Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Cat Food Review

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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.

Quick Summary


Both my cats seemed very satisfied with both the wet and dry food selections they were given. If you are looking for a super-premium, cat food line then Carnivora might be right for you.

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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.

Carnivora Woodland Blend Dry Cat Food Review

Ingredients:

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.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 45%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Moisture: 9%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 49.45%
Fat: 21.98%
Fiber: 4.4%
Carbs: 24.18%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 38.94%
Fat: 42.03%
Carbs: 19.04%

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.

Carnivora Woodland Blend Wet Cat Food Review

Ingredients:

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.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 12%
Crude Fat: 8%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 54.55%
Fat: 36.36%
Fiber: 6.82%
Carbs: 2.27%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 37.58%
Fat: 60.85%
Carbs: 1.57%

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

Conclusion

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.

Click here to view all Blue Buffalo Carnivora products

*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.

About Amy Brown

Amy Brown is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two cats and a dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.

16 thoughts on “Blue Buffalo Carnivora Woodland Cat Food Review

  1. David Sanchez

    Hi, I’m thinking of buying this food for my Maine Coon and Ragdoll cat but could not find it At Petco, Pet Supermarket or Petsmart. Not a fan of chewy that much. Their prices are not competitive to regular Petshops. Do you know where I could get samples?

    Thank you,

    David

    Reply
    1. Jessica S.

      My apologies for this long review – the conclusion: Siboney LOVES Carnivora. Specifically the dry coastal blend & the woodland wet food.
      I have a 13 year old, Maine cat, named Siboney.He has always been very picky with both his food and water. It took me about 2 years (pre-internet) to get the right combination of food. Maine coon cats need specific items in their diet to maintain a good balance of muscle and fat – for healthy joints, hair, digestive system, among other things.
      Vet suggested oral vitamins to compliment his food. Well, Siboney was NOT compliant to vitamins – Not in his food; not in treats; not forcing it down his mouth.
      After a few years research, I finally found 2 different brands of dry food & another brand of wet food that had a great combination that met his needs & “picky” nature!
      He was doing great with this combination for about 10 years.
      However, last year (August 2019) Siboney started eating less and less… within a month he was eating less than half of a 1/4 cup of dry food a day – and about 1/2 of the wet food he used to eat. He is a large, well built cat with medium length hair. So I did not notice the weight loss as quickly as I should have. He was losing hair, but it was fall, so the “coat change” was a normal event.
      Vet did a complete work up – all his tests came out fine (actually more than fine considering his age).
      Vet suggested I try different types of food. Easier said than done – I couldn’t afford to buy different brand of “good” cat food, until Siboney decided he liked one.
      So I started to research again – to see what food be good for a mature, maine coon cat AND that I could afford. I concluded on 6 brands.
      I read that you do not like chewy.com. I have been using them for years. Auto-shipments were great for my busy schedule.
      When this situation happened, I emailed chewy and told them about Siboney. They did not have samples; however they told me if Siboney did not like the food, they would reimbursed me the money & to donate the food to a shelter.
      So, purchase 1 brand at a time. Siboney would not eat 4 of them, at all – the shelter was happy to get the food! He tolerated the 5th brand, so I did not return it. However, after 2 week, he started throwing up the food. So I donated the rest of that food to the shelter. The last brand to try was the regular Blue Buffalo. Siboney ate a little of it, but to get him to eat the rest; I had to staying next to him, redirecting him back to the food constantly.
      This was our routine for many months. Siboney was underweight, but he wasn’t losing weight – so I was content.
      Chewy emailed me this last September (2020) – to follow up about Siboney. They told me about a new brand that was getting great reviews with older, picky cat owners.
      This is how I learned about BB Carnivora. Chewy told me I could try it out, & if Siboney did not like it – they would reimburse me.
      When I opened the bag of BB Carnivora Costal Blend, Siboney came running in the kitchen & propped his front paws on the counter – meowing loudly & sniffing.
      This had not happened im years!!!
      I was overcome with emotion.
      I cannot begin to express the relief I felt as Siboney, not only ate the whole plate of food on his own, but when he was done, meowed for more. Since he started BB Carnivora in October, Siboney has gained 2lbs. The Vet is impressed & I am a happy mommy.

      Reply
      1. Ruth Hall

        Hi, I have a picky Maine Coon too who loved this Blue Buffalo woodland blend and coastal blend mixes but now that they discontinued it I am trying to figure out what to feed him next. Have you found anything yet?

        Reply
  2. Amy Brown Post author

    You may want to check your local pet store for samples. Otherwise Amazon does carry it and Petco online offers the wet food.

    Reply
  3. Cindy

    Want to feed my kittens the best quality cat food, I currently feed them Nulo based on it’s great reviews and ingredients. Would anyone recommend this instead of Nulo? How do they compare?

    Reply
    1. Amy Brown Post author

      Hi Cindy
      That would depend on several things like on how old your kittens are and do they have any medical issues or sensitivities? Then you can decide if Blue Buffalo Carnivora is a good choice for them. Stay tuned for a Nulo review!

      Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Which formula are you interested in? We may be able to find that information for you or you can request it from Blue Buffalo’s customer support line. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  4. Dan

    After having a hard time finding Carnivora for my 4 Maine Coons and 2 Domestic Short Hairs I contacted Blue Buffalo directly and was told that the entire Carnivora line has been discontinued.
    This is very unfortunate as it has been the only food that all six of my cats would not only eat but would always come running when they heard the bag open.

    Reply
    1. Pam Murray

      We have found Carnivora to be a great quality dry cat food but also have difficulty finding it. We started buying it from Petco but they stopped carrying it. We then ordered it online, and now I can’t find it at all. Every place I find that sells it says it is currently unavailable. I have heard that it was discontinued and tried looking for replacements. I don’t understand why it would be discontinued with the popularity it seems to have. I hope they continue carrying it. My two cats love it. They don’t like other dry foods that we have tried.

      Reply
  5. Marie

    Can anyone tell me where I can purchased Blue Buffalo Carnivora Dry food. I used to buy it at Petco, but they don’t carry it any more. My cat won’t eat anything else. I’ve tried the other Blue Buffalo dry food, but he walks away from it. I still have a half bag left. Please help!!!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Marie. I wasn’t able to find the dry food in many locations, unfortunately. As you may have seen, there are a couple of recipes available on Amazon, but they might not be right for your cat. I would encourage you to consult with Blue Buffalo via their customer support line, as they may be able to give you information on whether or not this line is being discontinued, and if the answer is yes, which of their recipes might be a good replacement.

      Reply
  6. Flor

    M FOIUR CATS LOVE CARNIVORA DRY CATFOOD.

    NEXT THNG I KNOW YOU YOU TOOK IT OFF THE MARKET

    WHY? HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS TO MY FELINE COMUNITY, PLEASE

    MY CATS HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY AND HEALTHY AS WITH CARNIVORA CATFOOD

    WHEN ARE YOU BRINGING BACK THIS EXCELLENT PRODUCT BACK?

    Reply

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