10 Blue Buffalo Cat Food Reviews and All That Grain-Free Goodness

blue buffalo cat food reviews

A few years ago, I became aware of how much my diet relied on unnatural foods that my body was never meant to digest. For my own health, I have tried to prioritize organic, healthy, natural foods that mean I don’t just survive but thrive!

Needless to say, I want the same thing for my beloved cats. As natural carnivores, I realized that my cats were probably not getting enough meat-based protein from the food I was giving them.

Since I don’t have the time to make my own pet food from scratch (who does?), I started looking for cat food brands that prioritize foods that my cats would naturally eat in the wild. That is when I discovered Blue Buffalo cat food. The brand was founded by the Bishop family in 2002 with the express purpose of developing affordable pet food that prioritizes animal-based proteins, with added vitamins and minerals to support overall health.

 

 

Blue Buffalo is the number one natural pet food brand in the United States, and their philosophy of natural, instinctive food aligns with my own. Nevertheless, their purpose is to sell pet food, and sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine nutritional value and marketing hype.

In this article, I will review the best Blue Buffalo cat food and share what I have learned from my own research, and from feeding my cats Blue Buffalo over a number of years. I’ll highlight the nutritional benefits of their bestselling lines, but also point out not only where it is just marketing, but also minor concerns hidden under the gloss.

Hopefully, this will give you all the information you need to choose the right Blue Buffalo cat food for your feline friend.

 

Blue Buffalo Cat Food at a Glance

I feed my adult cat a combination of Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness Dry Cat Food for Adults and the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Wet Cat Food for Adults. I prefer them because they are high in protein and grain-free, which I feel best reflects my cat’s natural diet in the wild. Plus both foods are enriched with the extra vitamins and minerals that my cat needs. There are also kitten and mature cat versions of both these foods available from Bue Buffalo. Scroll down for my detailed Blue Wilderness cat food reviews.

  1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Food for Adults
  2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Food for Kittens
  3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Food for Mature Cats
  4. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball/Weight-Control Dry Food for Adults
  5. Blue Buffalo Basics Indoor Dry Food for Adults
  6. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney and Mobility Support Dry Food
  7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Wet Food for Adults
  8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Food for Kittens
  9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Food for Mature Cats
  10. Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Wet Food for Adults

 

10 Blue Buffalo Cat Food Reviews

 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Food for Adults

From the Wilderness line, this dry food for adults has a high meat content and contains no grains, wheat or related by-products. Quality meat is prioritized, for example the chicken flavor uses deboned chicken and avoids excessive meal. This gives the food its high 40% protein content that is natural for cats.

As well as including LifeSource kibble, the formula has added prebiotic and probiotic fiber to aid in digestion. Your cat may need this as the mix also includes peas and pea protein, which some cats may struggle to digest.

This may not be suitable for indoor cats, as while it is lower in carbohydrates than many dry cat foods, it still probably has more carbohydrates than the average sedentary cat needs.

There is a wide variety of flavors including chicken, salmon, duck, and chicken and turkey. Hopefully, this means that it is possible to find something for even the pickiest cat.

If you’re looking for other cat food that offer high-protein, grain-free food like the Wilderness line, you can also look into Crave, Sheba, and Tiki — all up-and-coming brands that are rapidly gaining in popularity.

Pros

  • High in quality meat
  • Grain-free
  • Added antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • Added fiber
  • Variety of flavors

 

Cons

  • Contains peas
  • Relatively high in carbohydrates

 

Overall: Strong Meat Selection

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Food for Kittens

This version of the Wilderness dry food is designed for kittens, and their particular needs for growing into happy, healthy and active cats.

With all the same benefits as the adult version, with high levels of animal-based protein and no grains, it also has added taurine, carrots and berries. Taurine is essential for the development of kittens’ hearts and eyes.

On the downside, as well as including peas, sweet potatoes are added to the mix. While the fiber in sweet potatoes will not harm your cat, they are not a natural part of a cat’s diet and provide no nutritional benefit. It is basically just filler.

It comes in a similar range of flavors as the adult version of this product.

 

Pros

  • High in quality meat
  • Grain-free
  • Added taurine
  • Added antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • Variety of flavors

 

Cons

  • Contains peas
  • Contains sweet potato

 

Overall: Protein for Growth

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Food for Mature Cats

As for the mature cat version of the Wilderness dry line, the high-meat, grain-free adult formula is further enhanced with additional Menhaden fish meal, which is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and flaxseeds, which provide omega-6 fatty acids. These are essential for maintaining organ health, heart health and good blood flow in older felines.

