Blue Buffalo Cat Food Review

Cats Reviews Nov 18, 2020
Written by Kate Barrington | Updated Dec 2, 2020
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Blue Buffalo Cat Food Review

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When it comes to pet food, Blue Buffalo is a household name. Not only is it one of the most respected brands in the industry, but Blue Buffalo also offers a much wider selection of products than other brands. This brand has six separate product lines, each with at least a dozen different recipes.

This ensures that, no matter what your cat’s preferences or dietary restrictions may be, there is a Blue Buffalo recipe that would be a perfect choice. Over the years, Blue Buffalo has had its fair share of product recalls and there have been some concerns about the sourcing of their ingredients. As a whole, however, this is a high quality brand worthy of your consideration. Read on to learn more!

Blue Buffalo Cat Food
Overall Score
  • Can be found in just about any pet store
  • Wide variety of product choices
  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • A significant number of recalls
  • Some products are expensive
  • Can be found in just about any pet store
  • Wide variety of product choices
  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • A significant number of recalls
  • Some products are expensive
Variety of Recipes
Ingredient Quality
Price Per Pound
Recall History
Customer Reviews

How We Review Cat Food Brands

Dogs are scavenging carnivores which means they are able to eat plant foods when times are lean. Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores so they have difficulty digesting plant foods. Cat foods made with a high percentage of carbohydrates are not ideal for cats – they require a high-protein diet made primarily with animal-based foods.

When we review cat food brands, we favor those that use premium quality animal proteins as the first ingredient and have a low concentration of plant products (including plant proteins like pea protein or potato protein).

Here are some of the other things we look for in a good cat food brand:

  • High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
  • Rich in healthy animal fats (ex: chicken fat or salmon oil)
  • Few to no carbohydrate ingredients (especially within the top 5)
  • Limited number of main ingredients plus supplements
  • No low-quality fillers, grains, or by-products

Other factors we consider when reviewing cat food brands include the number of different recipes the brand has to offer as well as the price per pound, the recall history of the brand, the availability, and customer reviews. Offering a variety of product choices is important because many cats tend are picky eaters.

A brand’s recall history is a good way to gauge the quality and safety of their products while customer reviews provide insight into the brand’s quality and popularity.

Overview of the Blue Buffalo Brand

The Blue Buffalo company was founded in 2002 by Bill Bishop after his Airedale Blue got sick. Blue struggled with cancer which inspired the Bishop family to develop a super-premium brand of pet food using only the highest quality ingredients, starting with real meat.

Bishop worked with a holistic veterinarian and animal nutritionist to develop the Blue Life Protection Formula for both dogs and cats which is now the number-one selling natural pet food recipe in the country.

Since its humble beginnings nearly twenty years ago, Blue Buffalo has risen through the ranks of the pet food industry to become one of the top brands on the market. The company’s nutritional philosophy is that high-quality, healthy ingredients are the secret to long-term health and wellness for pets.

Not only do they use premium natural ingredients in their products, but every formula includes Blue LifeSource Bits which are a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals formulated to support your pet’s immune system health, life stage requirements, and healthy oxidative balance.

Blue Buffalo is so confident in their products that they actually offer a tool on the website where you can compare your pet’s current diet to various Blue Buffalo products. To use the tool, you simply select your cat’s current brand of food from a drop-down list and then view the comparison which includes a review of the top-five ingredients as well as the price. If you choose to switch to Blue Buffalo, you can fill out a form to receive up to $4 in coupons to save money.

What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?

The Blue Buffalo company is known just as much for the variety of their products as for the quality.

They offer six unique product lines of cat foods formulated for different nutritional needs. The Blue Healthy Living line of products features LifeSource Bits and comes in a wide variety of recipes for kittens, adults, and senior cats.

If you prefer a grain-free or high-protein diet, the Wilderness line of products would be a good choice. You’ll find plenty more grain-free options in the Freedom line of products and the Basics line includes a variety of limited ingredient diets.

Some of the newest additions to Blue’s product lineup include a line of prescription formulas called Blue Natural Veterinary Diet and the Carnivora line of grain-free, high-protein, natural recipes.

