Blue Buffalo Wilderness Cat Food Review

The Blue Buffalo Company was founded in 2002 when Bill Bishop, the owner of an Airedale named Blue, was inspired to make a super-premium pet food to support his dog as he struggled through cancer treatments. What began as a single recipe has blossomed into one of the largest, most well-known companies in the natural pet food industry. To this day, Blue Buffalo is dedicated to providing high-quality and nutritious diets for cats and dogs in all life stages, using the most wholesome ingredients available in carefully formulated recipes designed to deliver complete and balanced nutrition. Having grown from offering a single recipe, the Blue Buffalo Company now offers four product lines as well as a line of natural veterinary diets. The four product lines included in the Blue Buffalo family of foods are as follows: 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 Wilderness Cat Food Made?

The Blue Buffalo Company is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut and it remains a family-owned and –operated organization. Since the company’s founding in 2002, Blue Buffalo has grown from offering just a single recipe of homemade dog food to offering dozens of different products spread across four product lines. Blue Buffalo uses the freshest, most high-quality ingredients available and they source many of them locally, whenever possible. In terms of where their products are made, the Blue Buffalo website does not provide specific details except to say that all of their products are manufactured in the United States.

Are There Any Recalls for Blue Buffalo Wilderness Cat Food in 2019?

The Blue Buffalo Company is very careful to use high-quality ingredients in their recipes and all of their formulas are developed with input from an expert team of PhD nutritionists and staff veterinarians using U.S.-sourced ingredients. As careful as the company is to follow strict standards for safety and quality, however, Blue Buffalo has still been affected by several recalls in recent history. Out of five total recalls since 2007, however, only two of them affected the Wilderness product line in particular and both were for dog products, not a cat products. 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 Wilderness Offer?

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness line of products includes both wet food and dry food recipes as well as a limited selection of cat treats. These recipes are all rich in protein, designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of the wild lynx. In addition to being rich in protein, these recipes are also free from corn, wheat and soy ingredients and do not contain any artificial additives. They are formulated to not just meet but exceed your cat’s need for proteins, and many of the recipes are made with novel proteins (like duck) which can help to reduce the risk for food allergies and sensitivities in cats.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food Products: Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry foods are designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of the wild lynx. These recipes are all protein-rich, made with premium-quality meats and meat meals plus other natural ingredients. Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry foods are all naturally grain-free and free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as artificial preservatives. Simply put, these recipes are loaded with healthy, natural ingredients that are also loaded with rich flavor. Here is a list of the dry food options included in the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line:

  • Kitten Chicken Recipe
  • Adult Chicken Recipe
  • Adult Duck Recipe
  • Adult Salmon Recipe
  • Adult Trout Recipe
  • Adult Rabbit Recipe
  • Adult Red Meat Recipe
  • Mature Chicken Recipe
  • Adult Weight Control Recipe
  • Adult Indoor Chicken Recipe
  • Adult Indoor Hairball Control
  • Adult Indoor Hairball & Weight Control

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Canned Cat Food Products: Blue Buffalo Wilderness canned foods offer moisture-rich recipes made with premium ingredients in healthy, balanced formulas. Within this product line you will find an assortment of recipes specially formulated for kittens as well as adult recipes and one mature formula. Blue Buffalo Wilderness wet foods come in two different forms – canned foods and meal toppers. Here is a list of the canned food options included in the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line:

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Canned Food Recipes:

  • Kitten Chicken Recipe
  • Kitten Salmon Recipe
  • Kitten Flaked Chicken & Trout Recipe
  • Chicken Recipe
  • Duck Recipe
  • Turkey Recipe
  • Salmon Recipe
  • Mature Chicken Recipe
  • Adult Trout Feast
  • Adult Red Meat Feast
  • Adult Flaked Trout Feast
  • Adult Flaked Red Meat Feast
  • Flaked Chicken & Turkey Recipe
  • Flaked Chicken & Trout Recipe
  • Chicken & Turkey Recipe
  • Chicken & Salmon Recipe
  • Chicken & Trout Recipe
  • Adult Minced Chicken & Turkey Recipe
  • Adult Minced Chicken & Trout Recipe

