No meat byproducts
Cat liked it
No adverse behavioral effects
No ziplock seal
Finding the right cat food can be tricky sometimes. There are so many options out there, each with different nutritional benefits, that it might seem impossible to find the healthiest one for your furry friend—especially if they’re struggling with digestive issues, hairballs, or losing weight. To help you narrow your search, we sent a top-rated dry food—Life Protection Dry Adult Cat Food from the American pet food brand Blue Buffalo—home with one of our testers (and his cat!) to evaluate its ingredients, health benefits, overall value, and more. Read on to see if it lived up to its reputation.
Ingredients: Natural components with no by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors
The first ingredient in many cat foods is a meat byproduct. This Blue Buffalo variety, however, is free of chicken or poultry byproducts altogether; its first ingredient is high-protein deboned chicken. Whole grains and veggies (including brown rice, sweet potatoes, cranberries, blueberries, flax, peas, and carrots) are also included, providing antioxidants and vitamins. Also on the list is taurine (to help maintain heart and eye health), L-carnitine (to aid with weight loss), and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (to help promote a shiny coat and healthy skin). The food is entirely free of corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives. It also meets the nutritional standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), meaning that it’s a well-balanced and complete meal.
Our expert tester, who fed his 6-year-old cat this food for weeks, said he appreciated its natural ingredients: “The food we typically feed our cat is another weight control-style food and the ingredients are pretty similar overall,” he said, “but Blue Buffalo does go above and beyond as far as having no corn products and that sort of thing.”
Read more reviews of the best frozen and freeze-dried raw cat food available to purchase online.
Texture: Two-part formula was a winner
Like all dry foods from Blue Buffalo, this variety has a two-part formula: regular pieces are combined with the brand’s LifeSource Bits, a kibble that blends vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is cooked at a lower temperature to preserve nutrients that may be lost at high heat.
Blue Buffalo does go above and beyond as far as having no corn products and that sort of thing.
Our tester introduced the food to his cat’s diet slowly—which, as he noted, is recommended by the brand. “Our cat has had some health issues in the past so we’re pretty sensitive to behavioral changes,” he explained. “That said, we didn’t notice any adverse effects from her eating this food—either in her eating habit itself, litter habits, or behavior changes. She liked this food about as much as any other she's had in the past!”
Benefits: No observed weight loss but need more time
In addition to its well-rounded nutritional value, this cat food is advertised as helping cats lose or maintain a healthy body weight. For weight reduction, the brand recommends ¼ to ½ cup (for 5- to 9-pound cats) or ½ to ¾ cup (for 10- to 14-pound cats). If weight maintenance is your goal, ½ to ¾ cup is recommended for 5- to 9-pound cats and ¾ to 1 cup is the range for 10- to 14-pound cats.
Our tester reported that he “hadn’t specifically noticed weight loss” in his cat as a direct response to testing this food over the period of a few weeks, but also acknowledged that it may take more time.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best healthy cat treats.
Design: Many sizes but no ziplock closure
This cat food comes in a bag and there are multiple sizes available (2, 3, 5, 7, or 15 pounds). One thing our tester pointed out, however, was that the bags aren’t resealable: “Bags of cat food are never particularly easy to store,” he said, “but sealable bags often make it a bit easier, and this brand doesn't have that.”
Price: More expensive with the quality to back it up
This food is on the more expensive end of the spectrum; its 7-pound bag is more than $20. “This isn't the best option if you're looking for cost-effectiveness,” agreed our tester.
In terms of our cat liking the product, I would buy it again.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Cat Food vs. Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food
Science Diet, a cat and dog food label owned by Hill's Pet Nutrition, also offers a dry food for adult cats that’s engineered to help with weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. Both foods are free of meat byproducts and feature chicken as their first ingredient; they also contain L-carnitine, a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that's often used as a weight loss supplement. Additionally, both foods are free of artificial flavors or preservatives. The main difference in terms of ingredients is that Science Diet’s version contains corn and wheat, while Blue Buffalo’s version does not. There is also a difference in price: a 15-pound bag of Science Diet’s food costs around $40, while a 15-pound bag of Blue Buffalo’s food can be found for around $35.
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Buy it if it fits your cat’s needs
Our tester felt that because this food was more expensive than the comparable healthy weight-branded food he traditionally feeds his cat, he wouldn’t go out of his way to buy it unless his vet recommended it. However, he had a different take on the food itself: “In terms of our cat liking the product, I would buy it again.”
- Product Name Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
- Product Brand Blue Buffalo
- Price $34.99
- Weight 15 lbs.
- Meat By-Products No
- Corn, Wheat, or Soy No
- Artificial Flavors or Preservatives No
- Meets Cat Food Nutrient Profile by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Yes