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Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Food?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have had Abraham a two year old adoption for about six months. He has been eating Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat food 1/4 cup dry 2X per day and 1/2 can of wet 1X per day since we got him. Recently he developed a UTI and the tests showed that he had bacteria and struvite crystals. I checked in with the vet today and the office staff suggested a low ash low magnesium food. Does this qualify? He looks so much healthier and his hair is more beautiful then when we first got him. He was also only 8 pounds when we got him and he is now a healthy 10.5 pounds. His litterbox is cleaned 2X or more per day. I am anxious to hear what the general opinion is on Blue Buffalo.
post #2 of 20
Blue Buffalo is a good food...but with struvite crystals, you likely need to feed mostly WET food as well as make sure not to feed fishy dishes.
post #3 of 20
Here's my understanding of the ash situation. Ash is basically burned trace minerals, and it is a by-product of the cooking of meat. This means that higher meat content means more ash - but lower quality meat or meat by-products have higher ash content than higher quality meat.

Fish (of any kind) generally has higher levels of trace minerals than chicken, turkey, beef, duck, rabbit, venison, etc.

Because dry food is more nutritionally concentrated than wet food, it will by definition have a higher ash content.

Ok - here's the Blue Buffalo site, where you can click on the cat products to see the analysis: http://www.bluebuffalo.com/healthy-cat-food

I started at the bottom. All of the Blue Spa Select canned foods have a maximum ash content of 2.1%. The Healthy Gourmet products seem to have a maximum ash content of 2.5%. The Blue Bistos only list the magnesium content.

They don't list the ash content of the dry foods.

But 2% ash is low - as is the 0.025% magnesium.

I compared it to Wellness canned (chicken). Its ash content is 1.95%, and its magnesium content is .025%.

Now... he developed the crystals on the Blue Buffalo. I don't know what that means. You can try simply increasing his water intake by mixing in a tablespoon (or two) of water with each serving of wet food.

If he has further problems, you can either try increasing the amount of wet food he gets vs. the amount of dry...

But some kitties are simply genetically prone to the problem. For them, even though the prescription diets are not very high quality, and are pricey, they do seem to solve the problem - and save a lot of money compared to treatment (and pain and distress for kitty!).

For now, I'd up his water intake, and see how it goes. If he has the problem again... you can experiment with various wet foods, or skip the hassle and go to a prescription diet that has saved many kitties from ongoing problems.
post #4 of 20
Just to let you know, indoor formulas usually contain more carbs than regular adult ones, but that is contradictory since cats need a high protein diet no matter whether they are inside or out.

I agree with BlueRexBear that you should switch to a wet only diet that avoids fish as much as possible.
Also, more vets are deciding that low ash doesn't really make a difference in urinary health, but you can research that yourself if you like.
post #5 of 20
Originally Posted by Minka View Post
Just to let you know, indoor formulas usually contain more carbs than regular adult ones, but that is contradictory since cats need a high protein diet no matter whether they are inside or out.

I agree with BlueRexBear that you should switch to a wet only diet that avoids fish as much as possible.
Also, more vets are deciding that low ash doesn't really make a difference in urinary health, but you can research that yourself if you like.
Another recommendation for a canned-only only diet.

Both CatInfo.org and LittleBigCat.org have articles (Urinary Tract Health and Urinary Tract Disorders in Cats respectively) emphasizing that's it's more about water than it is about ph (as was once thought), especially when the issue is crystals. And Feline-Nutrition.org has several articles targeted to specific bladder and kidney issues.

