Merrick Cat Food Review

Merrick Cat Food Review

As a brand, Merrick claims to provide “Whole Health Made Right” pet foods, but is this right for your cat?

Merrick pet food company saw rapid early success due to its focus on high-quality, healthy ingredients.

Learn more about Merrick cat food in our review below.  

Overview Of Merrick Cat Food

Ingredient Quality8/10
Price6/10
Species Appropriate6.5/10
Product Variety8/10
Customer Ratings7/10
Recall History5/10
Overall Score7/10

About Merrick Pet Foods 

The Merrick pet food company began in 1988 when Garth Merrick started making his own dog food. The Texas-based company launched from there and now has over 125 different offerings!

Merrick began formulating his own dog food to create an organic and completely natural pet food. His goal was to hit the high standards of organic shoppers with his specialty brand. Only allowing ingredients grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers to be mixed into his formulas. 

What started out as a brand producing just one line of dog treats quickly turned into a thriving food producer with quality ingredients. 

In July 2015, Nestlé Purina PetCare acquired Merrick to continue producing their high-quality meals. However, this has come with some backlash from loyal customers. 

The Merrick “Five Promises” 

  1. Merrick has a promise to partner with local growers in order to support local communities and guarantee the freshness of their ingredients. Due to Merrick’s American roots, most of its ingredients are sourced within the country. No ingredients are sourced from China by Merrick.
  2. The Merrick company uses what they call “nutritious, whole foods”. Essentially, they don’t use artificial additives, sweeteners, colorants, or preservatives according to their nutritional philosophy.
  3. Merick promises balanced nutrition with 30 to 80% protein coming from meat, poultry, and fish, plus whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
  4. Merrick’s fourth promise is “health you can see.” They say their products contain “industry-leading” amounts of healthy fats, highly digestible meat proteins, and glucosamine and chondroitin.
  5. The foods that Merrick makes are prepared in the company’s kitchen in Hereford, Texas. USDA National Organic Program and Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3-certified kitchens help provide the highest quality food.

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Sourcing And Manufacturing

All of Merrick’s pet food is made in their kitchens in Texas. All the kitchens made by the company are level-3 certified for food safety and certified by the USDA as an organic facility. 

All ingredients for the pet food are locally sourced from farms near their Texas kitchen with nothing coming from China. This supports local farmers and ensures all ingredients are organic.

The company is committed to using the most nutritious ingredients in its manufacturing. All of their meals continue to be free of additives, preservatives, sweeteners, colorings, or artificial flavors. 

Has Merrick Cat Food Ever Been Recalled?

Merrick cat food has never been recalled. The company has had a few recalls regarding their dog food. You can read more about the recalls on their dog food line here. 

It’s hard to speculate if this will have implications for the ingredients going into the cat food. There hasn’t been any reported illness from their cat products thus far. 

There haven’t been any recalls on any products since 2018, when some beef-based dog treats were recalled. 

Brief summary of Merrick’s recall history.

2018

In May of 2018, a recall was conducted on several beef-based dog treats because of potentially elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.

2011

There was a salmonella recall on Merrick Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats in January of 2011. A recall of the company’s Doggie Wishbone treats was announced in the summer of 2011 due to salmonella contamination.

2010

Salmonella contamination led to the recall of Merrick treats.

What Kind of Food Does Merrick Offer?

Merrick founder Garth Merrick explains that Merrick is distinct from other food companies for “the effort we put into maintaining the natural goodness and nutritional value of the whole ingredients we use.” He explains that “we use the fewest steps possible.” Neither artificial flavors or colors are used in their products.

These approaches ensure their customers and, more importantly, their pets are happy and well-fed on a diet that contributes greatly to their happiness and wellbeing. “Since the beginning we’ve done that, and we will keep doing that.”

The Merrick cat food line includes dry food, wet food, raw mixers, and treats. You can choose from three product lines.

