Balanced Blends: Perfectly Balanced Raw Food for Your Cat

cat-tongue-licking

This post is sponsored by Balanced Blends

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat in their diet to thrive. Their systems aren’t designed to digest carbohydrates. A raw diet is one of the best ways to fulfill cats’ nutritional requirements. There are numerous benefits from feeding a raw diet to your cat, including improved digestion, reduced stool odor and volume, increased energy, ability to maintain ideal weight, better dental health, and better urinary tract health.

Embraced for decades by holistically oriented pet parents and holistic veterinarians, raw feeding is becoming more mainstream as pet parents look for alternatives to feeding highly processed commercial pet foods.

Balanced Blends is a Boulder Colorado based company, founded by enthusiastic pet parents with a distinct curiosity and interest in pet nutrition. Initially, the three founders each prepared raw foods at home for their four-legged family members. They wanted to create a commercially available complete and balanced raw diet for cats and dogs that would help make raw feeding easy for pet parents’ busy schedules. Working with veterinarians and a PhD nutritionist, they created Balanced Blends.

“Complete and balanced”

In the US, AAFCO, the American Association of Feed Control Officials, is the organization which is charged with establishing and enforcing animal feed requirements across all fifty states. Its primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of feed for human food producing livestock. It’s important to understand that the AAFCO “complete and balanced” statement on pet food labels is not necessarily a quality indicator. It simply says that the food has been tested and approved as “complete and balanced for the life of a pet.” Unfortunately, this is sadly misleading. The tests are conducted on very small groups of animals and for very short periods of time. The only real long-term tests of any pet food happen when pet guardians feed these diets to their own pets.

Balanced Blends Raw Chicken Dinner for Cats

Balanced Blends goes beyond AAFCO’s minimum standards

Highlights of Balanced Blend diets include

  • A low (optimum) omega 6 to 3 ratio to promote healthy skin and coat along with reducing inflammation related to excessive omega 6 and not enough omega 3.
  • Their poultry recipes are formulated to be low in Linoleic Acid (LA.) Excessive LA is believed to promote inflammation (LA is an Omega 6) and is highly available in poultry.
  • Optimal calcium to phosphorus ratio.
  • Depending on the recipe’s need, they use wild caught salmon, flaxseed, and/or hemp oil to keep fat and fatty acids balanced at an optimal level
raw-beef-dinner-for-cats

Balanced Blends Raw Beef Dinner for Cats

All of Balanced Blends’ diets are antibiotic free, USDA inspected and approved, do not contain added hormones, and the cat formulas do not contain any produce. All ingredients are sourced in the US, from cage free chickens and grass fed cattle.

Balanced Blends also makes sure that all other nutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals are balanced. They compare their nutrient profiles not only to AAFCO, but also to the ancestral diet and to the EU’s European Pet Food Industry Federation standards, which are more stringent than US standards. “Basically, our ‘Balanced Raw’ ideology is to not only formulate to meet AAFCO, but to also look deeper into making a diet that is really balanced for the best health for our cats and dogs,” says Tim Snipes, Balanced Blends President and CEO.

Convenient Starter Pack

Balanced Blends offers a convenient starter pack for new customers to try their products with a lower initial order amount.

Cat Starter Pack (free shipping + no minimum order)  *new customer only*
$14 for 2 lbs of Raw Chicken Dinner
$16 for 2 lbs of Raw Beef Dinner

This is an incredible deal! Visit http://www.balancedblends.com/products/cat-starter-pack to learn more.

Coming soon: new turkey formula for cats

While Allegra and Ruby like Balanced Blend’s chicken formula, they were super excited to find out that there will be a new turkey formula coming very soon. They can’t wait to test it for you!

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that I believe are of interest to our readers.

20 Comments on Balanced Blends: Perfectly Balanced Raw Food for Your Cat

  1. Joyce
    July 5, 2017 at 6:50 pm (3 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid,
    As you know, for quite some time now, I’ve been hunting just the right food for my 4 cats, each with very particular nutrition, health & taste requirements. Recently I’ve come across NULO.
    Just wondering if you had any experience with it and if so, any opinions? They have a wet & dry, but I’m only interested in the wet food. It may be around for a long time but I’ve only come to hear about it from a friend turned Rep, for the company.

    Reply
    • Gloria
      July 5, 2017 at 11:06 pm (3 months ago)

      It seems that as far as wet food goes, Nulo is pretty good. As far as dry food, Orijen seems good. However, I still lean toward raw food, but I am not in favor of Balanced Blends, since they use flax oil to “balance” the fatty acids. Not logical! Cats cannot utilize the fatty acids in flax oil, hence it doesn’t balance anything. They need to get their omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil. I currently feed one of my cats Rad Cat (raw) and the other one gets a home-prepared diet especially for her IBD as prescribed by a holistic veterinarian.

