The most nutritious cat foods are composed mainly of meat ingredients rather than meat-flavored products. Both animal protein and fat must be key ingredients for optimal nutrition. Nutritional cat foods are labeled properly and indicate a balanced formula for the age and type of cat for which they are intended.
Some of the best animal protein sources for cat food include beef, fish, chicken and turkey. Protein by-products such as liver and lungs and by-product meals are also acceptable. According to PetMD.com, grains in cat food are a controversial subject. Some veterinarians argue that they are a necessary source of energy, while others say that a diet low in carbohydrates is better for cats. When cat food is labeled as grain-free, it does not necessary mean that it is low in carbohydrates since many companies replace the grains with another carbohydrate, such as potatoes.
Both dry and moist cat foods can have good nutritional content. Veterinarians recommend that cats who dislike drinking water eat moist food in order to stay hydrated. Cats should also be fed according to their age, body type and health needs. For example, a low-fat diet may be recommended by a veterinarian for an overweight cat.