Merrick Cat Food Reviews

Founded in Amarillo Texas in 1988, Merrick Pet Food started off producing dog treats and has since expanded to include both dog and cat food lines. In mid-2012, the company introduced what they named the ‘Purrfect Bistro’ extensive menu of over 20 amazing, high-protein and grain-free wet canned and dry kibble foods. The Purrfect Bistro menu items are all the same nutritionally, they just have different flavours and formula blends and it gives a wide variety for the fussy cats out there.

Merrick is also the owner of popular cat food brand Castor & Pollux who produce the Organix and Ultramix pet foods. We have gone through all Merrick products and have provided a handful of Merrick cat food reviews which gives you an idea of the entire brand.

Merrick manufacturers all of their wet and dry kibble foods in Hereford, Texas, and they have achieved organic certification which comes from the USDA National Organic Program. Al of  their manufacturing facilities in Texas have this rating. Interestingly, Merrick Pet Care is the only company who is a certified organic manufacturer for both dry and wet foods.

What was started by Garth Merrick in 1988 as a humble dog treat has turned into one of the largest pet food companies in the US. Merrick currently produces their pet food out of a 95,000 square foot facility located in Hereford, Texas. Merrick’s main company focus is to produce high-end pet food products which are sourced from the United States and are made from the best ingredients possible.


Merrick Cat Food Comparison Table

NameMain IngredientsProteinFatFiberPricing
Merrick Backcounty Real Rabbit Recipe Cuts Wet Cat FoodDeboned Rabbit, Lamb Broth, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Deboned Lamb, Dried Egg Whites9%3%1.2%Click Here
Merrick Before Grain MeatChicken Deboned, Chicken Meal, Potato Dehydrated, Turkey Meal, Salmon Oil, Sweet Potato36%18%3%Click Here
Merrick Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dry Cat FoodDeboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Protein, Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)32%13%4%Click Here
Backcounty Raw Infused Game Bird RecipeDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Natural Flavor42%14%4%Click Here
Purrfect Bistro Duck & Turkey Dry Food Deboned Duck, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Deboned Turkey40%16%3.5%Click Here
Limited Ingredient Diet Canned Cat FoodDeboned Salmon, Water for Processing, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Phosphate8%4%1.4%Click Here

This food includes chunks of real meal coated in a savoury gravy. The meat is real rabbit, lamb and beef liver which is extra moist to ensure that your kitty is getting enough water. It is super high in protein and low in fats and carbohydrates!

This grain-free recipe has real, protein-rich rabbit which is packed with all the nutrients your kitty needs to fuel his daily adventures. It is also blended with other proteins such as lamb, which is similar to a wild feline diet. The excess moisture promotes good urinary health, and there are zero additives, so the most


  • Packed with protein-rich rabbit.
  • Similar to a cat’s natural diet. 
  • There is extra moisture, which promotes urinary health.


  • Some cats may not like the gravy.

The primary ingredients within this product are deboned chicken, chicken meal, dehydrated potato, turkey meal and chicken fat. This is our favourite Merrick product.

We have already looked at deboned chicken, which has up to 80% protein and up to 40% fat. It really is a great source of Phosphorus and Vitamin B6 and also is a very good source of Selenium and Niacin.

Chicken meal may sound scary, but it is actually a great protein source because it has had its moisture removed before cooking. This means that it is higher in protein than deboned chicken, because this moisture is lost during the cooking process. The protein and other nutrients in chicken meal will therefore be more concentrated in chicken meal. Most pet owners wrongly believe that chicken meal is a bad pet food ingredient, but this simply is not true. Together, chicken meal and deboned chicken in this food make it a really great product and one of Merrick’s best.

Chicken fat is the fifth most common ingredient and is very beneficial for cats. It’s also good for your cat’s skin and coat, because it is packed full of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. We featured this cat food, in our article on the Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats.


  • Formulated for cats with urinary problems.
  • Uses chicken, which is high-quality protein.


  • Contains vegetables, which some cats won’t eat.

This formula provides a single source of animal protein – real deboned salmon – as the primary ingredient and provides the all-essential amino acids for your kitty. Additionally, it is also jam packed with essential vitamins and minerals which your cat needs.

Merrick’s limited ingredient dry formula is made with the only the most essential simple ingredients which contain absolutely no artificial colors, preservatives or flavours. It is grain-free and has no gluten ingredients – a common allergen – for easier digestion. Plus, there are lots of omega fatty acids – we already know what these do!

Plus, salmon also aids in healthy joints and the food contains industry leading levels of glucosamine.


  • Healthy salmon recipe, which cats, will love.
  • Nutritionally balanced.
  • Full of omega fatty acids.


  • Again, it is a dry food, so there is a low moisture content.

Coming in three different sizes – 3lb, 6lb or 10lb – this Merrick recipe is a real crowd pleaser. Cats crave a protein-rich diet which nature intended, and this Backcounty food delivers a unique combination of protein-rich kibble which contains real whole pieces of raw freeze-dried poultry. Because of this, the formula is balanced and provides lots of the nutritional benefits associated with a natural feline diet.

This food is made with the finest natural ingredients available and is produced in the USA, in Merrick’s own kitchen. In each bag, there is 42% protein (very high for a dry food) and the primary ingredient is de-boned chicken. Plus, there are no grains used at all. Because the food is freeze-dried, all taste is locked in and it can be digested easier.


  • Freeze-dried raw food, which retains its nutritional benefits.
  • A very high amount of protein.
  • Contains whole pieces of poultry.