I'm glad Abe is on the mend, Petguy!

post #6 of 20
Blue Buffalo is a quality mainstream brand. A common misconception though is that diet is the main cause of UTIs, but dietary management is often the first response. I myself developed a bad UTI as a kid, and had quite health nut parents. With cats, stress, urine retention, sedentary lifestyle, genetics, or just the way they happened to squat on their litter as a fluke can cause a UTI. Infection raises urine PH, which can then create crystals, so it is not always crystals THEN infection but the other way around. In the majority of cases, the cause of the UTI is unknown:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Here's my understanding of the ash situation. Ash is basically burned trace minerals, and it is a by-product of the cooking of meat. This means that higher meat content means more ash - but lower quality meat or meat by-products have higher ash content than higher quality meat.
The meat is also typically a combination of pure muscle meat, fat, and bone, and the higher the bone relationship in that mix, the higher the ash as well. At least that is my understanding.

However, latest research indicates that more than the ash its magnesium/phos content (fish meal tends to be high, so its recommended to limit fish intake for prone cats) and urinary PH that affect UTIs/crystals more than other factors. Ideal according to research is 6.1 to 6.8, with only sufficient magnesium as required by their diet. This explains why prescription urinary diets usually have seemingly "poo" ingredients with grains combined w/ an acidifier, but they get the job done and dissolve the crystals. Luckily, many of the premium premium pet food providers either advertise the target urinary PH's of their regular wet and dry food, or at least make it available on their sites/hotlines.

Here's a list of target PH's for common cat foods:
Active Life canned - 6.1
Avoderm dry & canned - 6.4-6.7
Biljac dry - 6.0-6.5
Blackwood dry - 6.0-6.4
By Nature Brightlife dry - 6.5-6.7
California Natural dry & canned - 6.4-6.6
Chicken Soup For The Cat Lover's Soul dry & canned - 6.1-6.4
Diamond dry & canned - 6.1-6.4
Eagle Pack dry & canned - 6.0
Eukanuba dry - 6.0-6.4
Evolve dry & canned - 6.5-6.9
Exclusive dry - 6.2-6.5
Felidae canned - 6.0
Felidae dry - 6.5
Feline Caviar Premium Formula dry - 6.1-6.4
Flint River Ranch dry - 6.0-6.2
Iams dry & canned - 6.0-6.4
Innova dry & canned - 6.4-6.6
Lick Your Chops dry & canned - 6.4-6.7
Life's Abundance dry - 6.6-6.8
Natural Balance dry & canned - 6.2-6.4
Natural Life dry & canned - 6.6
Nature's Recipe Urinary Health dry - 6.5
Nature's Variety dry & canned - 6.0-6.5
Newman's Own Organics dry & canned - 6.0-6.8
Nutro dry & canned - 6.0-6.4
Organix Feline dry - 6.2-6.6
Pinnacle dry & canned - 6.4-6.7
Petguard dry & canned - 6.2-6.5
Precise dry & canned - 6.3
ProPac dry & canned - 6.0
Purina One Special Care Urinary Tract Formula dry - 6.3
Purina Pro Plan Special Formula-Urinary Health dry & canned - 6.3
Purina Friskies Special Diet dry & canned– 6.3
Sensible Choice dry & canned - 6.4
Solid Gold dry & canned - 6.5
Wellness dry & canned - 6.1-6.5
Wysong Cat Treats - 6.4-6.6
Wysong Uretic dry - 6.4
Wysong Vitality dry - 6.4-6.6


Eukanuba Veterinary Diet Low pH/S - 5.9-6.3
Eukanuba Veterinary Diet Moderate pH/O - 6.3-6.9
Hills C/D dry & canned - 6.2-6.4
Hills R/D dry & canned - 6.2-6.4
Hills S/D dry & canned - 5.9-6.1
Hills W/D dry & canned - 6.2-6.4
Hills X/D dry & canned - 6.6- 6.8
IVD Dissolution canned - 5.9
IVD Select Care Control dry - 6.0-6.8
Purina Veterinary UR - 6.1
post #7 of 20

Blue Buffalo dry caused urine crystals in both my cat and my dog, so I avoid it like the plague.

post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by cmcircle View Post

Blue Buffalo dry caused urine crystals in both my cat and my dog, so I avoid it like the plague.