  1. Purrfect Bistro: The original cat food line of the brand is Perfect Bistro. All recipes are targeted at specific life stages and needs, including grain-inclusive and grain-free choices.
  2. Limited Ingredient Diet: The Limited Ingredient line is designed for cats with sensitivities and allergies to food.
  3. Backcountry: Backcountry’s line of products includes grain-free, all-natural foods that may contain freeze-dried raw meat.

Wet

Wet food ranges from gravies to pates and comes with a broad list of ingredients and utilizes many different protein sources. 

The wet meals are packed with moisture and high-quality, nutritious food. There are grain-free foods for those with allergies to specific food ingredients and meals explicitly formulated for kittens and elderly cats. 

With a low protein percentage, this isn’t a holistic, balanced diet. However, it benefits your cat’s digestive health, immune health, and coat health due to the moisture-rich food. 

Dry

The brand has both their Merrick Purrfect Bistro dry food and their Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused dry food. The Raw Infused meals have freeze-dried food chunks incorporated into the kibble to give alternative textures. 

Some of the dry food recipes include dried egg products and pea protein which is a controversial ingredient. They offer a wide range of options for age ranges and food allergies. 

With the grain-free dry cat food and limited ingredient foods for kitties with food sensitivities, the brand caters to various needs. 

Merrick dry food claims to maintain your cat’s skin and digestive health with a baseline fiber content and healthy animal fat sources. Some formulas have a higher carb content which may cause weight gain.

Which Types of Cats is Merrick Best Suited For?

The company offers both dry and wet foods suitable for cats, as well as specifically formulated food for cats with a sensitive stomachs. Cat owners of senior cats, Adult cats, and kittens can find food suitable for their needs.

Merrick Cat Food Review

Merrick offers around 150 cat food products. Variety comes from their wide range of protein sources and flavors. Here are some of the most popular Merrick cat food products.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Cat Food

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The primary protein sources in this dry cat food are deboned chicken and chicken meal.

We recommend this dry food if your cat has food allergies or sensitivities. The recipe is grain-free and contains only one animal protein source, deboned chicken. 

A moisture-rich ingredient is at the top of the list since the ingredients are listed by their pre-cooking weight. Upon deboning, chicken meal is added, which has been dehydrated prior to cooking so that you get a concentrated source of protein.

Instead of grains traditionally used in extruded kibbles, chickpeas and peas are used in this food to produce a grain-free texture. Adding chicken fat to the mix provides fatty acids that are appropriate to the species.

Traces of organic dried alfalfa meal, dried yeast culture, and ground flaxseed are found in this recipe. A probiotic supplement is included. An additive of “natural flavor”, typically produced using hydrolyzed animal tissue, is near the bottom of the list. By concentrating flavors in these tissues, foods become more palatable.

The protein content of this dry cat food is moderate, the fat content is low, and the carbohydrate content is high.

There are 395 calories in each cup of this food.

Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Salt, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Dried Yeast Culture, Ground Flaxseed, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Phosphoric Acid, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Cat Food Caloric Weight Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Cat Food Dry Matter Basis
Dry Matter Basis
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Dry Cat Food Guaranteed Analysis
Guaranteed Analysis

Backcountry Raw Infused 

Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Dry Cat Food Raw Infused...
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The Raw Infused formulas come in a variety of flavors, including: 

  • Game bird
  • Pacific catch
  • Kitten recipe
  • Mature recipe

This cat food line is unique to their basic Purrfect Bistro because it has pieces of freeze-dried raw protein. These chunks are mixed into their kibble formula to give a boost in omega fatty acids. 

The crude protein content in these formulas is around 42%, which is well above the minimum for dry foods, around 30%. 

The biggest downfall to this formula is that it utilizes chicken meal and turkey meal in addition to high-quality meat like a deboned chicken. 

Any meat meal is lower in quality and can be hard on the digestive system for more sensitive cats. However, this brings the protein percentage up along with pea protein. 

When purchasing this cat food, you’ll notice that the freeze-dried meat quantity will differ between bags. This can be a downfall as some bags may be mostly kibble.

Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Natural Flavor, Salmon Meal (source of Omega-3 fatty acids), Potato Protein, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Deboned Duck, Deboned Quail, Chicken Liver, Dried Yeast Culture, Salt, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Phosphoric Acid, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Gelatin, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

Guarnateed Analysis of Backcountry Raw Infused Review 
Guarnateed Analysis

Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Pate 

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Merrick’s limited ingredient line primarily uses deboned chicken as a source of high-quality protein. 

This wet cat food contains a significant amount of deboned chicken as the main protein source. In addition to chicken broth, chicken liver is added to the chicken.

Aside from being highly nutritious, chicken liver is also delicious. Unlike their other line of products that use dried eggs, this allergy-oriented product contains pea protein. This formulation contains organic alfalfa meal, a trace nutrient, and a very small source of protein.

Flaxseed oil is used instead of salmon oil in other Merrick recipes. This plant fat contains omega-3 fatty acids, but it contains alpha-linolenic acid, which cannot be absorbed by cats.

Guar gum thickens the food, though it doesn’t contain carrageenan like some Merrick recipes.

The meat content, fat content, and carbohydrate content of this canned food are moderate.

It has 131 calories per 5-ounce can or 26 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Cranberries, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Alfalfa, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Sodium Phosphate, Salmon Oil, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Taurine, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Pate guaranteed analysis
Guaranteed Analysis
Dry Matter Basis for Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Pate 
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis for Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Pate 
Caloric Weight Basis

Should You Buy Merrick Cat food?

You should buy Merrick cat food if you have a cat that requires specific dietary needs for its gastrointestinal health. 

With a huge variety of ingredients, grain-free formulas, and a healthy balance of nutrients, you’ll likely be able to please picky eaters with Merrick cat food. 

Certain formulas are rated higher by consumers, but Merrick is a relatively trustable brand with no recalls on their cat food. 

What People Are Saying About Merrick Food

The overall consensus among consumers is that Merrick cat food is high quality and worth buying. With such positive feedback from many customers, this earns the company more trust. 

Positive Reviews to Note:

“My diva cats are usually so picky with new food… they usually just pick at it and then walk away, but they devoured this immediately and licked the bowl clean – they especially love the gravy.”

– Review from Merrick Pet Care website

“My 14 year old cat has had a very hard time keeping down dry food for the last 5 or so years. The vet recommended I switch him to a wet am food which did help however he would still throw up dry food (almost daily). I switched him to this food and he hasn’t thrown up once in over a month. Extremely happy!! Highly recommend.”

– Review from Merrick Pet Care website

Negative Reviews to Note:

“Unfortunately, both bags that I’ve received have been at LEAST 30% dust. The latest bag that I opened had dust just sitting on top and each scoop has had tons of dust in it. I am very disappointed in this cat food and I expected better from Merrick. Really not worth $25 when you’re really just paying for dust.”

– Review from Merrick Pet Care website

“We have been using the Sensitive Stomach dry food and love it so we decided to try the canned food for our fosters. Sadly, on our first try, we are very disappointed. We found several bone pieces in the food!! We can’t feed this to our 6 week old kittens!!!”

– Review from Merrick Pet Care website

How Much Does Merrick Cat Food Cost?

An average 10-lb cat consumes about $3.19 worth of canned food each day. The same cat would cost $4.51 per day if you upgraded to the Backcountry line.

It costs about $0.50 per day to buy Merrick Limited Ingredient dry cat food, while Merrick Backcountry is about $0.65 per day.

Most of their dry cat food formulas cost between $15 and $40, depending on the retailer you purchase from. If you opt for the wet formula, the price point is between $30 and $45, depending on your retailer of choice and the quantity purchased. 

Merrick cat food ranges from moderately-priced to expensive.

Is Merrick A Good Choice?

If you’re looking for locally sourced and organic pet food, Merrick is a great option that will bring your cat several health benefits.

Merrick’s food is well-sourced and is an excellent source of vitamins that your cat relies on, like vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids. There’s negative feedback about this brand however, it’s nearly impossible to find a brand with completely good reviews!

Last update on 2021-09-17 at 05:26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API