As with human food, what appears on a cat food label is regulated by the U.S. government. Regardless of packaging, all cat foods must provide the same information on their labels.
Product name: What kind of cat food is it? The product name usually highlights a key ingredient, but not always.
Net weight: How much is in the container?
Statement of purpose or intent: Somewhere on the package, it must say that this food is specifically for cats. This sounds like a no-brainer, but cats have very particular nutritional needs that demand they have certain things in their diet.
Ingredient list: By law, ingredients must be listed in decreasing order according to weight. But keep in mind, moisture content affects weight. So ingredients that are moisture-heavy, such as chicken or lamb, are listed higher on the ingredient list than the same ingredient that is added in a dry form.
Guaranteed analysis: States the minimum or maximum amount of certain nutrients, including protein, fat, and fiber. Nutrients are different from ingredients.
Feeding directions: Explains how to feed the product to the cat. Such directions are to be considered general guidelines, not rules. Ask your veterinarian for specific instructions.
Nutritional adequacy statement: This tells you for which specific lifestyle and age of cat the food is intended. For example, is it for growing kitties or full-grown felines?
Statement of responsibility: Lists the company responsible for making the product and how you can contact them.