SENSORY™: More than just a meal, an experience for cats

Have you ever wondered how your cat experiences the world? A cat’s senses are the gateway to their reality. How those senses are stimulated ultimately determines how your cat feels with mealtime and nutrition also being important for their overall health. Keep reading to learn how you can offer your cat a better sensory experience and help to improve their well-being every day.

Discover Sensory™ Wet (NEW!)

Take care of your cat’s well-being and offer them more than just a meal, offer them a full experience! Click on this link to get a voucher to discover the new Sensory™ Wet range from Royal Canin.

Understanding a cat's super senses

Cats are unique for many reasons, but the distinct nature of their senses is key to understanding how to enhance their well-being. Consider this: a feline’s sense of smell is 14 times more powerful than for humans. However, with only 470 taste buds (compared to over 9,000 in humans!), their sense of taste isn’t very strong, but highly refined. These are but a few sensorial particularities among cats that have been typically overlooked in pet nutrition, despite the great impact of the senses on their food preferences.

Until now.

Using our feline expertise and the latest research on cat food palatability, Royal Canin® has created an entire wet range specifically designed to stimulate cats’ unique senses. Discover the three different products tailored to your cat’s smell, taste, and mouthfeel, that will offer variation, a sensorially-rich experience, and helps improve their overall well-being every day.


Stimulate their sense of smell

Smell is the feline’s strongest sense. Cats possess 200 million odour-sensitive cells in the nose while humans only have 5 million. Your cat’s first contact with food is through their nose and all those powerful and numerous olfactive receptors, which places a lot of importance on that first aromatic impression. This initial contact is further enhanced by sniffing. If a cat is greatly attracted to their food’s aroma, they will sniff less and begin eating immediately, demonstrating an appreciation for the pleasurable meal. That first impression is key to ensuring the feeding ritual is smooth and facilitates the consumption of the right amount of nutrients, as well as an opportunity to connect with your cat and provide fundamental enrichment.

As a result, Royal Canin’s Sensory™ Smell formulas are crafted with an aromatic profile made from sustainably-sourced, ASC certified fish. Sensory™ Smell is characterised by fatty, fruity, and nutty odours that are highly attractive to a cat’s sense of smell. The aroma’s profile has a composition technology that allows odours to diffuse more rapidly and intensely around the food, making for a successful start to the meal and an overall immersive experience for your cat.


Unlock their sense of taste

Although your cat’s sense of taste isn’t the strongest due to having fewer taste buds, it is uniquely specialised. They are particularly perceptive of subtle food flavours, especially umami. Umami is often described as a savoury taste that is found especially in meats. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are critical to obtaining an umami flavour, which is independent of the other four traditional basic tastes — sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Because of their carnivorous predisposition, cats are sensitive to the meaty flavours associated with umami. Royal Canin’s Sensory™ Taste formulas are crafted with toasted, meaty, and caramelized hints that will stimulate your cat’s unique sense of taste.

Reinforce their sense of texture 

During meals, the sensation of different textures in your cat’s mouth strongly influences their feeding experience. This sensory characteristic known as mouthfeel involves the detection of a wide range of physical stimuli inside the mouth. In other words, eating is a tactile (touch) experience as much, if not more, than a gustative (taste) one, for cats. That’s why Royal Canin’s Sensory™ Feel improves mouthfeel, further stimulating your cat’s senses whilst bringing surprise and enrichment to mealtime. Its formulas are crafted with unique gravy and jelly textures that are creamier with a smoother coating that will last longer in your cat’s mouth. The unique natural-cut morsels consist of more stringy meat-like chunks provide appealing variation in textural sensations throughout your cat’s meal.

Discovering how your cat is enjoying their meal

It’s possible to detect signs of meal approval long before the food reaches your cat’s bowl. Keep an eye on these meal appreciation indicators before, during, and after the meal.

Signs of anticipation

  •   Instantly appearing as you’re preparing their food
  •   Being vocal by meowing and purring
  •   Soliciting you by weaving around you
  •   Reaching up or jumping on the kitchen counter

Signs of enjoyment while eating

  •   A relaxed body posture
  •   Licking their lips frequently during the meal
  •  A tail at rest, not weaving

Signs of enjoyment overall

  •   Your cat's bowl is left spotlessly clean!

Mix it up! Make Sensory™ part of your mixed feeding routine

Why is a Mixed Feeding routine key for your cat’s health? For starters, cats can tend to prefer wet food which better stimulates their sense of smell and boosts their appetite. Wet food also offers other health advantages such as hydration, urinary system support, fewer calories, and greater comfort for cats with oral sensitivities. Simultaneously, dry food presents important advantages too, like preserving oral health by reducing dental plaque and offering variation in texture and palatbility. Dry food can also remain in a bowl or a feeding toy without spoiling, allowing your cat to have continuous access to food throughout the day. A mix of both wet food and dry food therefore allows for the kind of variety that will keep your cat a healthy, enriched eater.