  • Not all cats will like the flavour.

Purrfect Bistro dry cat food is perfect for both indoor and outdoor cats; it is a natural dry food with added vitamins and minerals, safely produced in the USA in Merrick’s own kitchen.

There is plenty of good in this food, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to nourish skin and firm, antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system and lots of animal-based proteins to satisfy their natural protein requirements. Also, the food is grain free so there are no allergen or food intolerance concerns.

In this recipe, de-boned duck and de-boned turkey are the primary ingredients. Merrick have also added some fiber in to help with hairball control and fortified it with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and probiotics.


  • Supplemented with lots of good stuff.
  • High-quality protein sources.
  • Helps control hairballs.


  • No moisture contents.

Merrick’s line of limited ingredient cat foods are great if you have a kitty who suffers from food allergies, intolerances or simply just want to avoid bad ingredients; these foods are made only with pure proteins and necessary ingredients to prevent upsetting a sensitive stomach. This cat food was also mentioned on the Best Cat Food for Pancreatitis.

Coming in four different recipes – chicken, duck, salmon and turkey – this line of limited ingredient food provides a good source of animal-based proteins, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fatty acids and natural dietary fiber.


  • Four different recipes.
  • Limited ingredients for better health.
  • Supplemented to help digestive health.


  • Some cats struggle to eat paté foods.

Merrick Ingredients

Often, it is best if you can see a full and comprehensive list of ingredients when searching for kitty food so you can suss out if a manufacturer produces food with ingredients to which your kitty is allergic or insensitive.

Deboned meat is always the first and most plentiful ingredient in Merrick cat foods and, along with quality, named chicken & turkey meals, these quality proteins make up a super-high 74% protein level of meat sourced ingredients.

These quality protein sources are packed with vital nutrients such as essential fatty acids. Added to these quality meat sources are fresh US-grown produce, like sweet potatoes and peas, both easily digestible sources of complex carbohydrates which offer sustained energy without aggravating grain allergies. They also help to aid digestion which combats hairballs and other digestive illnesses.

Merrick Cat Food Recalls

Merrick has not been without its struggles, and the company recalled a few of its dog treat products back in 2011. This seemed to be a one-off isolated incident which occurred before they produced cat food, and nothing of this nature has happened since then.

Merrick cat foods are not listed on the FDA’s pet food recall website and has not been involved in any recent recalls.

Sometimes accidents happen, and companies make mistakes. To make sure that the food you’re feeding your kitty is safe, you can check the FDA’s pet food recall website which can help you remain up to date with the latest information surrounding pet food recalls.

Pawsome Kitty Analysis

All in all, Merrick is a really great pet food manufacturer and their cat foods are hard to beat. The quality of Merrick’s food cannot be understated. Pets tend to enjoy Merrick foods and have no trouble cleaning their bowls free of every last morsel.

Merrick uses local growers and suppliers of foods for their ingredients. It does not use any by-product meals, artificial preservatives, corn, gluten, wheat or soy. As far as we are concerned, their cat foods are wholesome and made from good honest ingredients with all the nasty stuff left out.

So far as their cat foods go, Merrick produce two lines of product: Limited Ingredient Diet and Purrfect Bistro. Both of these two product lines are grain free and come in dry and wet varieties, so Merrick is perfect if you have a cat who suffers from sensitivities to grain.

The Purrfect Bistro formulas include 16 canned wet foods and 5 dry food kibbles, including recipes for kittens, optimum weight and seniors; there is truly something for every individual kitty with Merrick foods.

The canned wet recipes include Beef Paté, Beef Wellington,Cowboy Cookout, Grammy’s Pot Pie, Salmon Paté, Surf & Turf Paté, Chicken Casserole, Chicken a la King, Chicken Paté, Chicken Divan, Tuna Nicoise, Tuna Paté, Thanksgiving Dinner, Turducken, Turky Paté and Duck Paté. All of these recipes use pure meat as their primary ingredients in both the wet and dry varieties; their formulas generally have around 74% protein and 26% carbs, with added vitamins, fiber and minerals.

Merrick’s Limited Ingredient product line only has a single source of deboned animal protein and these are especially created for and targeted towards cats with food sensitivities. This product line does not use gluten, grain or soy and and they have no artificial additives such as flavors and colors - Which is great for stopping cat dandruff.

As a bonus, the foods do not contain chicken, dairy, eggs or beef, which can be very common allergy triggers in some cats. What these lack in dairy and eggs though, they make up for in potatoes, flaxseeds and peas, which some cats can have sensitivities to.

The great thing about Merrick foods is that meat is the first ingredient and the foods have no grains, artificial additives or preservatives, artificial colours, artificial preservatives and no meat by-products or fillers.

The Limited Ingredient Diet recipes line has two kibble formulas (turkey and salmon) and four wet foods (turkey, duck, chicken, salmon).

The Round Up

Cats thrive on a diet which is grain-free and includes a high amount of good quality protein, moderate levels of fat and low levels of carbohydrates. This is where Merrick comes in and is why it is one of the leading cat food brands currently on the market. Merrick’s specially designed Purrfect Bistro grain-free food features balanced nutrition to promote good health in adult cats. The formulas are made from real whole foods and are sourced from USA-based farmers.

Your kitty can quite easily live a perfectly healthy and happy life on Merrick foods alone; they are really that great. All of their foods are perfectly balanced and provide your cat with the nutrients it needs in the right quantities so, when feeding Merrick foods, there is no need to supplement with anything else.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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