Welcome to TCS, we are happy to see new folks who care about their Kitties!

However, you should really re-read this thread if you sincerely care about your Kitties' health.


My Kitties did great on Blue Buffalo Spa and Wilderness for 5+ years,

but I made sure that they had plenty of water (fountains and dripping sink.)


If you had been feeding a poor quality dry food that was not well balanced,

then I could (almost, depending on the details) think that the food was perhaps partially "the cause."

However, in this case, the Blue was not "The Cause" of the crystals.   alright.gif



To the Original Poster -

I agree with the others - more wet, more water, less fish,

and don't be afraid to feed Blue products.    catman.gif

post #9 of 20
Good info Ducman. I would work with the vet to see if increasing the cat's water intake would help. Mixing water with the wet might help. But as LDG pointed out, some cats just have a genetic predisposition towards UTIs. The vet is most likely going to prescribe a prescription diet. Since kibble tends to be calorie and carb dense, I would work with the vet to transition the cat to an all wet diet if possible.
post #10 of 20

I was told to keep my cats off dry food to keep them on can food.  They are doing much better by keeping them off the dry food.  Do some research on the dry food.

post #11 of 20

Blue Buffalo ALMOST KILLED MY CAT!!  The worst food you could possibly give an animal.  Our vet gave my wife a piece of her mind and it brought her to tears.  The amount of damage that this food has done to his system is horrifying and we didn't even finish the FIRST BAG!!


Our cat has been hospitalized for the past four days with a complete blockage of his bladder/urinary track.  Only time will tell if he will have to have another surgery to clear out all of the crystals but the first ultrasound showed his bladder was filled with what the vet could only describe as "sludge".


Please listen to your vet...this food is death in a bag. 

post #12 of 20

Omg i was thinking about that food for my 6 month kitten. I have her on Pro Plan dry ( she gets very very little dry at night only to tide her over till morning ) and Authority Kitten wet. My cat Sophie who lived to 18 ate dry ( Meow Mix wet and dry )  mostly and wet once a day. She preferred dry and would not eat much wet. She drank  lots of water from the day i got her though. It is hard to choose the right food for our cats because i hear this is is the best and that one is the best then i hear something happend to a cat eating the " best " foods. Sophie never had any health issues at all until she was 17 and had her first stroke. She lived a little over 1 year then died at 18. 

post #13 of 20

I have to add to the Blue Buffalo bashing.  I have five cats.  Before I had them on Friskies wet food and Purina dry food.  Finding out the bad contents of both those foods I decided to switch my two kittens over to Blue Buffalo dry food and Nutro wet food (I switched my adult cats to both wet and dry Wellness).  Two months later after the switch my male kitten came down with a UTI.  Blood and crystals in urine, luckily no stones but mucus build up.  The vet I go to told me this is the fourth time he has seen cats who have switched over to Blue Buffalo come in with a UTI.  I know that every cat food that exists has someone who claims it causes problems but Blue Buffalo has a lot of claims against it both cat and dog.  You can make the decision but I would recommend against Blue Buffalo.  Wellness seems to be a good food with no issues. 

post #14 of 20

Blue Buffalo is death in a bag. My cat is currently in the hospital for complete blockage of the bladder. The doctor said, there are way to many people coming in with this problem that are using blue buffalo for their cat or dog. I choose blue buffalo thinking it was the best for my cat but this has been a costly learning experience. Life is already hard enough due to the economy, I don't need false claims killing my cat or wallet. Rant over. 

post #15 of 20

Your best bet is to ditch any dry food altogether, not just Blue Buffalo. Wet food provides hydration needed to flush the urinary system and prevent crystals/stones. Wet food also has a higher protein content, which makes the urine pH lower, naturally protecting kitty against UTIs.


You can get urine pH testing strips and test your kitty's urine pH after switching foods. pH strips are available on Amazon or eBay. They're also in the aquarium section at the pet store, but typically are more expensive there.


