At Global Pet Expo earlier this year, I had one of the most fascinating conversations I’ve ever had about pet food with a representative from Merrick Pet Care. I have long considered Merrick one of the better offerings in the pet food arena, and after my conversation with Mark, I like the brand even more, for a variety of reasons:

Sourced and manufactured in the USA, no ingredients from China

All of Merrick’s diets are manufactured in the United States (in Hereford, TX.) The majority of ingredients are sourced from family farms across the country unless not regionally available. Merrick does not source any ingredients from China. Somehow, Merrick manages to do all this with fewer warehouses and distributors, so that the ingredients make it from farm to your cat’s bowl fresher and faster. It is difficult to find a food that meets all of these conditions.

Premium ingredients

All of Merrick’s formulas are free of corn, soy, wheat and gluten. They do not contain any by-products or artificial preservatives.

The taste test

But the real test of any food is whether your cats will eat it, right?

Allegra and Ruby were eager to test several formulas from Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro line. Since I don’t recommend dry food, and since Ruby has shown some sensitivity to certain proteins in the past, I asked for poultry flavors. We received the Chicken Paté, Turkey  Paté, Duck Paté, Grammy’s Pot Pie, Thanksgiving Dinner and Turducken flavors. The latter three are minced in gravy.

Allegra liked all six of the flavors, but did have a slight preference for the paté style varieties. Ruby needed a little encouragement with the minced flavors before she started eating them. She preferred the chicken and turkey paté, and absolutely loved the duck paté (in her case, the difference between “like” and “love” means that while she happily ate both chicken and turkey, only the duck resulted in a completely clean plate.) The duck paté also seemed to be Allegra’s favorite – even though she pretty much inhaled all of the flavors, the duck disappeared even faster than the others.

My assessment

I love this line of food, with one exception: it does contain carrageenan. However, Merrick is coming out with a Limited Ingredient Diet later this spring/summer, which will not contain carrageenan. Look for a review here as soon as it becomes available. I’m hoping that eventually, Merrick will remove carrageenan from all of their formulas.

Please visit for more information.

FTC Disclosure: I received this product for review at no charge. I also received a fee for writing this review. Receiving the free product and the fee did not influence my review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion. Or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest and unbiased opinion.

14 Comments on Review: Merrick Purrfect Bistro

  1. I read somewhere about looking for the latest expiration date on canned cat food. Is stuff thats good until 5/17 worse than stuff thats labeled 5/18? Is the 18 actually fresher? AND, my cat doesn’t seem to prefer Weruva Fowl Ball. He DOES like the Merrick pate duck, chicken, turkey, and as well he likes Instinct duck, rabbit, turkey. We have been stacking them in a rotation so when we grab a can for breakfast, it isn’t the same as last night, or tonight. We also have been giving him a 3oz can in the am, and a 5.5 oz can in the evening. I don’t want him to lose weight too rapidly, but he does need to red a few lbs (from 14 to 11.5-12 would be at least better, so thats why I had previously mentioned calories. Is there a minimum about of cals or will he eat until he’s done and get all that he needs in terms of nutrition? We like to leave his dish down from about 5-8 pm in the eve, as in the am he cleans up in 3 oz serving after about 2 hours. (he comes and goes in to eat every 10-20 minutes or so.) Thanks, Fred

    • I think once canned food is canned, there’s not going to be much difference in terms of whether it’s “fresher” or not, but I could be wrong. As for how much to feed your cat, it varies based on the cat’s activity level, but on average, an active adult cat should eat about 30 calories per pound of body weight.

      • 30 cals would put a 14 pound cat at 420 cals. At a 3oz in the am and a 5.5 ox in the pm he is only getting about 220-250 cals. How do I increase cals if he eats whats fished up, and even then leaves a bit, and is done? Are their canned foods that will give more cals than Merrick or Instinct? I can’t make him eat more than he wants to? And while it was a long-term pain to wean him from kibble, he still will tolerate some chopped raw chicken-breast in his canned, but he walks away from RadCat or Primal. HELP?!

        • The amount a cat needs to eat depends on the cat’s activity level, not just weight. If he is maintaining his weight on what you’re feeding, you’re fine. And yes, some brands a more calorie dense than others. Most will have calorie information on their website.

  2. I stumbled upon this food when looking for something new for my 15yo boy recently dx with FLUTD. Hate to admit it, but I was combing the aisles leaning toward the usual brands filled with big marketing budgets, when I noticed person after person filling baskets with this food. Curiosity made me go over to see what was so popular – grain free and made in USA told me go for it. Well he absolutely loves the chicken pate, so much so I haven’t tried the other favors. Now to ask a dumb question – what is this carrageenan ingredient and why is it bad?

    • Carrageenan is a controversial ingredient, Laurie (and there is no such thing as a dumb question!):

  3. I wish Merrick could bring down the Phosphorus and Sodium levels in their food. Their numbers are some of the highest out there. Our kitty loves Merrick; but she has kidney disease so they are not suitable for her health issues.

  4. I’m looking forward to the Merrick limited ingredient line. Pierre’s intermittent stomach issues have narrowed our food rotation a lot, and the limited ingredient foods sound like a great choice to broaden the selections for a fussy stomach (not to mention fussy palate)!

  5. This is what my cat eats – Duck Pate, Chicken Casserole and Beef Wellington. I wasn’t a big fan of feeding beef, since you’d never see a cat eat a cow, but seriously he loves the stuff and since he’s 15 I figure he deserves to enjoy every bite!

    • You don’t usually see a cat taking down a chicken or a duck, either, Katie 😉 I agree that at 15, your cat should eat whatever he wants!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.