Blue Buffalo Cat Food Review
For our Blue Buffalo cat food review we’ll take a look at the Healthy Living formula, a grain-based formula for carnivorous cats. If you want to know more about the grain-free offerings from Blue Buffalo then have a read of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness review.
Blue Buffalo Healthy Living cat food review
What the marketing says
The key marketing words for Blue Buffalo Healthy Living cat food are, yes you’ve guessed it, “Healthy Living”. You’re already being told this product is good for your cat, but as a marketing term it can bare no relation to what’s actually in the food.
Healthy Living is labelled as a Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe, and the Blue Buffalo website tells us “Real Chicken First Ingredient”. It’s a great marketing term and doesn’t necessarily mean the product is overflowing with tasty chicken.
They offer a “True Blue Promise” which states NO Chicken (or Poultry) By-Product Meals, NO Corn, Wheat or Soy, and NO Artificial Flavors or Preservatives. They’re definitely plus points, so there’s hope yet with this cat food.
Keep reading our Blue Buffalo cat food review to find out what the ingredients really say…
What the ingredients really say
So, we’re told real chicken is the first ingredient, but it’s possible the first seven are in equal portions. That gives us 2 meat ingredients, 2 pea ingredients, and 3 grain ingredients. You may wonder what the difference is between peas and pea protein, as generally we just refer to peas as peas.
Based on the above assumption the composition of the main ingredients would look more like this:
Given cats are obligate carnivores it means the red section represents the most important ingredients (meat), and what your cat will get the most benefit from. The green section are both peas, which they’ve split into two ingredients (split peas!). Splitting is a labelling technique which in this case puts peas way down the ingredients rather than at the top.
The grey area shows how much grains there can be in Blue Buffalo Healthy Living cat food. Although I consider oatmeal, barley, and brown rice three of the best grain inclusions in pet foods, it’s still something we should only find in moderation in a diet for meat-eating obligately carnivorous cats.
When we look at the possible composition of main ingredients above, it appears peas can be in an equal amount to the meat, and the grains very likely outweigh the meat content.
Truth is, grains (and also non grain/non meat ingredients) are used to keep production costs down and profits up.
So, is Blue Buffalo dry cat food bad? Well, compared to other cat foods it actually isn’t that bad. Most cat foods are made from cereals and cereal by-products which are much worse.
There’s some nice minor inclusions in Blue Buffalo cat foods, such as menhaden fish meal, dried egg product, flaxseed, and fish oil. These should go some way into boosting your cat’s health, wellbeing, skin, and coat. But even at this level we find more ingredients not ideal for a carnivore such as potato, sweet potato, more peas, and the commonly found natural flavor which will be some form of animal digest and should be listed as such.
The guaranteed analysis of 34% protein, 18% fat, and I estimate around 31% carbs is moderate for a cat food.
Blue Buffalo cat food (in terms of the grain-based Healthy Living formula) sits somewhere between average and better than average. Although cats don’t need grains, the included grains are better than others. It’s possible peas are in the same proportion as meat, but again you can get worse ingredients than peas.
If Blue Buffalo Healthy Living is what you feed your cat then you can be thankful there are much worse choices, but there are also better choices more species appropriate.
Where to buy Blue Buffalo cat food
Ingredients of Blue Buffalo Healthy Living dry cat food are as follows:
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.tion product.
Guaranteed analysis of Blue Buffalo Healthy Living dry cat food (Vitality formula):
|Crude Fibre||(max) 4%|
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 31%|
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- Decent meat
- Decent grain selections (although cats don't really need grains)
- Likely more grains than meat
- Peas are possibly in the same quantity as meat