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 6, 2017 at 5:21 am (3 months ago)

      I’d be happy to evaluate Nutro for you, Joyce – please email me if you’d like me to do that.

      Reply
  2. Elaine
    May 31, 2017 at 1:36 pm (4 months ago)

    Please comment on Wysong Cat foods.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 3, 2017 at 5:37 am (4 months ago)

      Please contact me via email if you’d like me to comment on Wysong formulas for you, Elaine. I do charge a small fee for evaluating individual formulas.

      Reply
  3. Toni
    May 30, 2017 at 11:13 pm (4 months ago)

    I am a vegetarian and animal rights person; however, I have been ordering all kinds of canned kitty foods for my rescued critters and spent lots of money with only SS income. How do I get over the raw animal issue and cooking same for my fur babies since I don’t eat animals personally? I just lost an older kitty yesterday to a pancreatic issue that had no cure. HELP…I want my fur babies to be as healthy as possible. Thanks

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 31, 2017 at 4:46 am (4 months ago)

      I’m sorry about your kitty, Toni. I totally understand your reluctance to handle raw meat, Toni – I’m vegetarian myself. One of the nice things about commercially prepared raw diets like Balanced Blends is that you really don’t need to actually handle meat. It’s not very different from feeding canned: instead of opening a can, you defrost and serve. As you can see in the images, Balanced Blends comes in 8 ounce sealed packs. For my two cats, that’s two meals, so I dump the entire pack into a glass container, then use a fork to distribute one meal’s portion on their two dishes. My hands never actually touch the meat.

      The other aspect to this vegan/vegetarian’s dilemma is that we need to recognize that when we bring cats into our lives, we are accepting them for who they are – and that means sharing our lives with an obligate carnivore.

      I hope this helps!

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 3, 2017 at 5:41 am (4 months ago)

      When sharing our lives with cats, we have to accept that they’re obligate carnivores, and that means they need meat not just to survive, but to thrive. I’m a vegetarian myself, and wasn’t thrilled at the idea of handling raw meat when I first started feeding raw. It’s why I like commercially prepared raw foods like Balanced Blends – it’s no different than feeding canned, the only difference is that instead of opening a can, you pull a pack out of the freezer, thaw and feed.

      Reply
  4. Gloria Todd
    May 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm (4 months ago)

    While balanced raw food is a good idea for cats (I feed my cat raw), I am concerned that Balanced Blends adds flax seed to their food. If they really were educated on feline nutrition, they would know that cats cannot convert and utilize the fatty acids in flax seed. Better brands use fish oil, which is readily usable for cats.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm (4 months ago)

      I actually asked Balanced Blends that question when we began to work on this post together, Glora. You are absolutely correct, cats can’t convert the omega 3’s in flax seed. They are not using flaxseed as an EPA source, instead the flaxseed oil is added to balance the long chain Omega 3s to get to a better/optimal fat balance ratio.

      Reply
      • Gloria Todd
        May 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm (4 months ago)

        Iingrid, I am sorry to say, but their comment about using flaxseed oil to balance the long-chain omega 3s does not make sense. Adding a substance that cats cannot utilize does not balance anything. Cats need a ratio of about 2:1 with omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. Flax seed oil can only be converted for use by humans and some animals. It is useless for cats. Arachidonic acid..(found in meat, eggs, etc.) is an omega 6 fatty acid and is essential but pro-inflammatory, and EPA and DHA are omega 3 long-chain fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. EPA and DHA stand for eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid respectively. They are omega-3 fats, which are found in cold water fish. Please refer to this article for further information: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/longchain-fatty-acid-9597.html.
        Balanced Blends should refer to a professional source for their information, such as the Merck Veterinary Manual. Also, they state that their diet meets the requirements of the AAFCO. The AAFCO is an independent association consisting of State Department of Agriculture and FDA members. AAFCO is responsible for writing “model bills” which become state laws (when/if accepted by individual states) governing pet foods/animal feeds. AAFCO also is responsible for defining pet food/animal feed ingredients. State Department of Agriculture or FDA might verify the complete and balanced claim, but AAFCO does not. Also, while most other raw pet food manufacturers list the specific ingredients (which usually include fish oil), Balanced Blends does not. Their descriptioon is rather vague, stating what types of ingredients they use but is not specific. Sorry, but because of their lack of knowledge about fatty acids, I would not consider purchasing their food.

        Reply
        • Yik
          June 1, 2017 at 1:45 pm (4 months ago)

          Hi Gloria,

          Thanks again for reaching us yesterday afternoon to discuss the topics you mentioned above. We appreciate our pet parents digging deeper into nutrition science.

          We wanted to follow up to your comments above:

          As Ingrid mentioned, we are not using Flaxseed oil as source for EPA or DHA. You are correct that cats cannot convert the ALA, from Flaxseed oil, to EPA and DHA. We are using Salmon oil for our EPA and DHA.

