Review: Go Fish® Cat Treats and Ocean Explosion®

This Go Fish® is not the card game we play with children.  It’s a Meow Mix cat treat by Del Monte Foods.  I wish I could say it’s a healthy treat, but that fish won’t bite.

My cats love treats, but they are extremely picky about their choices.  They prefer junk food and if given the opportunity, I’m sure they would love this one.

In my quest to find treats that my spoiled felines will approve, I’ve encountered some with truly bad ingredients.  This review of Go Fish® treats covers some of those bad ingredients.

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Click to Enlarge


The item with the most weight in this cat treat is wheat flour.  That’s a concern for several reasons.  Instead of meat, this product offers a carbohydrate as the main ingredient.  Many cats are allergic to wheat.  The second item listed is chicken meal, which is high in protein and acceptable, but that is followed by another carb in rice flour.  Corn syrup, yet another carbohydrate, is a sugar and cats do not need sugar added to their diets.  It contributes to weight gain and raises blood sugar.   Corn in any form can be an allergen for felines.  Glycerin is also a sweetener and humectant and has no nutritional value.  Brewer’s yeast is used for flavoring and can be toxic to a cat’s liver in large amounts. Calcium sulfate is a firming agent.  Of course, the addition of tuna and ocean fish are good, but they are so far down the ingredients list, that they carry little weight.

Further down the list, the addition of animal fat and animal digest just make it worse.   Both are products of the rendering industry, and there is no telling what is in them.  Compounding this already poor list of ingredients are all the artificial colors, which are potentially carcinogenic, and BHA and BHT, known carcinogens.

Cats may love the taste of Go Fish®, but I sure wouldn’t feed it to my pets!

Ocean Explosion®

Also made by Meow Mix, this treat isn’t a whole lot better than the previous option. It does begin with chicken meal, which is ok. But that is followed by 3 carbohydrates and then animal fat and animal digest.

Click here to enlarge

Click here to enlarge


Animal digest is used to flavor the food and is just nasty!  As defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, digest is produced by the chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition.

Purina says that it is merely a “myth” that animal digest is thought to be contents of the digestive tract, that the name refers to the process rather than what’s in it.  Click here to read more of Purina’s words.

Read this quote from Truth About Pet Food and decide for yourself:   “ Notice the wording in the second sentence above.  Key words are “such as”.  The process of manufacturing the pet food ingredient animal digest starts with animal protein “such as” muscle meat supplied by USDA-inspected facilities…but (and this is key) it is not ‘limited to’ muscle meat supplied by USDA-inspected facilities.  In other words, the ingredients that are cooked down to a slurry (digested) that become the pet food ingredient ‘animal digest’ can be sourced from horrendous sources.  In fact, FDA testing determined that the pet food ingredient ‘animal digest’ to be a likely source of pentobarbital – the drug used to euthanize animals.  Thus, the pet food ingredient ‘animal digest’ can start with animal protein “such as” euthanized animals – any euthanized animal.”

Animal digest comes from the rendering industry.  Click here to read more about that subject.

While Ocean Explosion® does add 2 more fish sources, they aren’t enough to make up for the inclusion of artificial colors with carcinogenic potential, and BHA and BHT used as preservatives and again, known carcinogens.

Cat treats just don’t get much worse than these two.  Cats may love the taste of both products but just as with children, we don’t have to give in to their desire for junk food.

Keep shopping!  Message me in the comments section, if you would like my personal suggestions for pet treats or pet food.



4 thoughts on “Review: Go Fish® Cat Treats and Ocean Explosion®

  1. Kelly Weeren

    Found your website while researching healthier treats for my cat – lots of great info here 🙂 . I’m reaching out because I would love to get your personal suggestions for cat treats!
    My cat has a twice daily medication he has to take, and does better when he knows a treat is involved, so given the frequency of his snacks I’m looking for something relatively healthy. It would need to be a soft treat (He’s a special-needs kitty and can’t do crunchy ones). Out of curiosity, do you know if soft vs hard treats make a difference in overall health?
    Thanks very much for your feedback!

    1. Carol North Post author

      Kelly, I just saw your note and will respond to it tomorrow. I need to check my favorite pet store for a brand name I can’t remember.


      1. Carol North Post author

        Hi Kelly,

        I did not get out to shop today so I can’t remember the brand I wanted to share with you. However, I would say that most any freeze=dried meat treat with only 2 or 3 ingredients would be healthy and likely appealing to your cat. You can find them at high end pet stores and probably some brands will be available at the big box stores. I don’t think it matters if the treat is soft or crunchy as long as the animal’s teeth are healthy. I don’t worry as much about the ingredients in treats as long as they aren’t horrible because the cat shouldn’t be receiving many of those each day. You have to weigh the healthy part against what your pet will actually eat. Some cats are very picky and others are not. Good luck.

        1. Kelly Weeren

          Awesome! I’ll be sure to keep looking with that criteria in mind. Thank you so much for your quick reply!


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