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Blue Buffalo can be described as a holistic pet food manufacturer that cares about the health and wellness of dogs and cats. The company prides itself on using only high quality and natural ingredients in their foods while guaranteeing that whole source of proteins are the first ingredient on the label. They offer formulas for cats in all stages of life, as well as specialty formulas for cats with diet restrictions.
The Carnivora line was recently developed as “prey style” derived from more animal ingredients. It is aimed at pet owners wanting to feed their cats a higher-protein food mix. It is made from meat, nutrient-dense organs, vitamins, minerals and cartilage, that is good for pets’ joints.
- Species-Appropriateness – 6/10
- Ingredient Quality – 6/10
- Product Variety – 8/10
- Price – 8/10
- Customer Experience – 6/10
- Recall History – 3/10
Overall Score: 6.2/10
About Blue Buffalo Carnivora
Blue Buffalo was founded in 2003 by Bill and Jackie Bishop after their beloved Airedale Terrier, Blue passed away. Blue had been diagnosed with cancer, which encouraged them to research pet nutrition and its link with certain types of cancer. This lead to the creation of Blue Buffalo pet food company, as well as the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research.
The goal of Blue Buffalo is to make their pet food as healthy, holistic, and natural as possible by using only natural ingredients provided by American suppliers. They also use some of the country’s leading veterinarians and animal nutritionists to create their patented LifeSource® bits, which are found in every bag of food. These bits are full of vitamins and minerals that specifically fight cancer.
Sourcing And Manufacturing
Blue Buffalo sources and produces all of their major foods from either their own facilities in Wilton, Connecticut or their U.S. partners. They outsource production of their recipes to other U.S. manufacturers, which include: Ainsworth, ANI/Vita-Line, CJ Foods, Triple T Foods, and Tuffy’s.
Blue Buffalo is vague about the specific origin of the smaller ingredients. There are also few details on their website about product packaging.
What Is Blue Carnivora?
BLUE Carnivora is a super-premium food created to fulfill your cat’s natural instinct to feed on a variety of prey. It was developed with America’s diverse terrain and the wildlife that roams there in mind.
Carnivora recipes feature multiple meats, including high-protein animal sources, nutrient-dense organs and joint-nourishing cartilage as well as being grain-free. Enhanced with added vitamins, minerals and amino acids, Carnivora is a balanced food source for your cat.
Carnivora comes in wet and dry food for three life stages : adult, kitten and senior. It also comes in two blends for cats, Woodlands and Coastal.
1. Woodlands Blend- focuses on your cats natural instinct to eat a variety of prey while supporting brain and eye development. This blend derives 94% of its protein from 11 different animal sources including fresh, raw and dried chicken, turkey, saltwater fish and duck. It also includes nutrient-rich organs and cartilage, vitamins and minerals with no grains, peas or potatoes.
2. Coastal Blend- was created to cater to your cats natural instinct to consume fish based meals. This blend derives 90% of its protein from 11 different animal sources including dried and raw wild-caught pollock, sole, halibut, saltwater fish and tuna. Along with fish, it includes nutrient-rich organs and cartilage, vitamins and minerals with no grains, peas or potatoes.
#1 Carnivora Woodland Blend Dry Cat Food
Deboned Chicken, Dried Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Tapioca Starch, Chicken Liver And Hearts, Dried Egg Product, Dried Tomato Pomace, Fava Beans, Gelatin, Deboned Duck, Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Lentils, Dried Pollock, Dried Sole, Dried Halibut, Dried Cod, Fish Oil (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Potassium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Turkey Liver, Dried Pork Liver, Dried Chicken Liver, Dried Tuna, Dried Sardine, Chicken Cartilage, Essential Nutrients And Other Ingredients: Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Minerals [Calcium Carbonate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)], Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, Turmeric, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Spinach, Pumpkin, Carrots, Dried Kale, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, L-Carnitine, Dried Kelp, Barley Grass, Parsley, Yucca Schidigera Extract, 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), Oil Of Rosemary.
