Blue Buffalo Basics Cat Food Review

The Blue Buffalo Company is widely known as one of the top pet food brands on the market. This company began with a single homemade dog food recipe and has expanded into one of the most highly rated, all-natural pet food brands. Blue Buffalo is dedicated to producing high-quality pet food products made with fresh, wholesome ingredients in carefully formulated recipes – it is their goal to set a new standard in healthy pet food. Although Blue Buffalo began as a family-owned company with just one recipe, it has expanded to include four different product lines as well as a line of natural veterinary diets. The four product lines include the BLUE line of all-natural pet foods, the Freedom line of grain-free recipes, the Wilderness line of meat-rich formulas, and the Basics line of limited ingredient diets. All four product lines offer a wide variety of flavor options in both dry food and wet food formulas.

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Where is Blue Buffalo Basics Cat Food Made?

The Blue Buffalo Company began in 2002 as a family-owned operation and, while the brand has experienced rapid growth and expansion, it remains a family-owned company with its headquarters in Wilton, Connecticut. Not only does Blue Buffalo state that all of their ingredients are natural and of the highest quality, but they also state that each and every one of their products is manufactured in the United States. Blue Buffalo products are carefully formulated by an expert team of PhD nutritionists and staff veterinarians using U.S.-sourced ingredients, frequently from local farmers.

Are There Any Recalls for Blue Buffalo Basics Cat Food in 2020?

Blue Buffalo is very transparent about the fact that they source their ingredients very carefully and that they follow the strictest standards for quality and safety when it comes to the manufacture of their products. Even so, however, the brand has been affected by several recalls in recent history. Out of five total recalls since 2007, however, only one has affected the Basics product line in particular and it was for a dog food product, not a cat food product. Here are the details for the five most recent recalls affecting the Blue Buffalo brand:

  • In April 2007 the FDA issued a recall for several Blue Buffalo products due to potential melamine contamination. The products affected by this recall included all cans of Blue Buffalo BLUE dog food, all cans of Blue Buffalo BLUE Spa Select cat food, all Blue Buffalo BLUE dog treats, and Blue Buffalo BLUE Spa Select Kitten dry food.
  • In October 2010, the FDA issued a recall for several Blue Buffalo dog food products due to potentially high levels of Vitamin D. The products affected by this recall included some packages of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Flavor dry dog food, Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Formula Salmon & Potato dry dog food, and Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Large Breed Adult dry dog food.
  • In November 2015, Blue Buffalo issued a voluntary recall for 2-ounce pouches of Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe cat treats due to low levels of propylene glycol.
  • In November 2015, Blue Buffalo issued a voluntary recall for one lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones due to potential salmonella contamination.
  • In May 2016, the FDA issued a recall for 30-pound bags of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe dry dog food due to possible mold contamination.
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What Kind of Products Does Blue Buffalo Basics Offer?

The Blue Buffalo Basics line of limited ingredient diets includes both dry food and wet food options with each formula made using a limited number of ingredients. Limited ingredient diets (LIDs) are ideal for cats that suffer from food allergies or sensitivities as well as cats that have sensitive stomachs or other digestive issues. All of the products in the Basics line are designed to be healthy and holistic, made with nutrient-rich ingredients to maximize their nutritional value. This line does not utilize any corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or eggs and there are several grain-free options available as well.

Blue Buffalo Basics Dry Cat Food Products: Blue Buffalo’s Basics line of Limited Ingredient Diets comes in four different formulas, all of which are naturally grain-free. In addition to being made with premium proteins and grain-free carbohydrates, all of these recipes include Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits. LifeSource Bits are made up of a precise blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to promote oxidative balance and nutritional completeness. Here is a list of Blue Buffalo Basics dry cat food recipes:

  • Adult Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe
  • Adult Grain-Free Fish & Potato Recipe
  • Adult Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe
  • Mature Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe

Blue Buffalo Basics Canned Cat Food Products: In addition to offering several options for dry food, the Blue Buffalo’s Basics line of Limited Ingredient Diets also includes four canned food options. All of these recipes are naturally grain-free with one formulated especially for kittens and the remaining three formulated for adults. Here is a list of Blue Buffalo Basics canned cat food recipes:

  • Kitten Grain-Free Turkey Recipe
  • Adult Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe
  • Adult Grain-Free Fish & Potato Recipe
  • Adult Grain-Free Indoor Turkey & Potato Recipe

Dry Cat Food Recipe Review: Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe

This Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe is marketed as a limited ingredient diet that is formulated to minimize food allergies and sensitivities. Made with a single source of animal protein (and a novel protein at that), this recipe will meet your cat’s high protein needs without the risk for food allergies. This recipe also features digestible carbohydrates that are gluten-free and grain-free as well as a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from quality sources. Plus, with Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits included, this recipe will boost your cat’s immune health and promote healthy oxidative balance.

