Our Review ProcessOur reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.
We’ve taken a close look at Blue Buffalo and graded it according to the Cats.com standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, product variety, price, ingredient quality, customer experience, and recall history.
The Cats.com Standard—Rating Blue Buffalo On What Matters
We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 6/10
- Ingredient Quality – 6/10
- Product Variety – 8/10
- Price – 8/10
- Customer Experience – 6/10
- Recall History – 3/10
Overall Score: 6.17/10
Overall, we give Blue Buffalo a C grade. It receives high marks for affordability and offers decent product variety, but many of the recipes aren’t species-appropriate and customer experience varies greatly. The brand has also had a significant number of recalls.
Blue Buffalo Cat Food Video Review
In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.
Also Read: Why We Lab Test Cat Food and How to Interpret the Reports
We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by Cats.com without direct input or influence from the companies involved.
Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.
To access the lab reports for each food reviewed here, click the “view lab report” link in the product review.
About Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo was created in 2002 by Bill Bishop. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1961, Bishop began a long career in advertising and consumer products. Bishop is behind advertising and marketing programs for big names like Tropicana, Perrier, Nabisco, and American Express. He was the co-founder of SoBe and served as its COO until its sale to Pepsi in 2001.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Bishop brought his marketing acumen to a new project—Blue Buffalo. Named after Bishop’s 9-year-old Airedale terrier, Blue, the company was poised to go big on the burgeoning natural pet food market.
After sixteen successful years in the business, the company was sold to General Mills for $8 billion. Today, it’s America’s leading natural pet food company.
Sourcing And Manufacturing
Blue Buffalo works with a wide variety of pet food manufacturers and suppliers. According to a brand profile published by the Whole Dog Journal in 2012, these were Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, ANI/Vita-Line Products, CJ Foods, ProPet, Triple T Foods, and Tuffy’s Pet Foods.
In addition to these partners, Blue Buffalo also manufactures some of its own products. It appears that the company operates manufacturing facilities in Joplin, Missouri and Richmond, Indiana. While we don’t have exact details on Blue Buffalo’s manufacturing, it appears their products are made in the U.S.
Blue Buffalo doesn’t provide specific information about the sourcing of their ingredients either. This may be because they work with a wide variety of suppliers. We’d love to have more information in this area, but transparency about manufacturing and ingredient sourcing just isn’t part of Blue Buffalo’s brand.
Evaluating a brand’s recall history can provide insight into the quality and safety of their products. Unfortunately, Blue Buffalo has been recalled several times since its creation in 2002.
Here’s a summary of the company’s recall history:
Starting with a packaging problem affecting a number of Blue Buffalo dog food cups, 2017 involved three unique recalls. Shortly after the packaging problem in February, Blue recalled several cans of Homestyle Recipe dog food due to possible aluminum contamination. In March of 2017, Blue Buffalo dog food was recalled due to potentially high levels of beef thyroid hormone.
Blue Buffalo announced a limited recall of dog food due to excessive moisture levels and the consequent potential for mold contamination.
Blue Buffalo had two recalls in 2015. The first involved a limited number of Blue Kitty Yums cat treats. The treats were found to contain propylene glycol, which is prohibited by FDA guidelines.
In autumn of 2015, the company recalled a single lot of chewing bones due to potential salmonella contamination.
Blue Buffalo recalled several products due to what they described as a “sequencing error”, which may have led to food contaminated with excess levels of vitamin D.
Blue Buffalo was involved in the nationwide melamine recalls. The FDA confirmed the presence of melamine in rice protein concentrate in Blue Buffalo foods.
This prompted a recall of all their canned dog food, all cans of their Spa Select canned cat food, all dog treats, and Blue Buffalo Spa Select Kitten dry food. After discovering that the manufacturer had allowed melamine contamination, Blue Buffalo severed their relationship with American Nutrition, Inc.
In addition to recalls, Blue Buffalo has been at the center of multiple controversies and lawsuits.
In 2014, Purina accused Blue Buffalo of false advertising when Blue’s products tested positive for animal by-products, ingredients that Blue Buffalo claims are never present in any of their foods.
In response to this accusation, Blue Buffalo insisted that their ingredient supplier was at fault. Note that the ingredient supplier involved was Wilbur-Ellis, which was one of companies that imported melamine-tainted protein associated with the 2007 pet food recalls.
