Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Blue Buffalo Freedom Wet Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Highly Recommended

Blue Buffalo Freedom wet 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 like real chicken with no artificial flavors or preservatives.

The Freedom wet range comes in a variety of flavors and is enhanced with vitamins and minerals. It also meets AAFCO standards.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Some recipes contain controversial ingredients
  • High carbohydrate content
  • Brand has had a number of recalls

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.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Adult Cat - Grain-Free Indoor Recipe - Chicken 5 M
Mature Cat - Grain-Free Indoor Recipe - Chicken 5 M
Adult Cat - Grain-Free Flaked Recipe - Chicken 5 M
Adult Cat - Grain-Free Indoor Recipe - Fish 5 M
Kitten - Grain-Free Indoor Recipe - Chicken 5 G

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Cat Grain-Free Indoor Chicken wet 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 (Wet)

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

40.9%

Protein

27.3%

Fat

23.8%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, natural flavor, flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), powdered cellulose, guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, taurine, fish oil, cranberries, blueberries, choline chloride, carrageenan, cassia gum, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, Vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B1), copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, niacin supplement (Vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A supplement, biotin (Vitamin B7), potassium iodide, Vitamin D3 supplement Vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid (Vitamin B9), preserved with mixed tocopherols



Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is 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 broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a cat food, they are a common component in many wet products.

The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fourth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a cat food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta-carotene.

The sixth ingredient is natural flavor. According to AAFCO, natural flavors are ingredients derived from plant, animal or mined sources, not having been produced by or subject to chemically synthetic processes nor do they contain any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic.

The seventh ingredient is flaxseed. One of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this cat food.

The eight ingredient is powdered cellulose. A non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable or wood processing. Powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a cat, although the fiber it provides does convey health benefits. Some powdered cellulose products work to reduce the occurrence of hairballs in cats.

The ninth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

The tenth ingredient is potassium chloride, a nutritional supplement sometimes used as a replacement for the sodium found in table salt.

The eleventh ingredient is salt (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many cat foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans. Salt can often be found in cat foods to promote cats to drink more water too. This is a means of increasing their hydration and diluting their urine which helps to reduce the likelihood of urinary stones forming.

However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Freedom Adult Cat Grain-Free Indoor Chicken recipe looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays an excellent dry matter protein reading of 40.9%, a fat level of 27.3% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 23.8%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 40.7% and a mean fat level of 23.6%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27.7% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 58%.

This means this Blue Buffalo Freedom (Wet) product line contains above-average protein and fat and average carbs when compared to typical wet cat food.

Final Word

Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Cat Grain-Free Indoor Chicken recipe contains quality ingredients and high levels of protein. It is made with natural, wholesome ingredients free from grains, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

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.

About

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.

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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