Unfortunately, we see the same inclusion of indigestible peas, plus a lot of potato starch filler, which is similarly indigestible.

 

Pros

  • High in omega-3 fatty acids
  • High in omega-6 fatty acids
  • High in quality meats
  • Grain-free
  • Added antioxidants, vitamins and minerals

 

Cons

  • Contains peas
  • Contains potato starch

 

Overall: For Older Carnivores

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Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball/Weight-Control Dry Food for Adults

Indoor cats tend to have different dietary needs to their outdoor cousins. This is because they tend to be more prone to developing hairballs, contracting urinary tract infections, and putting on excessive weight. This indoor cat food formula combats these issues in a number of ways.

Added prebiotic and probiotic fiber aids healthy digestion and stops your cat storing excessive fur in their digestive tract. Plus, the cranberries fight urinary tract infections. This formula is also lower in calories than others, to prevent excessive weight gain in sedentary cats.

While the indoor cat dry food has 30% protein, it is also relatively high in carbohydrates. In some cats, high levels of carbohydrates can lead to weight gain, even on a low-calorie diet. The formula also includes a number of different plant proteins, which are designed to aid digestion, but are not a natural dietary food source for cats.

This even makes it to our top recommendations for weight loss cat food.

Pros

  • Added fiber
  • Added cranberries
  • Low calorie
  • High in quality meat
  • Grain-free

 

Cons

  • Relatively high in carbohydrates
  • Multiple sources of plant protein

 

Overall: Indoor Health Control

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Blue Buffalo Basics Indoor Dry Food for Adults

While some cats enjoy a complex mix of meats in each meal, for more sensitive cats, this can play havoc with their digestive system. The Basics line addresses this by including only one type of meat, though the trade-off is more plant proteins and more carbohydrates, however these are balanced with added prebiotic and probiotic fibers.

Primarily designed for indoor cats, the Basic range is also high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for good organ and heart health for sedentary cats. The food is also relatively low calorie to prevent obesity.

 

Pros

  • Quality meat from a single source
  • Variety of flavors
  • Added fiber
  • High in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Relatively low calorie

 

Cons

  • High in plant proteins
  • Relatively high in carbohydrates

 

Overall: Digestive Simplicity

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Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney and Mobility Support Dry Food

Blue Buffalo offers a range of prescription foods for cats with more serious health needs. The one that offers the most difference from their standard brand is the variety for supporting kidney health and joint mobility.

As kidneys in bad shape can struggle to digest too much protein, this formula limits protein to 26%. However, it is all taken from the best chicken sources to ensure the protein they are getting is high quality. This does mean that the recipe uses pea and potato starch as filler. The recipe also limits phosphorus and sodium, other problem substances for cats with kidney issues.

Kidney problems are often accompanied by mobility issues, so this food is enhanced with DHA, glucosamine and chondroitin, all of which help support joint function and mobility.

 

Pros

  • Quality meat from single source
  • Limited phosphorus and sodium
  • Enhanced with DHA, glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Grain-free

 

Cons

  • Only available on prescription
  • Contains peas and potato starch

 

Overall: Kidney Elixir

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Wet Food for Adults

The Wilderness wet foods provide the same high levels of animal-based proteins while being grain-free. This variety features 9% animal protein, which may seem low, but the food is also 82% water, giving your cat the hydration it needs. Once water is removed the recipe is 50% protein. Sadly, the remaining bulk of the food does include potato starch filler.

This wet food comes in a wide variety of flavors including red meat, trout, and chicken and turkey, so there is something for every palate. However, most recipes include a mix of animal proteins. For example, red meat includes beef, chicken, lamb, bison and venison. This can be problematic for cats with more sensitive stomachs.

The meat comes in gravy made from real broth, which both appeals to cats and supports digestive and urinary health. This is one of the best wet food out there.