Blue Buffalo was also involved in a class-action lawsuit revolving around potentially toxic levels of lead in the brand’s foods. The lawsuit started when a dog named Coco died from kidney failure apparently caused by chronic lead poisoning. The case file states that the plaintiff sent Blue dog food to an independent lab for testing and confirmed that several varieties of the food contained excessive levels of lead. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.
In June of 2019, the FDA named Blue Buffalo among 16 pet food brands that may be linked to an increased risk of DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) in dogs and cats.
During the FDA’s investigation of a potential link between grain-free diets and an increased risk of DCM in dogs—and some cats—the agency named 16 brands most commonly fed to pets who developed heart issues between 2014 and 2019. Blue Buffalo was the sixth brand on the list and associated with 31 reports of heart disease in that 5-year period.
It’s important to note that this was not a recall and the FDA’s investigation remains inconclusive.
What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Blue Buffalo Offer?
All of Blue Buffalo’s follow a natural blueprint, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of variety. Blue Buffalo has six different cat food and kitten food lines.
For dry cat food, there are the original BLUE, BLUE Freedom (which is a line of grain-free products), BLUE Basics limited-ingredient foods, meat-rich BLUE Wilderness, and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet, which is only available through veterinarians. Blue Buffalo’s newest dry food line for cats is Blue True Solutions which is designed to address specific health needs.
Blue Buffalo’s wet cat foods are available in the same six product lines, including traditional cat foods, veterinary diets, and the new Blue True Solutions line of health-specific products.
What Do Customers Think Of Blue Buffalo Cat Food?
To get an idea of what real customers are saying about Blue Buffalo, here are a few reviews selected from several popular recipes listed on Amazon and Chewy.
“My 6-year-old kitty loves this food. He can’t get enough of it. He was on Science Diet A/D food for a while when I first adopted him because he wouldn’t eat anything else. This food was a great next step for him, since it has a similar texture and some similar ingredients.” – CatDog, reviewing Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Canned Cat Food
“I started feeding Blue when my oldest cat developed diabetes. He has been on this food for 8 years and my vet says “ I don’t know what you’re doing but whatever it is keep doing because he is doing great. All my cats are on this….” – Quacker, reviewing Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Dry Cat Food
“My older cat has grain allergies. The vet said this must have grain in it since she was sick while trying to eat it. The name is deceiving. I’m disappointed. My kitten loves Blue Buffalo” – Debbi, reviewing Freedom Indoor Adult Pate
“I got this food thinking that I was treating my cat but instead, I was just treating Blue Buffalo’s marketing department. Blue Buffalo has a host of problems associated with it and the vets I spoke to told me to avoid this stuff like wildfire. They had seen countless cats come in with urinary and kidney problems who were being fed Blue Buffalo.” – MarketingGotMe, reviewing Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Dry Food
Blue Buffalo Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Main Protein Source||Price||Our Grade|
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food||Dry||Chicken||$4.43 per lb||C|
|Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food||Dry||Chicken||$4.22 per lb||C|
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey Grain-Free Canned Cat Food||Wet||Turkey||$0.32 per oz||C|
All nutritional percentages in this table and hereafter are taken from the manufacturer’s guaranteed analysis. Exact nutritional percentages are not available. All calculated values are determined using these minimum and maximum published values and may differ from actual values. Blue Buffalo is the ultimate authority on their products, so please contact the company for more nutritional information.
#1 Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food
Like all products in the Wilderness line, this food is grain-free and promises to deliver increased levels of high-quality protein.
What is important to note with this recipe, however, is that the name states it’s made “with chicken.” The word “with” in pet product names usually implies that the formula isn’t primarily made from that ingredient, even if it’s the first one on the list.
The recipe starts with deboned chicken as the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal. Along with pea protein, these serve as the food’s primary protein sources. Menhaden fish meal and dried egg product appear later on the ingredient list.
Instead of grains like corn, rice, or wheat, the food contains peas and tapioca starch as its primary binding agents. Though these ingredients tend to look more appealing than grains, none of them are particularly nourishing for cats. They drive up the food’s carbohydrate content and the protein is generally less digestible than protein from animal sources.
