Go! Daily Defence Cat Food (Wet) Review And Nutritional Analysis

Rating

  • Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
  • Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
  • Above average protein content – 0.5 Star
  • Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 0.5 Star
  • Catological Discretionary Rating – 0 Star

Here’s a few important points:

  • Meat is the first ingredient
  • A variety of meats are used, including liver meat in each recipe
  • Some fillers are used, and while it’s not a huge amount, they do push the protein levels down and the carbohydrate levels slightly up, which is unnecessary, especially in a wet food
  • Decent protein, good fat amounts, but the carbohydrate level is too high

Go!’s Daily Defence product line includes 3 wet recipes/flavors.

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 wet cat food can

Go! Daily Defence Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Go! Daily Defence Chicken

Wet Cat Food

Estimated Nutrient Content
ProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis43%24%22%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%47%18%

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein

43%

Fat

24%

Carbs

22%

Fiber (guaranteed analysis)

0.4%

Calories/100g

91

Is real, named meat the first ingredient?

Yes

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Salmon Broth, Chicken Liver, Brown Rice, Dried Egg Whites, Potato Starch, Salmon, Carrots, Apples, Guar GumOats, Red Peppers, Natural Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Cranberry Meal, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Dl-Methionine, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Beta Carotene.

Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.

Ingredient Breakdown

The first ingredient in this cat food is 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 second ingredient is chicken broth. Good.

Instead of using water for processing, chicken broth is added for moisture.

Broth may contain vitamins and nutrients from the original animal (chicken, in this case), that water would lack.

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

The third ingredient is salmon broth. Good.

Instead of using water for processing, salmon broth is added for moisture.

Broth may contain vitamins and nutrients from the original animal (salmon, in this case), that water would lack.

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

We don’t recommend feeding cats a diet high in fish, but there’s likely not enough of this in the recipe to worry about it.

The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. Good.

Liver is an important organ meat that your cat would eat in the wild to get extra protein, vitamins, and minerals.

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

The fifth ingredient is brown 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 sixth ingredient is dried egg whites. Good.

Even though eggs are not meat, they are a highly digestible form of protein.

In fact, they are one of the most complete, bioavailable forms of protein for both humans and cats.

As long as it is not the main protein ingredient, the addition of egg is a quality ingredient

The seventh ingredient is potato starch. Bad.

This is typically used as filler in grain-free recipes.

Potatoes are not biologically appropriate and may cause digestive upset.

The eighth ingredient is salmon. OK, but with reservations.

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.

However, do we not believe cats should be fed a diet high in fish.

Cats may be allergic to fish, fish may contain toxins from contaminated waters, and in the wild, it is not common to find cats who eat fish, even if they live close to water.

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.

This recipe utilizes chelated minerals, which may be easier to digest and more bioavailable for your cat. This is usually a sign of a high quality cat food.

Guar gum comes from guar beans, and is a thickening agent.

In small quantities, like those in cat food, it should be a harmless ingredient.

However, some research has shown that including guar gum in a commercial cat food “had a significant negative effect on apparent protein digestibility in many of the cats and tended to depress apparent fat and energy digestibilities.”

While not heavily substantiated beyond this study, it might mean your cat needs to eat more protein to make up for the lower digestibility.

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.

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 Wet Cat Food

From top to bottom, this is an average wet product.

Meat is the first ingredient, and a variety of cuts are used. Organ meat is a useful addition to all flavors.

There are, however, too many carbohydrate fillers, like rice and potatoes. These are unnecessary and not appropriate for a feline diet.

Carbohydrate levels are way too high for a wet food, ranging from 10% to 22% on a Dry Matter Basis. Many top wet foods are able to deliver a 0% carbohydrate food, so including fillers is disappointing.

This is an OK but not great example of a wet food you should be feeding your cat.

Since meat makes up the first few ingredients, and the carbohydrate levels aren’t off the charts, we can safely assume this is a meat-based food, which is ideal for your carnivorous feline’s dietary needs.

To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 43% protein, 24% fat, and 22% carbs.

As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 47%, and average fat content of 27%, and an average carb content of 16%.

Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:

  • Average protein.
  • Above average fat.
  • Average carbs.

Because the first ingredient is meat, multiple types of quality meat are used, but the added carbohydrates are not quite appropriate for a feline diet, our rating for this brand is 3 stars.

Somewhat recommended.

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! Daily Defence Wet 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. 

Not Convinced?

Check out our ratings and reviews of the best cat foods in our comprehensive, data-backed guide right here.

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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