6 Things Your Vet Wants You to Know About Cat Food
1. There’s not one best kind of protein.
Cats need animal protein, fat, and other vitamins and minerals — and they can get these nutrients from many different sources. The protein in commercial cat foods can come from chicken, poultry, beef, lamb, fish, liver, or meat or chicken “byproducts,” also called “meal.”
For a healthy cat without food allergies, any of these ingredients (in either wet or dry form) are fine choices, says Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, an associate professor at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Instead of worrying about specific ingredients, look for a food’s nutritional guarantee. Its label should say that tests by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) have shown that the product “provides complete and balanced nutrition,” or that it “is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.” Foods (or treats) that don’t have one of these statements shouldn’t be your cat’s main meal.