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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Your Cats May Be Mutants Too

Everybody knows that cats love milk. And everybody knows that you shouldn't give milk to cats because they're lactose intolerant just like humans. Right?

Maybe not.

An article by Regina and Douglas Haggo in The Hamilton Spectator drops an odd little tidbit in the middle of a comment on the much-talked about study that says Milk-Drinking Crucial to Human Evolution.

The availability of cows' milk turned a useless mutation into an invaluable one. Natural selection would favour people with the lactose-digesting gene switched on permanently, because they could profit from the calories, vitamins and minerals in milk.

Many European cat breeds show a similar mutation that allows them to enjoy milk as adults, while oriental breeds, like most Asian humans, are lactose-intolerant.

Is this true? Any cat-fanciers out there know the facts?

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