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
The Woodland Blend Dry Cat Food is the focus of this review. My cats seemed hesitant at first but eventually ate it just like any other dry kibble. I should add they are not picky eaters but have been known to refuse certain kibble in the past.
This dry food contains a combination of fresh, raw and dried chicken, turkey, duck, as well as chicken liver and hearts. Dried chicken is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh chicken.
Dried egg product is a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Lower grade egg product can come from commercial hatcheries making quality hard to measure. Either way it is highly digestible, and provides a great source of antioxidants and nutrients.
Fava beans are legumes and naturally high in dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients. Remember beans contain about 25% protein, which should be considered when judging the meat content of this food.
Flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-6 fatty acids. Like fava beans, flaxseed contains about 19% protein and should be considered when judging the actual meat content of this food.
Another beneficial ingredient is omega-3 fatty acids which come from the dried pollock, dried sole, dried halibut, dried cod, and fish oil, which will improve both the skin and coat of your cat.
Closer to the top there is nutrient-rich cartilage and organs, which help with your cats joints and ensure a complete and balanced diet.
Further down the list we find some carbohydrate ingredients like pumpkin, blueberries, cranberries, apples, blackberries, pomegranate, carrots, sunflower seeds and spinach. All are considered a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The only questionable ingredient that is high up on the list is tomato pomace, which is considered a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup. Some argue that it is high in fiber and nutrient rich.
#2 Carnivora Woodland Blend Wet Cat Food
Chicken, Turkey, Turkey Broth, Dried Egg Product, Turkey Liver, Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Duck, Mackerel, Natural Flavor, Pumpkin, Carrots, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Guar Gum, Minerals [Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide], Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)], Salt.
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Next we tested the Carnivora Wood Blend Wet Cat food. The smell and texture was like any other canned cat food with a hint of raw chicken smell. My cats were really excited for this wet food and could hardly wait for me to put it in their bowls. Once I opened the can they must have smelled chicken, turkey and duck. This went down much faster than the dry food blend mentioned above.
The protein is sourced from chicken and turkey, dried egg as well as broth and liver. Chicken and turkey are the first ingredients which are both good sources of protein. Unfortunately after cooking, most of the moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight. This is where the broth would help.
Dried egg product is a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. As stated above, lower grade egg product can come from commercial hatcheries making quality hard to measure. Either way it is highly digestible, and provides a great source of antioxidants and nutrients.
Chicken liver, heart and turkey liver, is a good source of copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus and zinc as well as high in protein, fat and vitamin A.
Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids and is a quality protein, with minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
Mackerel is an oily salt-water fish naturally high in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fat needed by cats.
There are a few carbohydrate ingredients like pumpkin and carrots which are high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
Guar and cassia gum are gelling or thickening agents found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum and cassia gum have been said to add dietary fiber to any product.
The only controversial ingredient found is carrageenan which has been known to cause gastrointestinal inflammation and other stomach issues in cats.
What’s Good About It?
- The meat and produce are sourced from US suppliers
- Grain free recipes
- Named meats are main source of animal proteins
- No artificial colors, artificial preservatives, or anonymous meat ingredients
What’s Not So Good?
- No information on sourcing of minor ingredients
- Cost is high for both wet and dry foods
- The wet food does contain carrageenan
Ensuring your cat is being fed a healthy and balanced diet full of protein-rich ingredients is crucial for his overall health and well being. The Carnivora Blend definitely falls into that category.
Overall, there are few ingredients in the Carnivora food line that are questionable. This is a very high-quality cat food but at a steep price, especially for a non-prescription food.
*FTC Disclosure: We received a sample can and bag for review at no charge from Chewy. We’re all About Cats is an affiliate partner of Chewy. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves. All of our reviews are unbiased, regardless of payment received, and always reflect our honest opinion or the opinion of our cats.