Products Included in This Review

Name Type Protein % Fat % Top 5 Ingredients
Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food Dry 34% 18% Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Canned Food Wet 10% 9% Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, potatoes, natural flavor
Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Blend Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food Dry 45% 20% Deboned chicken, dried chicken, deboned turkey, chicken meal, chicken fat

Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Food

Product Info:

  • Type of Food: Dry
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% protein, 18% fat, 4% fiber, 9% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 430 calories/cup
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $2.53/pound


Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Menhaden Fish Meal, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Calcium Chloride, Fish Oil (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), DL-Methionine, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Potatoes, Potassium Chloride, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dried Chicory Root, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Cranberries, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, 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.

If you’re not sure what to feed your cat but you want something healthy and nutritionally balanced, this Healthy Living recipe is an excellent choice. It features both fresh chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients, followed by digestible whole-grain carbohydrates like brown rice, barley, and oatmeal.

This formula contains a rich blend of omega fatty acids from chicken fat, menhaden fish meal, flaxseed, and fish oil, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of essential nutrients.

Like all Blue Buffalo products, this recipe also features LifeSource Bits to ensure optimal nutrition and healthy nutritional balance. This recipe is completely free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as by-products and artificial additives.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Canned Food

Product Info:

  • Type of Food: Wet
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, potatoes, natural flavor
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% protein, 9% fat, 1.5% fiber, 78% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 242 calories/5.5-ounce can
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $0.19/ounce


Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Flaxseed (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Salt, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), D-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide.

This Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Canned Food features real chicken as the first ingredient and is completely free from grains, wheat, by-products, and artificial additives.

It is a high-protein recipe low in carbohydrates that is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids. It is high in moisture as well and is complete and balanced for all life stages.

This recipe contains chelated mineral supplements which are simply minerals that have been bound to protein molecules to increase their absorption. You’ll find that this recipe comes in three different-sized cans including a small 3-ounce can, a large 12.5-ounce can, and a 5.5-ounce can in between the two.

Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Blend Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Type of Food: Dry
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned chicken, dried chicken, deboned turkey, chicken meal, chicken fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 45% protein, 20% fat, 4% fiber, 9% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 501 calories/cup
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $5.50/pound


Deboned Chicken, Dried Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Tapioca Starch, Chicken Liver And Hearts, Dried Egg Product, Dried Tomato Pomace, Fava Beans, Gelatin, Deboned Duck, Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Lentils, Dried Pollock, Dried Sole, Dried Halibut, Dried Cod, Fish Oil (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Potassium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Turkey Liver, Dried Pork Liver, Dried Chicken Liver, Dried Tuna, Dried Sardine, Chicken Cartilage, Essential Nutrients And Other Ingredients: Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Minerals [Calcium Carbonate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)], Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, Turmeric, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Spinach, Pumpkin, Carrots, Dried Kale, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, L-Carnitine, Dried Kelp, Barley Grass, Parsley, Yucca Schidigera Extract, 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), Oil Of Rosemary.

The Carnivora line of products is the newest addition to the Chewy lineup. These products are incredibly rich in protein and animal-based ingredients with no grains, peas, or potatoes.

This particular recipe contains 90% protein from 11 different animal sources including chicken, turkey, fish, and duck. It also contains nutrient-rich organ meats and cartilage as well as essential vitamins and minerals to ensure nutritional balance.

This recipe contains a rich blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, plus it is supplemented with probiotics for healthy and regular digestion.

What Do Customers Think of Blue Buffalo Cat Food?

Scanning the selection of Blue Buffalo products available from Chewy, you’ll see that most products have at least 4 stars. For the most part, customers are very pleased with Blue Buffalo products and their quality. In many cases, when customers give a 1-star review it was due to issues with packaging, shipping, or simply their cat’s preferences for not liking the food.

Positive Customer Reviews

“I was looking for better quality for an affordable price and, most importantly, that my cat would enjoy it. I bought this because it was a daily special. Almost bought a different brand known to be of good quality and read reviews that mentioned corn as its first product. Not this one. Deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice are the first three ingredients. Great value for a quality product.” – AleeBee, reviewing Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

“So far so good, he seems to like it. I found another food he didn’t immediately reject, and if I alternate between the two, he seems satisfied. The ingredients in this food seem to be of high quality and it smells wholesome.”  – Joesmom, reviewing Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Canned Food

“I have rescue cats with health issues. Feeding them quality, grain-free food seems to be the ticket to improving a number of issues. Overgrooming, losing hair, over abundance of yucky wax in ears, poor dentition, and energy. These things have improved in our 2 formerly feral, malnourished cats.” – Sargeant, reviewing Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Blend Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food

