Palatable oral pharmaceuticals are crucial for feline medication. The pharmaceutical industry prefers synthetic flavours over organic ones because of hygiene and regulatory issues. The aim of this study was to find a palatable synthetic flavour for future taste-masking of feline pharmaceuticals. The hypothesis was that synthetic meat aromas and free amino acids would be palatable to cats. The palatability of 18 synthetically flavoured mini-tablets was screened with 10–19 pet cats using a rapid 3-portal acceptance test with and without food. The tested flavours were synthetic amino acids (L-carnitine, l-glutamic acid monosodium salt hydrate, l-leucine, l-methionine, l-phenylalanine, l-proline, and taurine), d-(+)-Maltose monohydrate and thiamine hydrochloride. Furthermore, thiamine hydrochloride was combined with amino acids (l-cysteine, l-leucine, l-methionine and l-proline) and synthetic meat flavours (2-acetylpyridine, 2-acetylthiazole, 2-pentylpyridine and 4-hydroxy-5-methyl-3(2H)-furanone). The negative control was a non-flavoured placebo mini-tablet, while positive controls were an organic yeast-flavoured mini-tablet and a yeast- and fish-based commercial vitamin tablet in mini-tablet form. No significant differences were detected between palatable synthetic flavours and the placebo, nor between the synthetic flavours and the yeast flavour. In general, the mini-tablet seemed to be small enough to be accepted inside a food item. These results differ from the earlier literature about the taste preferences of cats for amino acids, and hence free amino acids should not be considered palatable to cats based purely on previous findings.
Fields of Science
- 317 Pharmacy
- 413 Veterinary science
Savolainen, S., Hautala, J., Junnila, J., Airaksinen, S., Juppo, A. M., Raekallio, M., & Vainio, O. (2019). Acceptability of flavoured pharmaceutically non-active mini-tablets in pet cats tested with a rapid 3-portal acceptance test with and without food. Veterinary and Animal Science, 7, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vas.2019.100054