From the Editors of The Daily Cat
Traditionally, there are five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. We are all familiar with these, and cats have them too. But it’s true that cats do possess an extra sense.
In his book Understanding Cat Behaviour: The Complete Feline Problem Solver, cat expert Roger Tabor explains that this sixth sense allows cats to “taste scent,” or interpret smells in ways that we cannot. An organ between your cat’s nose and incisor teeth is responsible for this ability.
If you notice your cat grimacing, this isn’t necessarily out of disgust. The expression permits air, which contains organic molecules, to waft close to the special organ for processing. The cat’s tongue may be recruited to help move and circulate the air, sort of like the feline version of wine tasting.
Tabor explains that the main use of this sense is for a less elegant purpose -- urine analysis. But cats appear to utilize taste-scent in assessing food quality too.