The food is enhanced with what Blue Buffalo calls “LifeSource Bits”. These are pieces of kibble containing concentrated antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, the food contains a smattering of nutraceuticals, with probiotics, turmeric, and berries appearing near the end of the ingredient list.
Overall, this food has slightly below-average carbohydrate content when compared to other dry foods, moderate protein content, and moderate fat.
Also Read: The 12 Best Dry Cat Foods
As an economical dry food, this recipe is one of the better ones you can buy. It doesn’t contain any animal by-products or vaguely named ingredients. It’s free of artificial colors or potentially harmful preservatives. And it contains several species of probiotic bacteria, promising to support better digestive health.
But it’s not great.
Pea protein takes up some significant real estate near the beginning of the ingredient list, indicating that this food’s protein may be more plant-derived than meat-based. The food is significantly starchier than it should be, raising your cat’s blood sugar and potentially contributing to diabetes over time.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Calcium Chloride, Potassium Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.
Ingredients We Liked: Deboned Chicken
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Potatoes, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal
Common Allergens: Chicken, Eggs, Fish
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
- Relatively low carbohydrate content compared to other dry foods
- Cats seem to like the chicken flavor
- No by-product meals or vaguely named food products
- Contains a concentrated source of plant protein
- Excessive carbohydrate content for carnivores
- Doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs
#2 Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food
This popular formula is marketed to indoor cat guardians. The company claims that the recipe addresses the unique needs of indoor-only cats, including a tendency to develop hairballs, urinary tract disease, and obesity. To combat these issues, the food is high in fiber, contains cranberries, and has moderate calorie content.
Its main protein sources are deboned chicken, chicken meal, and menhaden fish meal – similar to the previous recipe we reviewed. Unfortunately, these ingredients are followed by a medley of starchy plant ingredients, including brown rice, barley, and oatmeal. But this recipe isn’t all grains. The food also contains peas and pea protein, ingredients that contribute both protein and carbohydrates.
The food is enriched with Blue Buffalo’s signature LifeSource Bits, which are enriched chunks of kibble containing concentrated vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Ultimately, this is a plant-based dry food with high carbohydrate content, moderate-to-high protein content, and moderate fat.
Like so many dry foods—especially those marketed for indoor cats—this recipe is a plant-heavy, carbohydrate-rich product that fails to honor your cat’s needs as a carnivore. It has all the nutrition your cat needs, but it’s not the species-appropriate ideal.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Peas, Pea Protein, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potato Starch, Powdered Cellulose, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Calcium Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Pea Fiber, Potatoes, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Cranberries, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Salt, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Blueberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.
Ingredients We Liked: Deboned Chicken
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Protein, Potatoes
Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
- Relatively affordable compared to average dry food
- Cats seem to like the flavor
- Doesn’t contain meat or poultry by-products
- Multiple sources of plant-based protein
- High carbohydrate content
- Doesn’t provide the moisture your cat needs
#3 Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
This turkey pate canned food comes from Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness line which, again, promises to be free from grains and high in protein. Turkey, turkey broth, and turkey liver are the primary three ingredients, so this recipe does appear to be mostly turkey-based.
While muscle and organ meats take up a significant amount of real estate on the ingredients list, again we see some of those starchy plant-based ingredients like potatoes along with flaxseed and several gums as thickening agents.
This formula also contains carrageenan which is used as a thickener and stabilizer in canned cat foods. This is a controversial ingredient which has been linked to inflammation and toxicity in pets.
Overall, this is a fairly species-appropriate canned food with high protein and fat content that is limited in carbohydrate content.
Also Read: The 10 Best Healthy Canned, Soft & Wet Cat Foods
It’s primarily meat-based, low in carbohydrates, and provides the balanced nutrition and moisture your cat needs.
Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Natural Flavor, Potatoes, Guar Gum, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Taurine, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9).
Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Turkey Liver
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Potatoes, Guar Gum, Carrageenan
Common Allergens: None
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
- Primarily made from animal-based ingredients
- No by-products or vaguely named meat and poultry meals
- Relatively low in carbohydrate content
- Contains carrageenan as a thickener/binder
- Receives mixed reviews from cat owners
- Slightly higher-than-ideal carbohydrate content
How Much Does Blue Buffalo Cat Food Cost?
Compared to other brands positioned as super-premium and natural, Blue Buffalo is relatively inexpensive. For example, if you have a 10-lb cat who needs about 200 calories per day, Blue Buffalo Freedom canned food will cost you around $1.60/day.
