Cat Food and Cat Feeding Preferences

What causes a cat to choose one cat food over another? Researchers look at taste and palatability.

By BowTie Editors | Posted: Thu Jan 30 00:00:00 PST 2003

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Cats like food with good "palatability."
When it comes to cat food and cat's feeding preferences, taste and palatability are not the same thing. Palatability is crucial to a cat's decision to eat something. Cats are sensitive to the taste, texture and physical shape of their food, and these factors determine palatability. Experiments show that cats surprisingly prefer a new or novel shape or flavor of food. Cat food ingredients that have been determined to affect palatability for cats are moisture, animal fats, protein hydrolysates, meat extracts, certain proteins and acidity. Pet food manufacturers use this information to maximize palatability when formulating food for cats.

Read more on cat food ingredients.
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Reader Comments

CatChannelEditor    Irvine, CA

3/18/2012 9:36:25 PM

Jenny -- It sounds like your cat is better, but only a vet can tell you with certainty what has happened to her.

Jenny    Monticello, MN

3/12/2012 7:52:02 PM

I have a 9 month old kitten and she threw up her food 2 times in 2 days. She has energy and is eating and hasn't threw up again. Should I be concerned??
Annabella is her name and you can find her on Cat Channel at 218054

Michalle    Portland, OR

1/21/2012 4:12:02 PM

I tried a newer type of Science Diet food on Thunderpaw, but she doesn't like it at all. She refuses to eat it at all. She likes her regular type of food only.

Jeannette    Orem, UT

10/2/2011 8:02:32 PM

So, what should we actually look for on the lables? I can't seem to find a straight answer! I know that just naming one brand above another is a no-no, but if we could get some sort of "perfect ingredient" list it would be very helpful!

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