As promised, the first ingredient in this Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe is deboned duck. One thing you should be aware of with this ingredient is that fresh meats contain up to 80% moisture by volume – when the product is cooked, most of that moisture is lost and the ingredient ends up having a much lower volume. This isn’t a problem in this recipe, however, because duck meal is the second ingredient. Meat meals have already been cooked to remove moisture which makes them a highly concentrated source of protein. Unfortunately, the third ingredient is pea protein concentrate – this is a plant-based protein that offers much lower bioavailability to your cat and it may contribute significantly to the overall protein content of the recipe.

The main sources of carbohydrate in this recipe are tapioca starch and peas, though potatoes appear later in the list along with potato starch and dehydrated alfalfa meal (which also contains a significant amount of plant protein). Tapioca starch and peas are considered easily digestible carbohydrates for cats but it is somewhat troubling to see a crude fiber content of 6% in this recipe – this is a little high for cats. Much of that probably comes from the dried chicory root and potato starch. The fresh fruits that appear later on the list (blueberries and cranberries) may provide some supplemental fiber as well, but they are more likely included as natural sources for key nutrients and antioxidants.

The remaining ingredients on the list for this Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe consist primarily of fats, flavors, and supplements. Canola oil is the primary source of fat in this recipe which, while it is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, is less biologically valuable than an animal fat. Fortunately, fish oil is also included and it works with the canola oil to provide a balance of omega oils. In terms of supplements, this recipe does include synthetic supplements but several of the mineral supplements are chelated which is good. It is also a good thing that this recipe includes dried fermentation products – these act as probiotics to support your cat’s healthy and regular digestion.

This Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Grain-Free Duck & Potato recipe dry food has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 30%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 14%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 6%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10%
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.15%
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.0%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.75%
  • Calorie Content – 377 calories/cup

This recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance. To feed your cat this recipe, offer cats weighing 5 to 9 pounds ½ to ¾ cups per day and cats weighing 10 to 14 pounds ¾ to 1 cup daily, ideally dividing it into two meals. Follow the feeding recommendations for several weeks while keeping an eye on your cat’s bodyweight and condition. If your cat appears to be gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, you may need to scale back his daily portion a little bit. For cats that lose weight or become lethargic, consider increasing the daily portion. This product should be fed at room temperature and stored in a cool, dry place.

Blue Buffalo Basics Dry Cat Food Recipe Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Overall, this Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe receives a 3.5 out of 5 star rating. While this recipe does include deboned duck and duck meal as the top two ingredients, the third ingredient is pea protein concentrate. Although this ingredient may contain up to 80% protein, plant-based proteins are less biologically valuable for cats than animal-based proteins. Plus, since it is the third ingredient, it seems likely that this ingredient is used in a significant quantity. The carbohydrates used in this recipe are gluten- and grain-free, but the total fiber content is a little bit high at 6%. It is also worth noting that the main source of fat used in this recipe is a plant-based fat (canola oil), though fish oil appears later in the list. Other benefits of this recipe include the use of chelated minerals and dried fermentation products which act as probiotics.

Wet Cat Food Recipe Review: Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Indoor Turkey & Potato Recipe

This Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Indoor Turkey & Potato Recipe is designed with a limited number of quality ingredients in order to minimize food allergies and sensitivities in cats while maximizing nutritional value. This recipe is made with fresh turkey, a protein-rich ingredient that is also a novel protein for many cats – this further limits the risk for triggering food allergies. In terms of carbohydrates, this formula features digestible sources like potatoes and peas with a precise blend of fruits, veggies, and micronutrients to ensure nutritional balance. This recipe is also loaded with moisture and natural flavor.

