Blue Buffalo Wilderness Cat Food (Wet) Review And Nutritional Analysis

Rating

  • Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
  • Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
  • Above average protein content – 0.5 Star
  • Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 1 Star
  • Catological Discretionary Rating – 0.5 Star

Here’s a few important points to consider for this particular line:

  • Meat is the first ingredient
  • Wide range of meats included, very minimal fillers, but multiple thickening agents
  • Includes extra vitamins, and high quality, chelated minerals
  • Macronutrients are good, with decent protein and fat levels, and very low carb levels

The Wilderness product line includes 19 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 wilderness wet cat food tin

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken

Wet Cat Food

Estimated Nutrient Content
ProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis45%41%0%
Calorie Weighted Basis32%70%0%

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein

45%

Fat

41%

Carbs

0%

Fiber (guaranteed analysis)

1.5%

Calories/100g

155

Is real, named meat the first ingredient?

Yes

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Flaxseed (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Salt, CarrageenanCassia 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.

Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.

Ingredient Breakdown

The first ingredient in this cat food is chicken. Good.

While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, chicken is a very good protein source for cats.

It’s also important to note that chicken 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 chicken broth. Good.

Instead of using water for processing, chicken broth is added for moisture.

Broth may contain vitamins and nutrients from the original animal (chicken, in this case), that water would lack.

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

The third ingredient is chicken 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 fine, the fifth ingredient is guar gum. OK, but with reservations.

Guar gum comes from guar beans, and is a thickening agent.

In small quantities, like those in cat food, it should be a harmless ingredient.

However, some research has shown that including guar gum in a commercial cat food “had a significant negative effect on apparent protein digestibility in many of the cats and tended to depress apparent fat and energy digestibilities.”

While not heavily substantiated beyond this study, it might mean your cat needs to eat more protein to make up for the lower digestibility.

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.

Carrageenan is used, which is a thickening agent.

It 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.

This contains cassia gum, which is 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 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 Buffalo Wilderness Wet Cat Food

From top to bottom, this is an above average dry product.

Meat is the first ingredient, organ meat is typically included, and there’s usually only one filler ingredient, plus a couple of thickening agents. 

The macronutrient contents of these foods are very good – most having almost no carbs.

This is a good example of a wet food you should be feeding to your cat.

Based on the ingredients and the macronutrient profiles, meat is the main ingredient, so we can safely say it’s a meat-based food, which is biologically appropriate for your cat.

To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 45% protein, 41% fat, and 0% carbs.

As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 48%, and average fat content of 29%, and an average carb content of 5%.

Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:

  • Average protein.
  • Above average fat.
  • Below average carbs.

Because meat comes first, there are almost no fillers, and the macronutrients are great, our average rating for this brand is 4 stars.

Recommended.

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 30% off and free shipping. 

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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