 

Pros

  • High in quality meat
  • High water content
  • Grain-free
  • Variety of flavors
  • Uses real broth

 

Cons

  • Contains potato starch
  • Mixed animal proteins

 

Overall: Hunter’s Meaty Delight

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Food for Kittens

Unlike the Wilderness wet range for adults, the range for kittens limits meat to a single source, either chicken or salmon, to make it more digestible. The meat comes in the same tasty gravy that further aids digestion. The formula is also strong in flaxseeds for omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, which are essential for cell metabolism and proper growth. It’s also important for development and energy production in kittens.

Pros

  • High in quality meat from a single source
  • High water content
  • Grain-free
  • Uses real broth
  • Added B Vitamins

 

Cons

  • Limited range
  • Includes potatoes

 

Overall: Vitamins for Growth

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Food for Mature Cats

Moving onto the Wilderness wet food for mature cats, the main difference between this product and the adult version are the high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and B Vitamins. Just like kittens, older cats need these to aid healing and cell regeneration.

Pros

  • High in quality meat from one source
  • High water content
  • Grain-free
  • Uses real broth
  • Added B Vitamins

 

Cons

  • Includes potatoes and peas
  • Limited variety

 

Overall: Renews Grey Whiskers

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Wet Food for Adults

This Freedom line is Blue Buffalo’s wet food for indoor cats. It replaces the complex mix of meats found in the Wilderness Rocky Mountains line with meat from a single source, either chicken or fish, making it better for any cat with a sensitive digestive system. The food is also low in calories and high in protein, which makes it an excellent choice for weight management.

This formula also features additional added fiber to support digestion and prevent hairballs, but is also high in sweet potato fiber, which gives your cat no particular nutritional benefit.

Pros

  • High in quality meat from a single source
  • High water content
  • Grain-free
  • Low calorie
  • Added B Vitamins

 

Cons

  • Limited range
  • Includes sweet potatoes

 

Overall: Sedentary and Simple

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About Blue Buffalo

 

Blue Buffalo has five lines of dry and wet cat food, all of which offer options for adults, kittens and mature cats:

  • Blue – the original line prioritizing foods cats would eat in the wild
  • Blue Freedom – their first grain-free line
  • Blue Basic – uses limited ingredients to simplify digestion
  • Blue Wilderness – their grain-free, high-protein formula
  • Blue Natural Veterinary Diet – prescription only formulas to support a variety of health conditions

 

Products in all of these ranges are designed to be affordable and are made with the kind of real meat that cats would eat in the wild, and zero grains, which are not a natural food source for cats. Each formula also includes a range of added vitamins and minerals to balance the inevitable limitations of a processed diet and support different cat health issues as required. For example, all Blue Buffalo dry cat food includes their patented LifeSource Bits, which is antioxidant-rich kibble infused with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

The list above will help you choose the right cat food based on your cat’s life stage (kitten, adult or mature), lifestyle (indoor or outdoor), and to support any additional health requirements, such as weight issues, kidney problems, or a tendency to produce hairballs.

It is important to note that the list includes both dry and wet food, as a healthy diet should include a combination of the two (the ratio depending on your individual cat). Dry food can sit out all day without spoiling, allowing your cat to indulge their grazing instincts. In addition, the roughness of the kibble is essential for their dental health. The smell of wet food is important for your cat’s hunter instincts, and gives them the hydration that they need and often struggle to obtain through drinking water.

blue buffalo kibble

Conclusion

The Blue Buffalo brand has suffered a few setbacks over the years with a number of their products being recalled. Fortunately for us cat parents, the problems have been almost exclusively with their dog lines.

Further, the scrutiny and negative publicity they faced has forced them to be meticulously scrupulous in choosing their supplier and manufacturing partners. They are now the #1 trusted natural pet food brand in the US. If you’d like to take a look at other natural cat food brands we recommend, check out this post.

Their brand philosophy is to create pet food that prioritizes the types of foods that domestic animals would eat naturally in the wild, while making it affordable and easy-to-use for busy cat parents. The biggest struggle is knowing which of their wide range of products is right for your cat.

Use the Blue Buffalo cat food reviews above to find the best food for your cat based on their age, lifestyle (outdoor or indoor), and any other health needs, such as a tendency to develop hairballs or carry extra weight. These factors should help you narrow down the list and find the right food for your feline friend.


Images in this post via Chewy.com and BlueBuffalo.com

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Kristen Chapple

Kristen Chapple

Hi I'm Kristen, cat lover and blogger. I was born into a cat-loving family and have been a proud kitty mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my cat knowledge and love being an active part of the kitty-loving community.