That makes it just a little bit more expensive than budget brands like Friskies and Fancy Feast.
Overall, Is Blue Buffalo a Good Choice?
Blue Buffalo cat food is popular and well-loved, but it’s far from perfect nutritionally or in terms of quality. Where they really excel is in price and variety.
Most Blue Buffalo cat foods contain considerable amounts of plant matter. Worse than the brand’s reliance on plant-heavy recipes, Blue Buffalo has been recalled multiple times during the last decade. These incidents suggest deficits in quality control and transparency from Blue’s suppliers and manufacturing partners.
Blue Buffalo, therefore, isn’t one of our favorite cat food brands to recommend to pet owners. If you’re going to feed your cat Blue Buffalo, we recommend choosing a canned food formula that is rich in animal protein and moisture with limited added carbohydrate content.
Also Read: The 10 Best Cat Foods
Where Is Blue Buffalo Cat Food Sold?
Blue Buffalo is available almost anywhere you can buy cat food. You’ll find it in grocery stores, pet specialty retailers, and more. Online, it’s available on Amazon, Chewy, and other web retailers.
I have a 17 year old siamese and I thought that.
Last year I was going to lose her do to her health we try so many different treatments and none of them were working out for her we changed her Diet to Blue and now a year later she is so much healthier and happier and her fur and skin is back to normal she is so much more energetic and playful like a kitten THANK You for every thang and PUMPKIN thanks you to for giving her a second chance to be happy again….
I feed my cat Blue Diamond / Buffalo Basics moist & dry Turkey/ Potato cat food & he seems to be really healthy & use to give him the regular Blue chicken brand & seemed not to work for him so switched when & all Cat Vet in Ventura said try the turkey / Patato, but I keep seeing reviews & alerts on the Blue Diamond / Buffalo products for Dogs & Cats. So I worry like other pet owners if I’m feeding my cat the right Brand of food!! Would like to know if I’m feeding cat the best food on market , it seems they have had law suits!! My cat was itching & seemed to not do good on the Chicken Brands of Blue !!! Sherry in California!!!! Can I get some help here to know if ant pet should be on Blue Diamond / Buffalo Brands????????
It’s great that your cat is doing well on Blue Buffalo’s turkey and potato recipes, but since you’re—rightfully—concerned about the safety of Blue Buffalo products, I’d recommend exploring turkey-based or chicken-free foods from other brands. There’s a whole world of limited-ingredient cat food out there and you’ll find a lot of brands with better reputations than Blue Buffalo.
Good luck finding something that works for both you and your cat!
Hello what would you recommend for limited ingredient cat food dry and wet ?
Hi Ivy, you might like our article on the best cat food for IBD. While they won’t work for every cat, all of the recommendations here are limited-ingredient diets.
Just doing a lot of research on line. Our kitty has an abnormality with her kidneys. Without going into a lot of detail, this is the only brand of food I’ve found that has limited ingredients, lower than 29% protein, and a real meat as the first ingredient. She is drinking water right after she eats it, but I only started it last night and gave her 2 handfuls each time she asked for food. I’m not a huge Blue Feeds fan as she started showing signs of kidney issues at 5 months of age, but like I said, this is the only one I can find. All other dry foods are over 30% protein. She does get some K/D, but doesn’t eat the solid pieces ,only licks the jelly out. Which she has done the whole 4 years of her life, and usually will walk away from any wet food. So I’m curious on your thoughts of this food for kidney issues. (Not an email spammer, the email is my horses name, it raises eyebrows. lol).
Thanks for commenting. Feeding a cat with kidney issues is always difficult and no food is perfect. Blue Buffalo’s kidney diet is one such imperfect food. It covers the kidney disease essentials, but is it nutritionally stellar? Certainly not.
It’s a very plant-heavy food brimming with pea derivatives. Though it’s one of the few dry kidney diets that features meat as the first ingredient, I suspect that peas and other plant ingredients take up more nutritional space than does deboned chicken.
Given its flawed formula and Blue Buffalo’s troubled history, I might consider another kidney diet–at least as a supplement to the Blue Buffalo food. In our article on the five best foods for cats with kidney disease, we recommend Royal Canin’s Renal Support S as the best dry food of its kind. Meat isn’t the first ingredient, but Royal Canin has a good reputation and the formula appears to be slightly lower in phosphorus, which I’m sure is an important consideration for you.
