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Is "blue" Brand Dry Cat Food All That Bad? What Are The Questionable Ingredients?

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by 10009891, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. 10009891

    10009891 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Nov 14, 2017
    I know the ideal cat food is raw, then can wet food, then kibble. My finances are greatly being affected by buying Primal and ZiwiPeak. I just want to go to a supermarket and briefly pick up a bag of kibble dry food and that's that. It would save me loads of money. I can just add water to the kibble, so my cats can get all the moisture they need. Which dry brand is recommended that you could buy at Walmart, Food Lion, Publix or Target and that would still keep my kitties healthy? I was think the "Blue Brands." What do you think?

  2. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 13, 2017
    I know, it would be nice to do what you are saying..lol i want to too :)

    I think Blue is a decent food, there are questionable ingredients in the Blue brand, just as there are in many if not all brands. I am not a fan of the carbs, so the main dry food i feed my cats is Dr. Elseys, very low carb, less than 5%, and all 4 of my cats like it, which is unheard of. It is not cheap, but im thinking cheaper than feeding primal and Ziwi. IDK. I do order mine online at Chewy, if you use auto ship its easy. Im sure others will give opinions on their favorite foods as well, but ultimately the best is what you can afford, and your cats enjoy :) Then you just have to watch for skinny bones, or fat cats and adjust accordingly.

    I know some add water to kibble, but then you need to feed it in meals like you do wet, or bacteria becomes a problem. You cant leave wet kibble out for long. One thing you can do is feed kibble, but then offer wet food as well? Fancy Feast classics are fed by many, low carb, and you can pick them up in any store :) I leave dry out for mine all the time, then offer a wet meal in the morning and in the evening.

    I also have several bowls and water fountains around the house to promote water intake.
    kirathecat purraised this.

  3. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2012
    Nebraska, USA
    I have never had a problem feeding Purina One. I have several cats over the age of ten and several that lived to 16-17, without any major problems at all.

  4. molly92

    molly92 TCS Member Top Cat

    Jan 8, 2016
    The problems with blue Buffalo go beyond the ingredient list. This company is becoming more and more profit focused and less quality focused all the time.

    They have had several recalls in previous years. It seems they do not learn. Just a few years ago they had antifreeze in their cat treats! They also do this weird thing with their kibble that the refer to as "life source bits." Basically they make 2 separate kibbles, one with most of the meat and main ingredients, and one with the additional vitamins etc that make the food balanced and complete, and then they mix them together. But what if your pet likes one of the kibbles more than the other? Or the kibbles settle unevenly in the bag? Then your animal is not getting the right ratio of nutrients.

    It's evident that they put way more money into marketing than into improving their actual products. And they've done a good job of convincing people that they're this great natural high quality food. Maybe they used to be when they started out, but I will never feed it to my animals.

    I'm very much in the "a cheap wet food is better than an expensive dry food" camp. But if you do need to do some dry, there are lots of other options. Merrick, Whole Earth Farms, and Earthborn are all in a similar price range to Blue. Again, ideally the less dry the better, but even some Purina proplan varieties are decent.
    lisahe and maggiedemi purraised this.

  5. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 26, 2017
    Upstate NY
    How do you figure out the carbs in a dry food? I don't think I ever see it listed.

  6. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 23, 2014
    @TroyRag, I hear you about the cost of feeding foods like Primal -- it's not cheap! My thought on this (that's my IMHO disclaimer) is a lot like @duckpond's on the question of adding water to the dry food: it's not really a good idea because of the bacteria. (Plus the food just plain gets gross. I tried doing this years ago before I knew about the bacteria factor; the cat didn't like the food dampened anyway!)

    I agree with @molly92, both about Blue Buffalo and that pretty much any wet food is better than pretty much any dry food. Personally, I'd much rather feed wet foods like Fancy Feast Classics or Sheba (or certain grain-free house brands that are similar) than even the best dry food. That's because of the water factor, though the dry foods' high carbs, which cats just plain don't need, bother me at least as mouch. Byproducts in FF or Sheba don't worry me at all: they can be pretty nutritious and many of the raw foods we've fed have individual byproducts on their ingredients lists. (Dr. Pierson mentions this on catinfo.org.)

    I have to add that I, too, wish feeding cats could be a whole lot easier! I remember how simple it was to feed our previous cat her dry food. And I used to love to hear her crunching during the night. That dry food wasn't good for her, though: it definitely caused weight gain and it likely contributed to disease, too, so I'm glad what I learned from her illness taught me so much about cat feeding that I can feed our current cats, who have very tetchy digestive systems, a much better diet. All that said, I, too, wish their food didn't cost so much! It really isn't cheap and, by coincidence, I was just telling my husband last night about how easier and cheaper that dry food was. All of which is to say that I hear you about the cost and how hard it is to figure out what to do. :catrub:
    kirathecat and maggiedemi purraised this.

