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- Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
- Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
- Above average protein content – 0 Star
- Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 0 Star
- Catological Discretionary Rating – 0 Star
Here’s a few important points:
- Meat is the first ingredient
- Quite a lot of filler ingredients, both in number and volume
- Low protein, high carbohydrate
- Extra vitamins and high quality, proteinate versions of some minerals have been added
Go!’s Daily Defence product line includes 1 dry recipe/flavor.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage or packaging: Growth (G), Maintenance (M), All Life Stages (A), Supplemental (S) or Unspecified (U).
The star rating is a rough average of all of the flavors in a single line of food. If an individual recipe scored lower or higher, we will mark that below, next to the flavor.
Go! Daily Defence Chicken
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||22%||32%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||44%||26%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Chicken Meal, De-Boned Chicken, Whole Brown Rice, Whole White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salmon Meal, Natural Chicken Flavour, Sunflower Oil, Rice Bran, Apples, Carrots, Potatoes, Cranberries, Flaxseed Oil, Whole Dried Egg, Salmon Oil, Alfalfa, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (a Source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Inositol, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulphate, Zinc Oxide, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulphate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Dl-Methionine, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Rosemary.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food is chicken meal. Good.
Chicken is a very good protein source for cats.
Chicken meal is a concentrated form of chicken, and is considered a high quality ingredient.
In short, much of the moisture of the chicken is taken away, and you are left with a very high-protein, low-moisture powder-like substance.
The inclusion of chicken meal helps to ensure a very high protein level.
The second ingredient is deboned chicken. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, chicken is a very good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that chicken contains about 70% water, so when it is processed and cooked for use in cat food, it will become a smaller part of the total recipe.
The third and fourth ingredients are whole brown rice and whole white rice. Bad.
It may be slightly better than corn in some areas, but rice is simply not biologically appropriate for cats.
It is a filler ingredient.
Studies hypothesize that rice may decrease taurine absorption in cats, leading to taurine deficiency, a dangerous ailment.
The fifth ingredient is oatmeal. Bad.
Oats are generally a good source of fiber and energy for humans and even other animals, but grains are not biologically appropriate for cats.
We believe that oats of any kind have no place in a recipe that looks to mirror natural feline diets.
There are better options for fiber, like pumpkin or coconut.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Good.
Named animal fats in cat food is usually a good thing. Cats do need a fair amount of fat.
Chicken fat is a great source of healthy fats and omega fatty acids.
It is preferred to canola oil or unnamed animal fats.
The sixth ingredient is salmon meal. Good.
A good source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Fish oils support the health of the skin, coat, joint, kidneys, heart, and immune system, and may even help with serious illnesses such as cancer.
Salmon meal is a concentrated form of salmon, and is considered a high quality ingredient.
After natural flavors, the seventh ingredient is sunflower oil. Good.
This is a decent source of fat for energy and potentially for a healthy coat.
Some prefer meat-based fats, like chicken fat, but sunflower seed oil is not bad.
The eighth ingredient is rice bran. Bad.
Another unnecessary rice ingredient, rice bran is a cheap filler that may lead to digestive upset.
This recipe includes a number of other ingredients, but once you get down this far, none of them will be in large enough quantities to make a real difference, except for the added vitamins and minerals.
However, there are still a few things you should know.
Potatoes are included. These are typically used as filler in grain-free recipes. They are not biologically appropriate and may cause digestive upset.
This recipe uses the proteinate form of minerals, which means that they should be easier to digest for your cat, and be more readily available for her body to use to maintain her health. This is usually a sign of a quality food.
To read a more in depth article about any of the ingredients listed here, check out our Cat Food Ingredient Wiki (currently under development).
The Catological Verdict on Go! Daily Defence Dry Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is a below average dry product.
The recipe starts with meat, which is always a good sign, but there obviously isn’t much in here, since the protein content is so low.
A variety of fillers are used, which give it a very high carbohydrate content, which is not what your cat needs for a healthy body and life.
It has below average protein, and significantly above average carbohydrate amounts.
This is not a good example of a dry food you should be feeding your cat.
A combination of meat being the first ingredient and there being quite a lot of fillers have us believing that it’s not just a meat-based recipe. Therefore we can safely assume that this is a mixed meat- and plant-based cat food, which is not quite ideal for your carnivorous feline’s dietary needs.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 36% protein, 22% fat, and 32% carbs.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Below average protein.
- Average fat.
- Above average carbs.
Because the first ingredient is meat, but there are way too many unnecessary filler ingredients, our rating for this brand is 2 stars.
Go!’s Cat Food Recall History
We do not believe that a recall indicates a low quality food or company, and we respect the fact that sometimes things happen that cause a manufacturer to recall a food.
Usually these things are non-life-threatening, and we think it’s important to take a moment to be thankful about just how few recalls there really are in the industry, considering the enormous volume of food produced.
However, we do believe that a history of recalls may point to a larger issue with a company, and that discerning consumers want to know who they’re buying from, especially when it comes to something as important as the food you feed your beloved cat.
Here is a list of recalls that have affected the Go! brand in the past:
- November 2003 – Reports of liver failure and disease – All products manufactured in Texas affected
If you want to stay up to date on the latest recall information affecting your cat’s food, sign up to our email list and receive an email every time a recall is announced. We’ll also let you know about any updated ratings, recipe changes, or new cat foods on the market. (Our alert system will be launched shortly, check back soon.)
Where To Buy Go! Dry Cat Food
We recommend purchasing your pet products from Chewy.com. They continually prove that they walk the walk while talking the talk, and I’ve never dealt with a more dedicated pet-parent base of people than those who work at Chewy.
Plus, they offer 20% off and free shipping on lots of orders.
Check out our ratings and reviews of the best cat foods in our comprehensive, data-backed guide right here.