Ultimately, there currently is no such thing as a perfect food for cats with kidney disease. There’s always compromise. The Blue Buffalo food might be the right compromise for you. Or you may choose to rotate it with other renal diets. Alternatively, I wouldn’t ignore the possibility of feeding a non-prescription food or exploring the option of a higher-protein, phosphorus-restricted diet. It’s a nontraditional approach and would take more time and research, but it could be worth it.
Hope this helps!
P.S. Thanks for mentioning the email address! Your horse has a delightful name.
Please, you shouldn’t in good faith be recommending a dry food to a kidney deficiency cat.
To the OP: put kitty on a wet or raw food and maybe she’ll recover. Good luck.
Mallory, Are you really qualified to make the assumptions that you do and give advvice to the public? That’s a dangerous thing to do. High protein foods are not healthy for a cat with kidney disease. Are corn and other diabetes causing foods better than pea protein? Are you aware that pea protein is the base of most of a human vegetarian’s diet? Some of the best athletes, such as football players, weight lifters, etc. are eating foods daily such as Beyond Meat, which has a pea protein base. My cat has been eating Blue Buffalo for years. She’s now on the Veterinarian W+U diet. She loves the food. You absolutely are not giving an “unbiased review”!
Hi there. It’s hard to say who is and isn’t qualified to share the information they’ve gathered. I am not a veterinarian nor a veterinary nutritionist, so in that sense, I’m not qualified to give nutritional or health advice. Instead, these articles should be thought of a bit like a conversation with a cat-loving friend. If anyone is interested in expert advice on their cat’s food, they should consult a veterinarian.
Try Dr Elsey’s dry.
Your pet will love this Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, 6.6-lb bag:
We rarely give dry food, but we use this as a treat. I was looking for low calorie and little to no carbs. This is it.
I am doing research on the best all- natural wet food for cats that INCLUDES everything they need in their diets without all of the unnecessary fillers and artificial things. Can you point me in the right direction as to where to go? I just switched my kitty to purina pro plan because it was the best one I could find at the price point I can afford at the moment.
I’m glad you reached out!
Purina Pro Plan is a decent option, but it’s not the only good food at the price point you can afford. You’ll find plenty of options in our article on the best canned cat food: https://cats.com/reviews/best-canned-cat-food
You might also like our article on the best affordable cat food: https://cats.com/best-cheap-cat-food
Hope this helps to point you in the right direction!
Make your own. It’s very easy takes no time. Chicken quarters are always a great base. Low boil it all in one pot. Good luck!
Please be sure to make sure you’re adding the necessary supplements, eg taurine! Your meat loses a lot of moisture in boiling, and that’s where all the natural taurine is found. Without sufficient taurine in their diets, your cat may begin to lose their vision, and the effects are irreversible. To minimize moisture loss, you can use a cooking method like low-heat slow roasting. But to make sure your cat is getting all the necessary nutrients, it really is best to buy your cat food rather than making it yourself.
Great site. I noticed that the pet foods are rated based on recall history/nutritional value etc. How about lab testing for contaminates? Heavy metals/ lead etc are often found at dangerous levels based on previous lab studies, I feel like that would be one of the biggest deciding factor for how to rate a pet food.
I’m honestly completely lost right now in terms of which brand of food I should feed my cat. I looked at the clean label and their top rated brands for low contaminates tend to be the cheaper lower nutrient brands. Not to mention that they are controversial in their funding/result transparency. I look here and a lot of the top rated brands are not available in any of our local pet foods.
Is there a brand that you recommend for dry and wet that is more easily accessible?
Are lab tests for contaminates considered in the rating?
Thank you so much for the positive feedback.
I recommend you have a look at the following articles:
Hope this helps!
Hi, I have my 4-month-old kitten on Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. I switched her from Hill’s Science (foster program’s food) because I have Celiac. However, she has been pretty gassy on her new food. I noticed the kitten recipe isn’t included in the Blue Buffalo review. Would you please include this? I’m concerned that I could be feeding her something that isn’t healthy.
Hi Brittany, thank you for your comment. We will consider adding this recipe to the review, but for now, here’s my take on the food.
