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- Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
- Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
- Above average protein content – 0 Star
- Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 0 Star
- Catological Discretionary Rating – 0 Star
Here’s a few important points to consider for this particular line:
- Meat is the first ingredient
- Includes fillers – Not many different types, but the quantity is high, based on the macronutrient profiles (low protein, high carbs)
- Includes extra vitamins and quality, chelated versions of some minerals
- Includes up to 3 thickening agents per recipe
- Likely not much meat in this food
The Blue Basics product line includes 4 wet recipes/flavors.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage or packaging: Growth (G), Maintenance (M), All Life Stages (A), Supplemental (S) or Unspecified (U).
The star rating is a rough average of all of the flavors in a single line of food. If an individual recipe scored lower or higher, we will mark that below, next to the flavor.
- Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Turkey & Potato (M)
- Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Duck & Potato (M)
- Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Fish & Potato (M)
- Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Turkey & Potato Kitten (G)
Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Turkey & Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Turkey & Potato
Wet Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||27%||20%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||54%||17%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Carrots, Peas, Fish Oil (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Flaxseed (Source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Cellulose Powder, Cranberries, Blueberries, Pumpkin, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Choline Chloride, Sunflower Oil (Source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), 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 in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food is turkey. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, turkey is a very good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that turkey contains about 70% water, so when it is processed and cooked for use in cat food, it will become a smaller part of the total recipe.
The second ingredient is turkey broth. Good.
Instead of using water for processing, turkey broth is added for moisture.
Broth may contain vitamins and nutrients from the original animal (turkey, in this case), that water would lack.
This is usually a sign of a high quality food.
The third ingredient is turkey liver. Good.
Liver is an important organ meat that your cat would eat in the wild to get extra protein, vitamins, and minerals.
This is usually a sign of a high quality food.
The fourth ingredient is potatoes. Bad.
These are typically used as filler in grain-free recipes.
They are not biologically appropriate and may cause digestive upset.
After natural flavors, which are typically fine, the fifth ingredient is carrots. Good.
The beta carotene in carrots turns into vitamin A, which is a useful antioxidant compound.
However, cats can’t turn much beta carotene into vitamin A like we can, so much of it is stored for growth or cell reprouction.
Therefore, carrots are most useful for kittens or senior cats.
The sixth ingredient is peas. OK, but with reservations.
Peas are a quality carbohydrate, but cats don’t need much in the way of carbohydrates.
They are full of fiber, but also contain a fair amount of protein, which we should keep in mind when judging the meat content of this food.
There probably aren’t many peas in here, but there really doesn’t need to be any.
The seventh ingredient is fish oil. Good.
Fish oil can help to improve skin, coat, joint, and heart health in your kitty, because they contain EPA and DHA, two essential fatty acids.
The eighth ingredient is carrageenan. OK, but with reservations.
A thickening agent.
Carrageenan is a very controversial ingredient. It is derived from a red seaweed.
One of it’s forms, degraded carrageenan, is a potential carcinogen.
While degraded is not used in food applications, some people have concerns that the ingredient could become degraded from a cat’s stomach acid, therefore potentially increasing cancer risk.
It is likely fine, but with so many other options on the market, many people choose not to take the risk.
The ninth ingredient is cassia gum. OK, but with reservations.
A thickening agent.
In high quantities, this gum may be regarded as a skin and respiratory sensitiser and as a potential irritant to skin and eyes. There is likely not enough to cause problems, but it’s use is not necessary.
This recipe includes a number of other ingredients, but once you get down this far, none of them will be in large enough quantities to make a real difference, except for the added vitamins and minerals.
However, there are a few things you should know about.
It includes cellulose powder, which is a filler high in insoluble fiber. It’s typically wood pulp (sawdust) from pine trees. Too much insoluble fiber can interfere with digestion and inhibit protein and nutrient uptake.
This recipe utilizes chelated minerals, which may be easier to digest and more bioavailable for your cat. This is usually a sign of a high quality cat food.
To read a more in depth article about any of the ingredients listed here, check out our Cat Food Ingredient Wiki (currently under development).
The Catological Verdict on Blue Basics Wet Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is a below average dry product.
Meat is the first ingredient, and the use of organ meat is great to see, but all sorts of fillers are used.
It contains more carbohydrates than are necessary, and fairly low protein.
This is not a good example of a wet food you should be feeding to your cat.
Although it starts with 3 great ingredients, the fact that the crude protein is under 40% is a good indicator that there is a fair bit of filler in here, so it’s hard to call it a fully meat-based food.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 36% protein, 27% fat, and 20% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 37%, and average fat content of 24%, and an average carb content of 23%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Below average protein.
- Above average fat.
- Above average carbs.
Because good meat ingredients come first, but many unnecessary filler ingredients are used, our average rating for this brand is 2 stars.
Blue Buffalo Cat Food Recall History
We do not believe that a recall indicates a low quality food or company, and we respect the fact that sometimes things happen that cause a manufacturer to recall a food.
Usually these things are non-life-threatening, and we think it’s important to take a moment to be thankful about just how few recalls there really are in the industry, considering the enormous volume of food produced.
However, we do believe that a history of recalls may point to a larger issue with a company, and that discerning consumers want to know who they’re buying from, especially when it comes to something as important as the food you feed your beloved cat.
Here is a list of recalls that have affected the Blue Buffalo brand in the past:
- March 2017 – Potential high levels of beef thyroid hormone (naturally occurring) – 1 recipe affected
- February 2017 – Potential alluminum contamination – 1 recipe affected
- February 2017 – Packaging quality – 2 lines of dog food affected
- May 2016 – Potential mold – 1 recipe affected
- November 2015 – Potentially contains propylene glycol – 1 cat food recipe affected
- November 2015 – Potential for salmonella – 1 recipe affected
- October 2010 – Potentially too much vitamin D – 3 lines of dog food affected
- April 2007 – Melamine – Most recipes affected
- NOTE ON LAWSUIT – A class action lawsuit was levelled against Blue Buffalo in 2017, alleging high levels of lead in their products. This is working it’s way through the legal system, and these allegations are not proven.
If you want to stay up to date on the latest recall information affecting your cat’s food, sign up to our email list and receive an email every time a recall is announced. We’ll also let you know about any updated ratings, recipe changes, or new cat foods on the market. (Our alert system will be launched shortly, check back soon.)
Where To Buy Blue Buffalo Cat Food
We recommend purchasing your pet products from Chewy.com. They continually prove that they walk the walk while talking the talk, and I’ve never dealt with a more dedicated pet-parent base of people than those who work at Chewy.
Plus, they offer 20% off and free shipping on lots of orders.