Cat Food Reviews & Comparisons From The Cat Food Insider

Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Grain-Free Turkey (Dry) Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Cat Food

Do you know that finding a healthy dry cat formula is more challenging that it is finding a wet cat formula? This is because many dry formulas are made with grain based ingredients that are a health hazard for cats. These can be allergic and unsuitable for your cat’s health. There are very few dry cat foods that are manufactured with 100% healthy ingredients.

The Blue Buffalo basics adult grain-free turkey review is one of the many dry cat formulas in the market today. The company that manufactures this formula is known for its quality standards. This cat formula is said to be 100% grain free and is also said to contain real meat as the main source of protein. The manufacturer claims that this formula can minimize food sensitivities in cats and ensure that your cat gets the maximum nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong.

Is this formula the most ideal for your feline?




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The ingredients

Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Tapioca Starch, Peas, Pea Protein, Canola Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Potatoes, Fish Oil (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Pumpkin, Dried Chicory Root, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Potato Starch, Caramel, Alfalfa Meal, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (a source of Vitamin C), Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, L-Lysine, Zinc Sulfate, Parsley, Kelp, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Turmeric, Ferrous Sulfate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Oil of Rosemary, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Calcium Iodate, 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 product.

An overview of the first five ingredients

Deboned Turkey

As a whole meat ingredient, turkey is a fantastic source of very healthy animal based proteins. We are extremely pleased to see this ingredient listed. Unfortunately, in dry kibbles, there is not as much of this ingredient included as you might initially think. Ingredients are listed by weight prior to the cooking process and since whole turkey is about 70% moisture, the vast majority is cooked off. So while we think this is an excellent and nutritional ingredient, it does need to be complimented by other high quality meat protein ingredients when used in dry kibbles. In wet cat foods, however, this is not nearly as much of a concern.

Turkey Meal

Turkey is a fantastic source of very healthy animal based proteins. Since this is listed as turkey meal, that means almost all of the moisture was removed prior to the cooking process. This is actually a good thing as it will contain many times more protein than turkey that was cooked without the moisture being removed. As one of the best protein sources for cats, we are very pleased to see this ingredient listed here.

Tapioca Starch

Tapioca flour, also known as tapioca starch, is a starchy white flour that has a slight sweet flavor to it. Tapioca flour is an alternative to traditional wheat flours and has a variety of uses in baking. Tapioca is a source of carbohydrate obtained from the roots of the cassava plant (Manihot esculenta), which is indigenous to Latin America. It is not a cereal grain like corn or wheat which have links to food allergies in cats. The benefit to using tapioca in a pet food as the primary carbohydrate source instead of typical grains is tapioca’s biochemical simplicity. Grains are complex in the sense that they contain proteins and other phytonutrients in addition to carbohydrates. Tapioca is just starch – a combination of amylase and amlylopectin. There are no known canine or feline allergies to tapioca, so this is becoming a more common ingredient in many pet foods.

Peas

Peas are becoming more and more common in pet foods today, especially those listed as grain-free, holistic, or natural pet foods. While peas are certainly not grains, they serve much the same purpose. It mostly acts as a filler and a cheap way to increase the protein percentage of the food. However, cats receive almost no nutritional value from peas. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they require proteins from meat based ingredients. There is very little research that has been performed on the long term effects of cats consuming peas. We do know that peas can cause runny poop or digestion issues in dogs, but the full effect on cats remains a bit of an unknown. At best, this ingredient will act as a filler and will not provide much nutritional value, if any, to your cat.

Pea Protein

As grain-free cat food becomes more popular, so does the inclusion of peas and pea fiber. That’s because peas can be used as a filler ingredient in similar ways grains are used, but they can still label the food as grain-free. Unfortunately, the full effect on a cats health from pea fiber is largely unknown. There have been some studies shown to suggest pea fiber can cause many dogs to have a runny stool, there is very little research that has been done on how cats are able to digest this ingredient. Overall, it probably will not harm your cat but it will not add much nutritional value to your cats diet, either.