          We add Flaxseed oil to fine tune and balance the ratio of LA and ALA with the LC Omega 3s, for a healthy ratio of Omega 6:3. The LA and ALA is available to the cats directly from the flaxseed oil. If we did not add flaxseed oil to our recipes, we would still meet all of the relevant standards. The NRC has suggested though, that both dogs and cats have better health when fats are optimized and not just meet the minimums of LA and ALA. At Balanced Blends, we have chosen to do this and optimize the balance and ratio of these fatty acids. Our ratios and profiles, for the fatty acids, is designed to closely mimic the ancestral diets of our cats and dogs in order for them to thrive.

          The AAFCO statement, found on our label, is a regulated part of pet food labeling – including the actual language. As a commercial pet food, we are required to state whether our food meets one or all of the life stages, as defined by AAFCO, for dog and cat nutrition. AAFCO defines the nutritional requirements and allowed ingredients. State regulators generally follow AAFCO guidelines when regulating pet food. You will find that other pet food brands, including raw brands, will have an AAFCO statement on their labeling.

          Balanced Blends goes beyond the requirements of AAFCO and meets the more stringent requirements of European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF). Moreover, we do not stop after we meet the minimum requirements, our meals are designed and formulated, for our pet family members, to thrive and prosper.

          A full ingredient list is available at the bottom of each of our product pages. There is also an analysis tab, where a full panel analysis is posted for each of our foods.

          I took a closer look at the nutritional information, which is found on the raw food websites that you mentioned. That is the same information that we also post under our analysis tab, where it says “For full nutritional analysis, click here”. Our layout are not as pretty but the information posted is the same. We’ll work on making the layout better =))

          Thanks again for checking us out! For any further questions, please feel free to reach us at hello@balancedblends.com

          Yik
          The BB Team

          Reply
          • Gloria
            June 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm (3 months ago)

            I stand by my original statement, that adding a fat source that cats cannot utilize does not balance anything! It may do so for other species of animals, but not for cats. Period!

  5. Eastside Cats
    May 30, 2017 at 11:59 am (4 months ago)

    Hope they decide to include salmon or tuna someday, since my kitty is allergic to chicken and beef, and we limit his access to turkey. I like the idea of this; thanks for the info, Ingrid!

    Reply
  6. Deborah
    May 30, 2017 at 10:59 am (4 months ago)

    That’s fine, I’d love to feed my cat this food but I’m on a limited income and can’t even afford healty food for myself.

    Reply
  7. Lynette
    May 30, 2017 at 9:46 am (4 months ago)

    I also can’t wait to try the turkey formula. That’s all my boys will eat. I tried the Darwin’s duck, but it didn’t go over well. They ate it once and then they wouldn’t eat it. I feed them Rad Cat, but it always needs a topper.
    I tried Balanced Blends chicken, and the quality seemed better than Rad Cat.

    Reply
    • Gloria Todd
      May 31, 2017 at 2:21 pm (4 months ago)

      Lynette, I am interested in knowing why you feel that the quality of Balanced Blends seems better than Rad Cat, because I feed Rad Cat to my cat, either turkey or beef (he is allergic to chicken). Interestingly, he won’t eat them, either, unless I add a topper. 🙂 My other cat eats a home made diet, especially formulated for her by a holistic veterinarian.

      Reply
      • Clare Kendry
        June 18, 2017 at 1:08 am (3 months ago)

        Gloria, what kind of homemade diet you have for your felines? I have a new vet here and she said to add an enough amount of rice and mixed it with a topper that he likes (chicken or fish), instead of just putting the topper on the top. I’m quite skeptic of the rice, but Nora (my cat) seems to like it though.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          June 19, 2017 at 5:00 am (3 months ago)

          I do not recommend rice or any other grains for cats.

          Reply
      • Gloria
        June 19, 2017 at 12:08 pm (3 months ago)

        Clare, i feed my female kitty a homemade diet prescribed by a holistic veterinarian for her IBD. I do not add rice, neither do I recommend it. Cats do not need rice and it may be added temporarily in cases of diarrhea, but otherwise, it has no place in cat food, nor do other grains. There are several sources of homemade diets on the internet, but not all of them are balanced. Unfortunately, there are a lot of “amateurs” out there making up diets. The following are pretty good:
        http://catinfo.org/making-cat-food/ (scroll down to recipe);
        http://www.catnutrition.org/recipes.html
        Or, you can purchase a powdered mix to add to raw meat, which makes it a lot easier. This is a good one (not all are equally good): http://www.knowwhatyoufeed.com/alnutrin_supplements.html
        In any case, do not use pre-ground raw meat, because of the bacteria in it. I lightly cook my meat in the oven and cut if off the bone before putting it in the food processor, which does a fine job. Be sure that, whatever diet you choose, it contains sufficient calcium, taurine, and other nutrients. I do not add Centrum human vitamins, since it contains way too much of the fat-soluble vitamins for kitties. Blessings to you and your kitties.

        Reply

Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.