  7. MissMolly08

    MissMolly08 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jul 3, 2017
    You don't have to jump from something like Primal to a supermarket dry in order to save money and gain convenience.
    I was ordering food on Chewy and started feeling the same way. In order to have a rotation of foods, I had to save up a lump sum of money and then place a big order for a few different brands/flavors. It wasn't easy and I started wishing I could just grab some food each week when I grocery shop for myself...so that's what I ended up doing. I've heard so many times that ANY wet is better than dry so I grab Friskies or Fancy Feast classic cans while I'm at Walmart or whatever and it's been SO nice! I can find them anywhere and if I don't have a lot of cash at the time, I can just grab a few individual cans or a variety pack and call it good for the week.
    maggiedemi purraised this.

  8. kirathecat

    kirathecat TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jun 1, 2016
    To get an approximate measure of carbs in any food you use a simple formula: 100-water%-fat%-protein%-ash%=carb%

    Some manufacrurers don't list ash % so you might have to email them and ask for info. Or just straight out ask for carb%. Granted, these calculations are not very accurate since pet food manufacturers only required to disclose min or max value. But at least it gives you an idea.
    maggiedemi purraised this.

  9. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    Hi - I just wanted to mention there's an additional approach to finding info on specific ingredients and what to avoid. There are a couple similar websites out there but when I went through this same hunt that you are, one I relied on was reviews.com / cat food, because they described how they researched the foods, they really get into the nitty-gritty of the bad, and then they also provide some brands that they really like.

    Just a note regarding Purina, it used to be the go-to for all types of animal feed but the company was purchased by Nestle' a few years back, which is only in the pet food industry because it's a money maker.

    I contacted Nestle' shortly after the buyout regarding another questionable additive source (US or China or Taiwan or ?) and received a very snarky and completely worthless answer from them. I see since then they've REALLY ramped up the tv ads about how wonderful they are, they're made in the USA (sure they are--I have a production plant right down the street from me, but like I say, heavens' only knows where the ingredients are actually sourced from now) - but anyway, somebody in their marketing department caught on to the fact that we pet owners are getting a lot more educated and smarter and have a tendency to vote with our dollars.

    In any case, even with all that said I haven't gotten the Big Guy completely off of fancy feast (one of their varieties) but I did cut way back from the quantity of purina foods that he used to get. To offset the additive menadione (a scary synthetic Vitamin K) I've got him on a clean (no additives) Milk Thistle. I'm also working other brands into his diet to try and give his system a better chance to deal with the additives, starches, proteins and other ingredients.
    Hang in there! Your furbabies are lucky to have you!

  10. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 23, 2014
    It's funny that you mention this, @MissMolly08, because I've also gotten tired of having to order up a lot of food at once! Not only do the orders end up being very expensive but there's less flexibility. I like buying at local stores because the prices are cheaper than Chewy's but really don't like having to plan ahead and figure out what I'll need when. And think of what day what order needs to go in. I wish more stores stocked more of the foods I feed. Or that other kinds of stores sold more pet food!

  11. 10009891

    10009891 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Nov 14, 2017
    People are saying Crave Dry Kibble is good and high in protein and low in carbs. They sell it at Target and lower priced than Blue or about the same. Even the cheapest can wet food adds up in cost. The Chewy website is a lot of hype. Their costs are usually more expensive than regular stores you go to. By the way, my cats drink water like no tomorrow. They both love drinking water.

  12. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    I've had cats who ate dry food and drank a lot of water, and those who ate canned food and didn't drink much water, and honestly I'm pretty sure the ones eating canned have always been better hydrated, even if the ones who drank water drank a LOT of water. I have a vague crackpot theory that cats don't absorb water very well unless it's part of their food. I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on that.

    I'm personally of the opinion that cats ought to have at least 50% canned food. But even splitting a small can between the 2 of them every night would be better than nothing.
    It depends what you buy, and where you live. For me, Chewy is definitely a lot cheaper. Also, the Walmarts here aren't great at stocking, so it's kind of hit-or-miss as to whether they'll have what I want to buy or not. Which is another reason besides price. Also gas to drive to the store, although if I'm going shopping for people stuff anyway that doesn't count. But it keeps me from using a lot of gas just to buy pet food.

    As for the original question---my cats have never liked Blue. And it's expensive for the quality. For something you can get at a grocery store, I like Purina Beyond for dry food. They have grain-free varieties if you prefer. I think Crave is also made by Purina (ETA: no, it's made by Mars), not sure about the availability. But it looks pretty good.
    Furballsmom and maggiedemi purraised this.