While the food has some good qualities, like the use of high-value fats like chicken fat and fish oil, prebiotics and probiotics for digestive support, and the fact that it delivers the nutrients kittens need to thrive, it’s still a plant-heavy product that loads your kitten up on carbs. I’m guessing that the gassiness is coming from the fact that the food contains peas and pea protein as primary ingredients.
It appears that nutritionally, the Blue Buffalo food is likely a bit better than the Hill’s Science Diet, but you also have to consider both company’s histories. While Hill’s has a good record of quality control and safety, Blue Buffalo has some red flags in its past. Neither are perfect—a more meat-heavy food would be ideal—but the Blue Buffalo is certainly not that far ahead of the Hill’s diet your kitten was eating previously.
I’d consider a grain-free food made without legumes—perhaps even a wet kitten food. Hope this helps!
What do you think about their new treats, like the blue buffalo bursts?
Hi Angela! Blue Buffalo Bursts are decent as far as treats go; anything without animal by-products and artificial colors is going to be a better choice than the competition. Sure, they’re high in carbohydrates and not nutritionally ideal, but they’ll work as an occasional treat.
My cat has trouble with the tiny size of the “bits”
Not large enough to chew.
Will not buy again.
We have a Siamese with a sensitive stomach and have been feeding him a prescription dry cat food. Now with COVID our vet is unable to get the same food for us. We tried Purina’s prescription dry food but our cat started vomiting the first time he ate it. We are now trying Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach dry food but I’m nervous after reading your reviews.
Do you have any suggestions for dry food for cats with sensitive stomaches?
Hello Linda, thank you for sharing your experience! There are a few things to think about when feeding a cat with a sensitive stomach, including asking questions about the cause of the sensitive stomach. Do you know if your cat has food sensitivities? Have you explored elimination diets? Has your cat been diagnosed with IBD? Answering these questions will help you to identify exactly what you need to look for in your cat’s food. Since we don’t have the answers to those questions right now, let’s think in general terms instead. Generally speaking, a sensitive stomach will benefit from food that is easy to digest. For cats, that generally means a diet featuring high-value meats. Circling back to the questions I mentioned earlier, you may have to adjust the type of meats included in that food based on your cat’s particular sensitivities. In general, the products on our list of the best foods for sensitive stomach should work: https://cats.com/best-cat-food-for-sensitive-stomach
Hope this helps!
I have 2 15 year old cats that have a history of frequent vomiting.
I read your cat food reviews for vomiting. Everything listed was more expensive, except for Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain Free Formula Fish & Potato Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food.
Is this still the best budget pick?
I enjoy reading your reviews, but money is an issue.
I have 7 year old cats with past urinary issues, a 15 year old with dementia, and the 15 year old cats with vomiting issues.
I look forward to your reply Mallory!
Janet Lillie the
Hello Janet, thank you for your comment! I would consider any type of budget-friendly food with a relatively simple recipe and anti-inflammatory ingredients. This can be hard to find among dry foods, but I’d encourage you to consider a more streamlined alternative to your current diet. Our article on the best cat food for vomiting is an older one and in need of an update, so I wouldn’t recommend the Blue Buffalo food mentioned there. Instead, you may like some of the options on our list of the best cheap cat food: https://cats.com/best-cheap-cat-food
For an extra boost, you can add probiotics and fish oil as an anti-inflammatory.
Hope this helps!
Even tho I buy cat food, I AM NOT the customer. My cats are. Yes the ads are convincing enough for ME to buy a few cans to see how my cats like it. I have three cats of different breeds and two immediately tried burying it and the third was polite and walked away all three times I tried giving this food.
Then I started doing online research and decided to not buy this food ever again. Please, no smoke and mirrors for my cats. They are the ultimate deciders if it will be eaten or not and they gave Blue a four paws down.
I thought this food was best to feed my cat what is really disappointing is that it has that ingredient carogean and I don’t think is healthly for him why do they put that ingredient in the catfood.
Blanca Elizabeth Jordan
Hi there. Carrageenan is certainly a controversial ingredient. In theory, cat food should only contain the non-degraded (safe) form of carrageenan, but there is some evidence that the degraded form of this additive does show up in our food products.
