him and walk away without even tasting it. This is mainly due to the Jacobson’s organ in the roof of his mouth that enables him to taste sent molecules. So basically your cat can taste food without eating it.
Cats being carnivores like their wild ancestors ate freshly killed prey, so they prefer their food to be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the same temperature as their tongue. That is why food straight from the fridge may not appeal to your kitty. Heating it up will intensify the aroma if your kitty does not want to eat.
Humans have taste buds that can distinguish sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and meaty/savory. Because they are carnivores, the cat sense of taste can distinguish between sour, bitter and salt foods, but sweets are meaningless to them. They do not need to eat sugar of carbohydrates, therefore there is no reason for them to have a taste for it. Because they are meat eaters, they cannot properly digest carbohydrates. Most pet food manufacturers use grains as their primary ingredient. This is one of the reasons why many cats will eventually get diabetes. Some people might think that their cats have a sweet tooth, but they do not. What they are attracted to is the fat content of the food. Cats can easily detect fat.
Cats are also sensitive to bitter taste, this may have a lot to do with their carnivorous ancestors avoiding the skin of toxic animals that is found in the skin of prey species such as frogs, reptiles and invertebrates. Think how nasty a toad would taste. When cats eat a mouse, there may be a blackish blog left behind that is not touched by your cat, that is the gall bladder which is filled with bitter bile.
Cats also have a preference in the consistency of their foods. They like small kibble over crumbs, and they prefer different shapes to their kibble. However, they tend to prefer soft food over hard food. With the cat sense of taste no wonder they can be so finicky at times.