Other ingredients in this cat food

Canola Oil

Canola oil comes from the seeds of the canola plant. Once harvested, canola seeds are crushed and the oil contained within the seed is extracted. The average canola seed is 45% oil. Some cat owners like this ingredient because of its favorable omega-3 and omega-6 content. Others claim it can cause nervous system damage, respiratory problems, anemia, constipation and blindness in both humans and animals. In smaller quantities, this ingredient is unlikely to cause health problems for your cat, but since cats are obligate carnivores it is important that the food also contains enough meat based fat.

Pea Fiber

Peas are becoming more and more common in pet foods today, especially those listed as grain-free, holistic, or natural pet foods. While peas are certainly not grains, they serve much the same purpose. It mostly acts as a filler and a cheap way to increase the protein percentage of the food. However, cats receive almost no nutritional value from peas. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they require proteins from meat based ingredients. There is very little research that has been performed on the long term effects of cats consuming peas. We do know that peas can cause runny poop or digestion issues in dogs, but the full effect on cats remains a bit of an unknown. At best, this ingredient will act as a filler and will not provide much nutritional value, if any, to your cat.

Natural Flavor

The term “natural flavor” is extremely vague and can mean just about anything. In human foods, natural flavor is usually MSG or some similar flavor enhancer. When pet food companies are asked what is in their “natural flavor ingredients, they usually refuse to answer. There are a lot of things in the world considered “natural” and they almost all have a flavor. Such generic terms can be indicative of poor quality ingredients. While that’s not always the case, the fact is, we don’t really know what this ingredient consists of and that is worrying.

Potatoes

Potatoes provide a lot of carbs and unfortunately, cats do not digest carbs well and it can also lead to weight gain. This ingredient is becoming more popular in “grain-free” cat foods because while potatoes are not grains, they serve much the same purpose by acting as a non-nutritious filler. The good news is potatoes are complex carbs. These complex carbs are easier to digest than whole grains and also don’t spike blood sugar levels like the simple carbs do. But, anyway you cut it… carbs are carbs and cats don’t need them. This is a rather non-nutritious ingredient.

Is this an allergy causing cat food?

This formula is not likely to cause allergies. This is because it lacks the common allergens found in most dry formulas. This makes this formula ideal for all cats.

Harmful ingredients commonly used in cat formula

Corn, wheat and soy – All three of these ingredients are known allergens for many cats. In addition, many cats have problems digesting these grain based ingredients. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their digestive systems are designed to digest meat and not grains. All of these ingredients will help to boost the protein percentage in cat food, but not all protein is created equally. Cats do not digest plant based proteins in the same way as meat proteins and in fact, gain little to no nutritional value from these grains. Several “grocery store brand” cat foods include these products to keep the price down as it is a cheap filler to help make your cat feel full as well as a cheap way to add protein to the food.

Artificial coloring – We find it quite irresponsible to include artificial coloring in pet food since the health concerns about these added colors are so controversial. Your cat does not care what color their food is and the only reason artificial coloring is added to this product is for marketing purposes. It makes the food look better to you YOU, the human consumer. Of course, many cat food brands are very defensive about their use of food coloring. Here is an example of how the Purina brand defends their use of fool coloring. Notice how even in their explanation, there is no perceived benefit to these ingredients other than changing the color. There is also a growing amount of evidence to suggest food coloring may be linked to cancer in not just dogs and cats, but also humans. Here is an article that explains a bit further. In short, since there is some controversy surrounding this ingredient, we find it a bit strange that cat food companies would spend money adding this ingredient into a product when at best, it has zero nutritional value for your cat and only has marketing value. At worse, it could pose health risks. It just doesn’t seem like the risk of including this ingredient is worth it.

Conclusion

The blue buffalo basics adult grain free turkey is a great dry cat formula. It comes with 100% natural ingredients that are unlikely to cause any health issues. It is both nutritious and safe. The only disadvantage is the lack of adequate moisture.




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