1. Home

Discuss in my forum

Review: The Goodlife Recipe Food for Cats

With real chicken, brown rice, and garden greens

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating
User Rating 2.5 Star Rating (13 Reviews)


6 Key ingredient groups from back of package

Goodlife Recipe Food Pyramid

Image © Franny Syufy

When I was first approached to review a new quality natural cat food product, I was pretty enthusiastic at the concept of a wholesome line of cat food intended for marketing in stores like Walmart, KMart and grocery store chains. Indeed, when I received a sample bag of The Goodlife Recipe food for cats, my cats eagerly scarfed it up. The bag is attractive, and advertises "with real chicken, brown rice, and garden greens" on the front, along with "no artificial flavors or preservatives - no fillers - taste guarantee." Sounds pretty good, right?

Taking a Closer Look at Ingredients

The back of The Goodlife Recipe bag identifies the 6 key ingredient groups, which makes Goodlife "naturally balanced" within its food group pyramid. Those groups, reading from the top of the pyramid down, are:
  • Natural nutrient-rich vegetables
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Real natural chicken
  • Healthy oils
  • Natural whole grains
  • Antioxidants
So far, so good. Note, however, that the protein content hovers toward the middle of the pyramid - this in a product for obligate carnivores, while the base of the triangle is firmly consisted of starch. Furthermore, imagine my chagrin when I finally found the full list of ingredients hidden in the fold of the side of the bag:

Ground corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat, chicken, whole grain brown rice, natural poultry flavor, dried peas, dried beet pulp, wheat flour, rice, brewers dried yeast, salt, potassium chloride, wheat gluten, choline chloride, titanium dioxide, calcium carbonate, dried spinach, dried tomatoes, dried carrots, skim milk powder...and a long list of vitamins and minerals.

Without the first four listed ingredients (by weight), I might be tempted to buy this food. Please note that the complete list of ingredients can be found on the product's web site, but it may take some searching on your part. I am forbidden by the Mars, Inc., legal policy to "deep-link" directly to the listed ingredients.

Mars, Inc. and the Pet Food Recall

In fairness, right off the bat, I'll mention that at the time I originally reviewed The Goodlife Recipe, its web site had a disclaimer right at the top of its main page that it was not part of the pet food recall or 2007, and that the FDA had "validated" the safety of foods not on the recall list. Only history will tell how effective that "validation" was.

The Bottom Line

Since I normally review "premium" cat foods, which I feed my own cats by policy, my rating of The Goodlife Recipe is 2.0, compared to those foods. The large quantity of corn, and the placement of chicken by-product meal well ahead of "chicken" simply does not qualify this food as a premium food, in my opinion. If you read the glossary definition of chicken by-product meal, I think you will agree that chicken feet and intestines do not supply a "premium" source of protein for cats. I hope that Mars Inc. broadens Royal Canin USA's new policy of refusing to import Chinese vegetable proteins to include all its pet food products. Nonetheless, I simply cannot recommend this food, particularly in light of the availability of so many truly premium cats foods.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
No Litter odor, Member genaisme

I have use lots of different brands of cat food in the past. Goodlife seems to be great not just for a picky eater, but for his litter box odor. With other highend cat foods, caused very bad litter odor. I have fed my 7yr old cat Goodlife for about 6 yrs now. I had to buy another brand like Friskies and I noticed the litter box started to smell really bad, even after changing. Goodlife not only gives my cat a soft shinny coat, but does not cause Litter odor.

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

See all 13 reviews

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.