I want to state right away…I don’t know if the blue Buffalo had anything to do with this..my 9 year old cat
Had been on the same dry cat food since we rescued him 8:years ago. I thought I’d try Blue Buffalo because their
ads make it sound like like the best product for a cat. Within 6 weeks I had to put him down. He had lost 2 lbs but I thought possibly it was because his new food didn’t have all the junk the other food did, he began to get lethargic so I made an appointment with the vet, 3 day wait for the appointment..each day he got a little worse. Vet said he was dehydrated, had kidney failure and every organ number was bad..I also have a 15 year old cat, I’ve put him back on his old food just to be sure. Pretty devastating to lose an indoor cat with no health issues so quickly
Again if you notice unusual changes the first thing I’d do is to put them back on their old food just in case
Kidney problems do not just happen overnight!! Educate yourself & be mindful of what you allow your (hopefully) beLoved furry companion to eat & drink (normal tap water is not nearly the best!) & find a HOLISTIC vet who can administer acupuncture & moxibustion treatments!! My drastically kidney-failed 14 yr old Border Collie’s life (& QUALITY of life!) was extended almost 2 years beyond the 2 months he was given by a “very good” vet after his first tests!! Do not give up!!! …&, of course, PRAY without ceasing!!✨
Also… organic & if possible, homemade food that’s slowly cooked at super low heat & NO egg yolk —indeed, ANYTHING with phosphorus or phosphates only speeds the destruction of weakened kidneys! Lots gently cooked Norway salmon (no toxic chemicals/hormones) & LOTS of other sources of Omega 3s, like krill oil, are in order as well, as is spirulina!!
I tried Blue Buffalo and twice my cat has thrown up. Today he had such severe diarrhea after eating it that I took a visit to the Vet. Not a fan! Will go back to my original choice. This never happened with Purina
You contradict yourself repeatedly in this article. The spin is absurd when its purposeful. I came looking for why Blue is potentially bad, and you made me believe original research correct. You comment on Species-appropriate ingredients, then try claiming Corn, Rice and Wheat are the appropriate healthy choice for Cats over Peas and Tapioca Starch… None of which would ever be eaten by a cat in the wild. CATS ARE CARNIVORES… They gnaw on grass more than hunt for corn rice and wheat… You then try to claim a meat based protein is high on peas because peas is listed after Chicken and Chicken meal…? Then to try and spin it as Diabetes causing??? Do we read the same scientific literature???
Hi there. It sounds like we may need to reassess the way that this article was written, as the spin you’re referring to was not at all the author’s intention. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
So explain to me why you think a cat-only vet clinic would sell the RX strength Blue if it was not good for cats? A completely separate vet in our area does not sell it but didn’t tell us not to continue feeding it to our cats when we told her the brand. The only time I’ve heard of this issue was from friends who are not vets telling me these horror stories. So am I not supposed to trust the vets around me? How am I supposed to care for my cats if I cannot trust professionals? It’s all a bit distressing.
Hi there. Blue Buffalo’s prescription diets aren’t necessarily bad for cats, and many cats thrive on them. This article is an attempt to give an unbiased review of Blue Buffalo, analyzing its manufacturing processes, company background, and the ingredients present in the foods. It’s not meant to encourage or discourage anyone from giving the food to their cat. Since you have concerns, you may want to bring specific issues to your veterinarian and ask them for their opinion on them. Note that very few veterinarians focus on nutrition, so you might want to ask around to find a vet who specializes in this area and can give you more complex answers. As for your friends telling horror stories, I would take these with a grain of salt. Food is always easy to blame when things go wrong, and almost every cat food on the market plays a role in someone’s horror story.
Vets will usually want you to buy the stuff they sell and nothing else.
From the post above by the author of the article,”Note that very few veterinarians focus on nutrition, so you might want to ask around to find a vet who specializes in this area and can give you more complex answers.”
This is as true for animals as it is for humans. Vets and doctors get very little training in nutrition. It’s up to pet owners to do their research to choose the best food for their animal. A healthy adult cat with no underlying conditions should be on a high protein food that contains the least carbs available. A brand such as Dr. Elsey’s is ideal.