I did have a rather strange experience with Blue Buffalo, not as extreme as some of the others who have replied. My kitty rejected the food suddenly, even though she ate it happily before. I found out that some people thought they had reformulated. I had an old can about the house and gave that to her and she ate it no problem. I was able to coax her into eating a few cans of the Blue. Her stool turned almost black (black stool is a cause for concern) and then returned to normal after not eating Blue.


Another member recommended Wellness, but I have heard that Wellness does have a higher than normal amount of people whose kitty got struvite stones after switching to Wellness. There was never any proof of it, just a lot of reports.

post #16 of 20

My 5 year old male cat developed crystals a few months after we started feeding him Blue Wilderness dry cat food. My daughter's male cat did also. She lives in a city and took him to a cat specialist who told her that BB and BW "used" to be great but for some reason in the past few years they've seen a huge number of cats on that food developing crystals and blockages. Mine is on Hills C/D now and doing great.

post #17 of 20

We have a similar anomaly as mentioned by RainTyger, where our three cats on Blue Buffalo dry "Weight Control" formula suddenly showed great disinterest with that cat food.  Even the "thief" among them not only stopped stealing from his comrades' bowls, but stopped eating all of his own portion, something he has never failed to vacuum all up.  And he started an almost daily pattern of regurgitating some or all his "cookies".  Also, our little, but full-grown Baby" began doing the same.  This all started around January-February 2015, after several years on that Blue Buffalo formula.  Hmmm....


We also read today  on ConsumerAffairs.com/pets/[something] that a test had been done by someone's veterinarian, where a cup of Blue was soaked in water for 24-hours, to dissolve the kibble.  What became then visible was hair and rocks (perhaps the "ash" discussed in this thread?), neither of which being good or safe for the digestive or urinary tracts.  Again, hmmm....


When we started these three on BB, their coats became much better: softer, fuller, cleaner, just beautiful pelts, er, coats.  (Yes, only kidding.)


We also find that similar good results and bad complaints exist for other brands, including Iams, and the likes of Purina, etc.  (Incidentally, I worked at t chicken processing factory in northeast Georgia after college, the night shift, where we cleaned up after 144,000 chickens had been processed each day.  With high-pressure hoses, we washed chicken parts -heads, innards, feet/claws, etc.- and even the cleaning solvents and rubber gloves, into a series of drainage troughs, and guess where those troughs went to?  A Purina dog food plant!  This is no lie.  I will obviously never use Purina anything!


So this post, so far, being nothing more than a comment without conclusion, we are at a quandary: to continue with BB, or to switch (slowly, as is proper technique) to something else that is meat-based.  Suggestions are of course welcomed.

post #18 of 20

My cat Tiger is currently in hospital for renal failure caused by crystals.  I have always fed my cats Science Diet but heard that it was not nutritionally the best as are some of the newer brands.  I did my research and decided to switch him to Blue Buffalo.  He has been sick three times, this recent episode almost killing him, before, we did not relate the other two episodes to his food because he recovered and it never got this bad, but they were most likely UTI's as well.  My vet is upset by this brand and putting him on a special diet (don't know what that is yet).  I'm  concerned that this brand which is so popular might be lethal to certain animals prone to urinary problems.  Tiger is recovering nicely.  

post #19 of 20

I was on my 4th bag of BB and I just closed a half bag which is going back to Petsmart. On their recommendation I started using BB now I have 2 cats that came down with Kidney failure within 2 weeks of each other. One had vomiting and then black diahrea before being diagnosed with Kidney failure. The other was perfectly healthy then in just days deathly sick with UTI and kidney failure. I don't know about the stervites though, I will have to ask the vet. Death in a bag is what this crap is, I hope the rest of my cats don't fall sick. I am sick that this has happened to my cats and I let it happen.

post #20 of 20
I still believe long term feeding of any dry food to certain cats especially the males, can be very dangerous
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