  13. oonawingedwolf

    oonawingedwolf TCS Member Young Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    I'm going to second what Willowy said, it really depends on where you live. I'm saving $2 on my cat litter through chewy, buying way better food there (no pet stores here just walmart and a grocers) plus there is so much variety. Someone posted on another thread a site that sells individual cans. Let me see. . . This is it

    As to Blue, I'm wary of them and Wellness for dry as they had issues with bits of plastic and bone in their dry foods in the early 2000's. I'm trying American Journey from Chewy, the Duck formula and so far they are digging out the duck to eat before the old food. I'm thinking they like it.

  14. xcourtney3

    xcourtney3 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Aug 17, 2010

  15. Dilutetortislave

    Dilutetortislave TCS Member Kitten

    Apr 18, 2017
    I work at cat-only vet clinic and Blue Buffalo/Blue Wilderness is the main food that contributes to bladder issues/stones, etc.

    Personally I don't trust brands sold in grocery stores and Target. Chewy.com is great if there aren't pet stores that carry better brands in your area. I only hear good things about that company.

    The only dry food I've found -since 2 of my 3 cats eat raw- that has actual meat/animal protein listed as the first 3 ingredients is Wellness Core kitten or original adult. They come in at least 2 bag sizes.

    I know everybody wants everything cheap these days, but my cat's health is super important to me. I have eaten Ramen noodles and sold some possessions (clothes, books) many times over the last 2 years so I could continue to feed my cats the same higher quality food.

  16. Kat0121

    Kat0121 Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    Feb 23, 2014
    Sunny Florida
    I've heard good things about Crave too. My cats have tried out their wet food and were meh about it but I wouldn't go by their opinion because they are some of the fussiest eaters on earth. :gaah:

    My biggest beef with Blue is that it is marketed as a premium brand and it's not a premium product. I was at Petco once buying cat food and woman came up to me to ask me about my cats. It took me a few minutes but I realized she was a rep for Blue and, of course, suggested I buy it. I told her that they have tried it and the food went in the trash because they refused to touch it ( which is 100% true). She left me alone after that. :dunno:

    I am also on team cheaper wet food over expensive dry .

    I am a fan of Chewy (their customer service is FANTASTIC!) but I rarely buy from them because they don't take Paypal and I rarely have an order over $49. I buy more food through my Amazon subscribe and save. I love S&S. :heartshape:

  17. Ardina

    Ardina TCS Member Super Cat

    Apr 10, 2017
    I hear you about the expense of commercial raw. I crunched the numbers and figured that I really couldn't afford feeding commercial raw for even one cat (and then I got a kitten with a bottomless stomach!). Doing homemade raw is how I cut costs. I spend about $40/month/cat on their food now, which is cheaper than feeding them canned Fancy Feast. And it's not a whole lot of time or effort - I spend a day prepping their mixes once every two months. Honestly, you could do it for even cheaper, but I didn't want to deal with grinding my own meat, so I get meat from Hare Today and boneless meat from the local grocery store. I control the ingredients (no vegetables, clay, or other random stuff), and I can include a whole variety of proteins - rabbit, duck, turkey, chicken, and goat.

    Yes, it's still more expensive and less convenient than just buying a bag of kibble, but I really believe it'll be worth it in the long run. I won't ever feed kibble again if I can help it, especially not moistened since dry food can be contaminated by molds and toxins that would flourish in the moisture.
    1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  18. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    Apr 8, 2016
    Adding to Ardina...
    Talk to your butchers and ask if they'll save you "scrap meat" that has been cut incorrectly for sale. The meat is perfectly good quality but unsalable due to the cut. Some butchers will grind it for you.
    Don't underestimate the nutrition found in offal like livers and hearts, etc., which are usually much more inexpensive than muscle meat! If your cat does well with beef, beef heart is inexpensive and most butchers are fine grinding this for you if you explain what you're doing. Poultry hearts are easy for us to find from reliable sources and are very inexpensive and so full of taurine they're a cat staple food here, as are things like gizzards.
    We get creative. I couldn't afford to feed pre made raw to everyone for more than a few days. I'd be in the poorhouse :(

  19. 10009891

    10009891 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Nov 14, 2017
    Ardina, but how you make the recipe? My problem is that I am squeamish when it comes to handling raw meat :)

    I was at Petco today and there was a vet there. I asked about kibble vs raw diet for cats. She looked at me like if I had three heads. She found nothing wrong with feeding kibble to cats. She said they need the crunch to keep their jaws strong and teeth clean. And that the kibble cat food has all the nutrition a cat needs, to just make sure there is a bowl of water next to the food.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018

  20. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    Apr 8, 2016
    If a vet is still pushing the idea that kibble cleans teeth, I'd discredit them.
    If kibble is fed and the cats are happy, healthy, and long lived, I say whatever works, but why oh why do vets still believe kibble cleans teeth?
    If that was the case, dental cleanings would be a rarity, rather than the norm!! :/
    oonawingedwolf and lisahe purraised this.

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