Cats are obligate carnivores. They can eat stuff that isn’t meat, and derive some nutrition from it, but then again the same is true for us and Oreos. (Although cats have no actual need for carbs like we do.)
A few years ago I had to track down an allergy in my Russian Blue, so I went through extensive food trials. Did every high-end brand of canned food for months at a time. I finally settled on a solution that is higher quality and cheaper than any of those: once a month I get six pounds of freshly ground chicken (bones and all, everything but the viscera, not just the bits that modern humans eat) from the local butcher. That costs me $1.29/lb. I put that (and 300mg of taurine powder, just to keep the vet happy) in the crock pot for a couple hours and freeze it in one pound blocks. Far, far, cheaper than all but nastiest and grayest of canned cat foods, and is exactly what his metabolism actually needs. He gets ~1.5oz. twice a day, and doesn’t always finish it in one sitting.
The results are stunning. He is the only indoor adult cat I know of that’s not morbidly obese, and his shit is dry and odorless. If he eats any significant amount of carb-based foods, even high quality dry cat food, his shit is soft, wet, and will stank up the house for a full day.
Of course, he still absolutely loves dry cat food. But then again, I love Oreos, too.