The first ingredient in this Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Indoor Turkey & Potato Recipe is protein-rich turkey which is followed by turkey broth and turkey liver, another source of healthy protein. Following these ingredients comes the primary source of digestible carbohydrates – potatoes – with carrots and peas following shortly behind. Not only do these ingredients provide digestible fiber to support your cat’s digestion, but they also serve as natural sources for key micronutrients. This is also true of the fresh fruits and vegetables that appear further down the list – cranberries, blueberries, and pumpkin. This recipe also includes some supplementary sources of fiber such as cellulose powder.

Not only is this recipe rich in protein, but it is also loaded with healthy fats that provide a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support your cat’s skin and coat. Fish oil is the primary source of fat in this recipe and an excellent source of omega-3s. Plus, as an animal-based ingredient, the fish oil offers high bioavailability to your cat. Supplementary sources of fat come in the shape of flaxseed and sunflower oil. The remaining ingredients in this recipe consist primarily of thickeners, flavors, and supplements. It is a good thing that many of the mineral supplements are chelated but the use of carrageenan is somewhat troubling. This ingredient is used as a thickener in pet foods and has recently been the source of some debate regarding its long term biological safety.

This Blue Buffalo Basics recipe has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 8%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 6%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 1.5%
  • Moisture (Max) – 78%
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.10%
  • Vitamin E (Min) – 50 IU/kg
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.75%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.15%
  • Calorie Content – 101 calories per 3-ounce can

This recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance. To feed your cat this recipe, offer two 3-ounce cans per 6 pounds of bodyweight per day, ideally dividing it into two meals. Follow the feeding recommendations for several weeks while keeping an eye on your cat’s bodyweight and condition. If your cat appears to be gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, you may need to scale back his daily portion a little bit. For cats that lose weight or become lethargic, consider increasing the daily portion. This product should be fed at room temperature and any uneaten portion should be refrigerated.

Blue Buffalo Basics Canned Cat Food Recipe Rating: 4/5 stars

Overall, this Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Indoor Turkey & Potato Recipe receives a 4 out of 5 star rating. The fact that this recipe lists turkey as the first ingredient speaks to the high protein content of the recipe, though it wouldn’t hurt to include turkey meal as well, as a more concentrated source of protein. For gluten- and grain-free carbohydrate, this recipe relies on potatoes, carrots, and peas, all of which are considered fairly digestible for cats. It is also a good thing that this recipe includes fish oil as the primary source of fat with flaxseed and sunflower oil included to balance out the omega fatty acid content. The one problem with this recipe is that it includes carrageenan – this is a thickener frequently used in pet foods which has lately been the subject of controversy regarding questions about the ingredient’s long-term biological safety for cats. The total fiber content of this recipe is also a little high for cats. All in all, however, this is a high-quality canned food recipe.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the Blue Buffalo Basics line of products offers quality nutrition and healthy balance for cats. While the quality of different recipes varies to some degree, every product in this line is made with high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and grain-free carbohydrates in a formula made with a limited number of ingredients. This line of products is particularly beneficial for cats that suffer from food allergies or sensitivities as well as cats that have sensitive stomachs or other digestive issues. Plus, like all of Blue Buffalo’s products, these recipes are free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients and devoid of artificial additives. The dry food recipes also feature Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits for a boost of natural nutritional and flavor.

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a freelance writer specializing in the subject of pet health and wellness. An avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate has a great deal of experience writing about all kinds of pets and all aspects of pet care. Her work has been featured on a number of pet websites and she is a regular columnist for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine.

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2 comments

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  • I’ve bought basic wet cat food turkey and potatoes in small cans
    Which is roughly 2 dollars a can
    I just recently discovered the launch can which is about close to three dollars
    Upon opening the can I noticed it look different from the small came why is that I see no carrots slivers in the large can
    Upon opening the can I noticed it look different from the small came why is that
    I see no bits of carrots in the large can?

  • My cats LOVE B.B Wild. Actually anything Blue Buffalo they love. I tried feeding them Orijen, but they hated it. I gave it away and bought Blue Buffalo wild Chicken adult and were eating normal again. I give them B.B wild wet food too for dinner and my usually hate-wetfood cat ate it. It’s a good food. Good vet reports.

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