Blue Buffalo Freedom dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor highest rating, 5 stars.
This range is made up of five grain-free recipes which have high-quality natural ingredients such as real chicken, lamb, and beef and no artificial flavors or preservatives.
The Freedom dry range comes in a variety of flavors and is enhanced with vitamins and minerals. It also meets AAFCO standards.
- Catered for indoor cats
- Real meat as the main ingredient
- No artificial additives or animal by-products
- Lots of vitamins and nutrients
- Supplemented with chelated minerals to help nutrient absorption
- Some recipes contain controversial ingredients
- High carbohydrate content
- Brand has had a number of recalls
- Low moisture content
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
The Blue Buffalo Freedom wet product line includes 5 cat foods.
|Adult Cat - Grain-Free Indoor Recipe - Chicken
|Adult Cat - Grain-Free Indoor Recipe - Fish
|Adult Cat - Grain-Free Indoor Weight Control Recipe - Chicken
|Mature Cat - Grain-Free Indoor Recipe - Chicken
|Kitten - Grain-Free Indoor Recipe - Chicken
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Recipe and Label Analysis
Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Cat Grain-Free Indoor Chicken dry food was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Cat Grain-Free Indoor Chicken (Dry)
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Deboned chicken, chicken meal, tapioca starch, peas, pea protein, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), menhaden fish meal (source of omega 3 fatty acids), pea fiber, powdered cellulose, flaxseed (source of omega 6 fatty acids), natural flavor, choline chloride, calcium sulfate, DL-methionine, potassium chloride, dehydrated alfalfa meal, calcium chloride, dried chicory root, salt, alfalfa nutrient concentrate, taurine, calcium carbonate, 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, cranberries, 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-lysinel-carnitinebiotin (Vitamin B7), 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
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2%
Red denotes any controversial items
The first ingredient is deboned chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The fourth ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.
The fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.
The sixth ingredient is potatoes. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a cat.
The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The eighth ingredient is menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2 The ninth ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble.
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Based on its ingredients alone, Freedom Adult Cat Grain-Free Indoor Chicken recipe looks like an above-average dry product.
The dashboard displays a low dry matter protein reading of 35.2%, a fat level of 15.4% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 41.5%.
As a group, the brand features a below-average protein content of 33.8% and a mean fat level of 14.9%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43.2% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 44%.
This means this Blue Buffalo Freedom (Dry) product line contains below-average protein, near-average fat, and above-average carbohydrate when compared to typical dry cat food.
Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Cat Grain-Free Indoor Chicken recipe contains high-quality ingredients and nutrients. It is free from grains, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. However, the protein content was lower than average.
Has Blue Buffalo cat food been recalled in the past?
Yes, Blue Buffalo has had a few recalls. The most recent cat food recall was in November 2015, when a small number of Blue Kitty Yums cat treats were recalled due to reports of propylene glycol.
In 2007 there were also multiple cat food recalls. Blue Buffalo Blue Spa Select canned cat food and Blue Buffalo Spa Select Kitten dry food were both recalled in April due to Melamine.
The other recalls were for the following dog products:
- Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food (March 2017)
- Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Healthy Weight, Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetables (February 2017)
- Blue Buffalo dog food cups (February 2017)
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe (May 2016)
- One lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones (November 2015)
- Blue Buffalo dry dog food (October 2010)
- Blue Buffalo Blue canned dog food and dog treats (April 2007)
You can view a complete list of all cat food recalls since 2021 here.
To stay on top of any cat food product recalls, sign up for our free email alerts, here.
Blue Buffalo’s headquarters is in Wilton, Connecticut. It has two facilities, one in Missouri and a manufacturing plant in Indiana.
The company started from humble origins but is now owned by General Mills.
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