Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Recommended

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor second highest rating, 4 stars.

Made from natural ingredients, including real meat, and with no artificial flavors or preservatives, this range is formulated to support your cat’s lifestyle.

The Tastefuls product line comes in a variety of flavors and caters for specific needs such as weight control and sensitive stomach. It is als enhanced with vitamins and minerals and meet AAFCO standards.

Pros
  • No meat or poultry by-products
  • Free from artificial ingredients
  • Cats seem to like eating this food
Cons
  • High carbohydrate content
  • Brand has had a number of recalls
  • Lack of species-appropriate animal ingredients

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

The product line includes eleven cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Adult Active Cat Chicken & Brown Rice 4 M
Adult Indoor Cat Salmon & Brown Rice 4 M
Adult Indoor Cat Chicken & Brown Rice 4 M
Adult Cat Sensitive Stomach Chicken & Brown Rice 4 M
Adult Cat Weight Control Chicken & Brown Rice 4 M
Adult Cat Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice 4 M
Adult Cat Weight & Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice 4 M
Adult Cat 7+ Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice 4 M
Adult Cat 7+ Chicken & Brown Rice 4 M
Kitten Chicken & Brown Rice 4 G
Adult Multi-Cat Chicken & Turkey 4 M

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Adult Active Cat Chicken & Brown Rice 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 Tastefuls Adult Active Cat Chicken & Brown Rice

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

37.4%

Protein

19.8%

Fat

34.9%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, pea protein, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried egg product, 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, direct dehydrated alfalfa pellets, 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-LysineBiotin (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


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first and second ingredients are deboned chicken and chicken meal. 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. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is brown rice. A complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The sixth 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 seventh 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 eighth ingredient is chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). 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 ninth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower-grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The tenth ingredient is fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Adult Active Cat Chicken & Brown Rice looks like an above-average dry product and is high in fat too.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 37.4%, a fat level of 19.8% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 34.9%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 16.3%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40.8% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 46%.

This means this Blue Buffalo Tastefuls (dry) product line contains average protein, above average carbs and slightly higher than average fat when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Adult Active Cat Chicken & Brown Rice recipe is a good source of high-quality protein and essential fatty acids, made with natural, wholesome ingredients free from grains, carrageenan, 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, 2: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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