I have a cat at home and I want to change his diet. He is a 3 year old orange tabby with no health issues. My only concern is that he is packing a couple extra pounds. He is perfectly fine, just has a little bit of a big belly. Right now I’m feeding him freaskies cat food because he likes it a lot better than dry food but I’ve read some pretty bad things about that brand and want to switch to a healthier option. He is a strictly indoor cat who’s not very active. He spends most of his time sleeping or chilling in somebody’s bed. I do play with him and try to get him to exercise, but he doesn’t have a lot of interest in cat toys aside from my hair ties and knitting yarn. I want to feed him something that is gonna keep him healthy and happy but is also budget friendly. Is Blue Buffalo a good fit for him? If not, what would you recommend? Thank you so much!!
Blue Buffalo wet foods tend to be on the higher-carbohydrate side. I’d consider Fancy Feast as a small step up from your Friskies, and then perhaps something from Authority or WholeHearted.
I’m confused by your statement on the canned turkey food that the carb content is higher than ideal at 12%. Should we be looking at the carb contents in the dry matter basis or caloric weight basis? Both appear to be lower than 10% on this food.
Thanks so much for your website, It’s extremely helpful!
Hi Lara, thanks for pointing that out. I believe the issue comes from the way the values were originally calculated. When I worked out the carbohydrate content of this food, I also removed other non-nutritive components (fiber and ash), which made the carbohydrate content come out higher. When we introduced the automated system that creates the pie charts you see here, it only removed water. In retrospect, this method is probably more effective as it will generate results that are easier to compare to other dry matter analyses. I’ll edit the article so that the values I determined are no longer mentioned.
I have a 12 yr old cat and due to a cat food shortage I bought a case for almost $20 because it’s all that was on the shelf. It seemed like a healthy option so I wasn’t mad about it but my cat will not eat it! I’ve religiously fed her this brand over the course of 10 days and have thrown away untouched food in her dish every day.
I don’t know what it is she doesn’t like about it.
WHAT did you do to to the chicken entree (pate)?! For months I have been trying almost every canned cat food at Petsmart & Petco . I got it down to his liking chicken and then Tastefuls chicken & finally Tasteful chicken pate’. NOW you not only changed the look of the can ( no blue lid) but the product is SO DRY!!! WHY? The cost is the same but…….!!!!!
Lame. Dry food is dinged for not supplying enough moisture in the pet diet? It’s dry. AND carbs in pet food aren’t poisonous. They’re a good source of energy. Get over it.
Dear Ms. Crusta,
I just finished reading your very interesting unbiased review article about Blue Buffalo products for cats. Years ago I did volunteer work for a local cat rescue charity. Healthy cats we helped would go into our adoption center at PetSmart. Cats who needed fostering for various reasons would come home with the volunteers, and I was good at working with special needs cats. As such, I often had a busy but happy household. Finding a food that (a) everyone loved and (b) suited their nutritional and health needs and (c) wasn’t a cheap junk food, was often a difficult task.
Looking for quality foods that I could afford for the precious souls in my care, I came across Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry food for adult cats, chicken, not long after the company’s products became available. Everyone loved it. And the litter box odor improved on the highly digestible food. But they ALL have rejected BB’s canned food. It’s the only wet food they universally reject. I wonder why? Has anyone else shared this?
Thank you for your time.
Hi Mirabelle, thanks for reaching out! It’s fascinating to hear that you had such an experience with Blue Buffalo’s canned food. I’ve not heard this from other commenters, and I also haven’t had that experience with my own cats, but I wouldn’t disregard your experience based on that. Thanks for sharing!
Very interesting info about the recall issues! Thank you.
Since February 6th, 2020
I will never purchase Blue Buffalo again!!! I used to feed Blue Buffalo to my cat. I could tell the recipe has changed because the texture and smell was very different. My cat vomited after eating a serving from this new batch. I tried a new case and the same issue. I returned the food. I changed my cat to another brand and she has been fine. I emailed and reported these two cases to Blue Buffalo and they ignored me. I reported these issues to the FDA and suddenly Blue Buffalo responded to me. Blue Buffalo said no issues were found but I doubt they looked very thoroughly.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Kerri.
I may have read wrong but I think there is a typo. In one place you give canned Turkey Wilderness a “C” & then further down you give it a “B”. Forgive me if I read it wrong. I’m hoping it’s supposed to be a B grade. Thank you for all you do. I appreciate this website & all y’all do. 🙏
You’re totally right! Thank you! I’m editing it to give it a B in the top table as well.