Negative Customer Reviews

“I believe the product is great for the price, since I caught it on sale. Has all the healthy ingredients for your cat. However, my son hated it. He wouldn’t eat any of it. Guess we won’t be trying this brand again.” – Leelee, reviewing Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

“I don’t get it. They like chicken, and like most of their other food, this contains no by-products, no corn/wheat/soy, and nothing artificial. But most importantly it’s most… like, really moist… So, in every respect this food should be a winner. But no, they just won’t eat it.” – Karma, reviewing Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Canned Food

“I have four cats and none of them will even come near this food. Good results with other Blue products, but as they gradually lost interest in others, I thought I would try this. Expensive mistake. Glad I just bought the small bag.”  – Tybalt, reviewing Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Blend Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food

Product Recall History

When it comes to product recalls for the Blue Buffalo brand, there is something that needs to be addressed upfront. In 2018, the FDA began investigating claims of grain-free foods being linked to dilated cardiomyopathy in pets.

In 2019, the FDA identified Blue Buffalo as one of the 16 pet food brands that might be linked to this problem. There have been no recalls as part of the FDA’s ongoing investigation, however, and the issue seems to be linked to grain-free products only. Learn more about the issue in a detailed post from Petful.

In terms of product recalls, Blue Buffalo has had several within the past decade.

Here is a list of the most recent product recalls:

  • March 2017 (Packaging quality) – Over a dozen lots of Blue Buffalo wet food cups were recalled due to issues with packaging quality.
  • February 2017 (Potential metal contamination) – Only one recipe was affected – 12.5-ounce cans of Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables.
  • May 2016 (Possible mold) – This recall affected 30-pound bags of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe dog food.
  • November 2015 (Potential for salmonella) – Only one lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones was affected by this recall.
  • November 2015 (Low levels of propylene glycol) – This recall affected 2-ounce pouches of Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe cat treats.
  • October 2010 (Too much vitamin D) – Certain packages of Blue Wilderness Chicken Flavor dry dog food and certain Basics and Life Protection Formula recipes were affected.
  • April 2007 (Melamine contamination) – All cans of Blue Buffalo BLUE dog food and BLUE Spa Select cat food as well as BLUE dog treats and Spa Select Kitten dry food were recalled.

If you’re concerned about feeding your cat grain-free food due to the risk for dilated cardiomyopathy, do some research before you make your choice. Check out Blue Buffalo’s note to the public about this issue posted on their website for more information.

How Much Does Blue Buffalo Cat Food Cost?

Blue Buffalo offers an extremely extensive array of products, all at different price points. The BLUE line of dry and wet foods for cats is the most affordable product line while the newly released Carnivora product line is the most expensive of the traditional cat foods. The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diets line of products is at the top of the price range while the Wilderness, Basics, and Freedom lines of cat foods fall somewhere in the middle. On average, Blue Buffalo dry cat foods cost upwards of $2.50 per pound with some recipes exceeding $5.00 per pound.

To give you a better idea how Blue Buffalo stacks up against other cat food brands, here is a quick chart to show you some average prices:

Where Can You Buy Blue Buffalo Cat Food?

Aside from having so many different product options, one of the best things about Blue Buffalo is its availability. You can purchase Blue Buffalo in just about any pet store. Some pet stores may only offer a limited selection of products, but you can find almost every Blue Buffalo product online at Chewy or Amazon.

If you want to purchase Blue Buffalo products, simply find the recipe you want on their website and click the “Buy Now” button to see a list of retailers in your area. You can also buy from Chewy.

Our Final Thoughts: is Blue Buffalo a Good Cat Food Brand?

Overall, we think that Blue Buffalo is a pretty good brand. If you refer to the ratings at the top of this post, you’ll see that we ranked the brand 3.5/5. The areas in which this brand excels include product variety, ingredient quality, and availability. A significant number of recalls and high prices on some products is what drags this brand down.

If you want to feed your cat Blue Buffalo cat food, we suggest choosing a recipe that is well-suited to its individual needs. Generally speaking, indoor cats do well on the Healthy Living line of products and cats with digestive issues or food sensitivities might do well with a product from the Basics of Freedom line of products.

If you really want to give your cat the best of the best, however, we recommend the new Carnivora lineup. Whatever you choose, be sure to perform your own analysis of the recipe in terms of its ingredients and guaranteed analysis to make sure it’s the right choice. Best of luck!


Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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