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Cuts Tasty Toppers:

  • Tasty Chicken Morsels
  • Tasty Duck Morsels
  • Tasty Salmon Morsels

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Cat Treats: In addition to offering an assortment of dry and canned cat food products, there is also a line of Blue Buffalo Wilderness cat treats. With four flavor options to choose from, these treats are rich in both protein and natural flavor. Here is a list of the treats included in the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line:

  • Chicken & Duck Cat Treats
  • Chicken & Turkey Cat Treats
  • Chicken & Salmon Cat Treats
  • Chicken & Trout Cat Treats

Dry Cat Food Recipe Review: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Duck Recipe Dry Food

This Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Duck Recipe Dry Food is a protein-rich recipe designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of the wild lynx. In addition to being protein-rich, the duck which serves as the foundation for this recipe is also a novel protein for many cats which could help to reduce the risk for food allergies and sensitivities. For digestible carbohydrates, this recipe relies on sweet potatoes with fresh fruits and vegetables for added nutrient supplementation. Like all of Blue Buffalo’s dry foods, this recipe also contains LifeSource Bits which consist of a special blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for healthy oxidative balance and nutritional support.

The first ingredient in this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Duck Recipe Dry Food is deboned duck. Duck is a protein-rich ingredient but it is important to remember that fresh meats contain up to 80% moisture – when the product is cooked and the moisture removed, the actual volume of protein provided by this ingredient could be much lower. This isn’t a problem for this recipe, however, because chicken meal and turkey meal are the second and third ingredients. Meat meals have already been cooked to remove moisture so they are a highly concentrated source of protein. Additional protein sources in this recipe include menhaden fish meal and pea protein. The pea protein is a little troubling because, as a plant-based ingredient, it has lower biological value to your cat.

In terms of carbohydrates, this recipe relies on tapioca starch and peas as the primary sources, with supplemental carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. There are also additional sources of dietary fiber like tomato pomace, dried chicory root, and potato starch.. For fats, this recipe relies on chicken fat as the primary source with flaxseed to help ensure omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid balance .This recipe also includes a number of beneficial additives like chelated minerals the dried fermentation products which act as probiotics to support your cat’s healthy and regular digestion.

This Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Duck Dry Food recipe has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 40%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 18%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 4%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10%
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.15%
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.0%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.5%
  • Calorie Content – 447 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 ¼ to ½ cup daily and cats weighing 10 to 14 pounds ½ to ¾ cups 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 stored in a cool, dry place.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food Recipe Rating: 4/5 stars

Overall, this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Duck Recipe Dry Food receives a 4 out of 5 star rating. This recipe is incredibly rich in both protein and fat, most of which comes from quality sources. It is a little bit troubling to see pea protein included, but it is listed after numerous animal proteins so it may not be used in any significant volume. Though this recipe also includes numerous carbohydrates and sources of supplementary fiber, the overall fiber content is still below 5% which is good. This recipe could be improved by increasing the number of chelated minerals and reducing the number of plant-based ingredients. All in all, however, it seems to provide high-quality, balanced nutrition for adult cats.

Wet Cat Food Recipe Review: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Canned Food

This Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Canned Food is formulated to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of the wild lynx, your cat’s ancient ancestor. This recipe is incredibly rich in protein and natural chicken flavor – your cat won’t be able to get enough of it. In addition to being protein-rich, this formula is 100% grain-free, made with easily digestible carbohydrates and an assortment of other natural ingredients. This recipe is guaranteed to be free from chicken and poultry by-products as well as corn, wheat and soy ingredients – it is also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

The first ingredient in this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Canned Food is chicken, as promised, and it is followed by chicken broth and chicken liver. These ingredients are followed by the recipes primary source of carbohydrate – potatoes. Not only are potatoes considered easily digestible by cats, but they are also gluten-free and grain-free. This ingredient is supplemented by flaxseed, a source of both dietary fiber and healthy fats. It is somewhat troubling, however, to see that the flaxseed is used as the sole source of fat in this recipe (aside from what the chicken and chicken liver contribute). Fat is a concentrated source of energy for cats and should be included in any balanced cat food product.

