Palatability is the word used to describe how well an animal likes the flavor, aroma and texture of a food.
While taste and smell are very important to a cat, the shape and texture are equally as important. When approaching a food, the first thing a cat does is sniff it. If it passes the sniff test, they'll give it a try.
Shape and texture determine whether or not the cat will continue to eat the food. The way it breaks apart in the mouth, the size, and moisture content are all considerations. Studies show that cats continually prefer a new or fresh shape or flavor of food. Moisture, fat content, meat additives, proteins and acidity are also things that will determine palatability. Pet food companies consider all of these things when formulating pet food