Q. What information can I take away from the ingredient list on a cat food label?
A. The order of the ingredient list on a cat food label provides owners with useful information. As determined by its weight, the most prevalent ingredient in the food has to be listed first, the next most prevalent is listed second, and so on. While it's important to focus on the ingredients that appear high on the list, those lower down are equally important and usually refer to the vitamins and minerals that are added in small amounts to the diet.
It is important to remember that an ingredient's weight includes any water that it may contain prior to a food's processing. Therefore, a heavy ingredient (e.g., chicken) that contains a lot of water may appear high on the list but contribute relatively less to a food's nutrient profile than does a lighter ingredient (e.g., chicken meal) that appears a few positions lower.