The remaining ingredients in this recipe consist of flavors, thickeners, and supplements. Guar gum, for example, is a thickening agent frequently used in pet foods – it can be used to add a significant amount of fiber to the food. Carrageenan is also included – this ingredient also serves as a thickener and its biological safety has been called into question of late. In terms of supplements, this recipe includes a few chelated minerals which is good. Chelated minerals are mineral supplements that have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your cat’s body to digest and absorb. Still, natural sources for key nutrients (such as fresh fruits and vegetables) would be more biologically valuable for your cat than the synthetic nutrient supplements used here.

This Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Canned Food has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 10%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 9%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 1.5%
  • Moisture (Max) – 78%
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.1%
  • Calorie Content – 132 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 to 8 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 Wilderness Canned Cat Food Recipe Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Canned Food receives a 3.5 out of 5 star rating. While the recipe starts off well with chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver, it is sorely lacking in healthy fats. Flaxseed serves as the sole source of fat in this recipe and, as a plant-based fat, it is less biologically valuable for cats than an animal fat would be. It is also somewhat troubling to see carrageenan used here – carrageenan is a thickener that has become the source of some debate lately in regard to its long-term biological safety. It bodes well for this recipe that some of the mineral supplements are chelated, but this recipe could benefit from some natural sources for key nutrients (such as fresh fruits and vegetables) because they are more biologically valuable than synthetic supplements. It also wouldn’t hurt to include some probiotics here to support your cat’s digestion.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line of products offers excellent nutritional quality for cats in all life stages. Because this line is designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of the wild lynx, you can count on each recipe to be focused around premium proteins. In addition to being meat-rich, the recipes included in this line are also free from wheat, corn, and soy ingredients as well as chicken and poultry by-product meals. Although this product line uses quality proteins and digestible carbohydrates, some recipes could stand to be formulated with a little more protein and a little less fiber – it is also worth noting that the canned foods in this product line are thickened with carrageenan, an ingredient considered questionable by many. All in all, however, the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line of products is superior in quality to many pet foods on the market.

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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5 comments

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  • We have seen a change in the Blue Wilderness Salmon Recipe for cats. Katja showed she loved it about 5 years ago. About 3 months ago I bought six cans and the product looked different. Greyer, juicyer, and Katja has started avoiding it. I had one can from earlier left in the bottom of the drawer. It was definitly redder and firmer. When mixed with warm water, Katja ate all of it. I went back to newer cans and she stopped again. I don’t see any other comments about it but saw that you do detailed coverage of cat foods and thought I would let you know.

  • Just purchased 3 of 24-can cases of different flavors Blue adult wet food for my fur baby. Previously he’d been on the dry & wet kitten formulas which he seemed to love. Now the grayer adult wet food he eagerly approaches, sniffs & turns away. I’m now stuck with over $60 of ugly gray wet cat food since each case has had several cans taken out to try, but getting thrown out the next day. Looking for a high quality grain-free wet food, guess I’ll go back to kitten formula for now………. :-((

  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry cat food line has changed their ingredients. The third ingredient TURKEY MEAL has been taken out and been replaced with PEA PROTEIN. Called Blue Buffalo because my fur baby started throwing up three times a week. They stated they changed their ingredients in June of 2017. I had been feeding this product for 10 years to my baby and thought I was a good pet parent. I was so wrong…

  • We have been feeding our cats Blue Wilderness Adult Cat for a few months. They seemed to like the food. This is our second big bag, my Rag Doll Lily has been having diarrhea with blood in it. She has also been throwing up. We took the food away for a full 24 hours, thinking this may help. Nope she is still throwing up and she still having diarrhea. So is there any recalls on this bag of food? The lot number is 20180401 B 31 1405 Best before 2019 Apr.01.

  • My daughter has 3 cats. Her husband bought 24 cans of chicken. None of the cats wanted to eat it. She gave me the box of 23 cans so I could use with my cat. Same result, he would not touch it. What is wrong with that cat food?

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