Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Merrick Cat Food Review [2021]


Quality nutrition is a must for a cat’s health and well-being. As a caring owner, you want to find the most optimal type of cat food for your pet, but it might be tricky with so many products around. Our guide will help you choose Merrick cat food: I will review and compare several recipes for you to make an informed decision. Let’s find out why this brand has a well-established reputation, and what makes it preferable. To start with, I will provide a few Merrick cat food reviews: this information will help you figure out the best option for your pet. After that, you will find out what makes the Merrick brand so special, and why this cat food is recommended for healthy feline nutrition.


Best Merrick Cat Foods Reviews [2021]

Merrick Purrfect Bistro is a versatile option that would be good for cats of all ages. We love this recipe so much that it was included into our best overall cat foods guide. The canned food comes in a 24-pack 5.5 oz each. The main ingredient is real deboned beef, which means this is a very substantial meal that will saturate your cat’s hunger for hours. The manufacturer uses beef from the USA only. The food is grain-free – do not worry about the cat’s stomach and the calorie intake. It is easily digestible and doesn’t cause bloating. There are no artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. This type of food would be great both as the primary option for balanced nutrition, or as an addition to the regular dry cat food. This recipe has an optimal combination of high-protein meat and moisture, moderate level of carbohydrates and fat. Aside from containing valuable beef fiber, Merrick Purrfect Bistro recipe contains Omega-6s and Omega-3s fatty acids to maintain the health of cat’s fur and skin. According to the customers’ reviews, this is a great option for picky eaters: most cats enjoy its smell and taste even if they don’t like wet food. The food can be recommended to active cats: thanks to high protein, it will keep the pet replete for a long time. At the same time, it would be optimal for overweight cats: the food can also help to reduce the number of meals or help your cat give up the habit of begging for food.


  • High-protein food that helps to reduce calorie intake and saturates cat’s hunger.
  • No artificial flavors and preservatives.
  • Balanced recipe with Omega-6s and Omega-3s.
  • Optimal meat/moisture ratio.
  • Grain-free.


  • In rare cases, the cans are delivered with dents.
  • Some cats don’t like the new cowboy cookout formula.
  • Some cat owners don’t like the high gravy contents.
  • Size: 3 oz, 5.5 oz

The Hairball Control recipe from Merrick is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, so it’s a nice choice for regular meals. It is suitable for cats of all ages, both sterile and entire. The Complete Care formula contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids for healthy fur and skin: it helps to reduce hair fall and makes it shiny. This Merrick dry cat food is made of real chicken, it is rich in protein and has a 0% grain. To top it off, the food contains vitamins, minerals, taurine, and antioxidants. This Merrick food is absolutely safe for cats with urinary or stomach problems. Since it is grain-free, it does not cause urinary tract inflammation or indigestion and vomiting. It is recommended for a healthy diet to support normal weight, while L-Carnitine helps to maintain a quick metabolism. The recipe is optimal for cats of any age, both indoor and outdoor. Antioxidants boost the immune system and also help to maintain healthy fur. This cat food is a great option for overweight cats: it has a low amount of carbs and fat. It would be equally suitable for indoor and outdoor pets. Thanks to high-quality USA chicken meat, cats like this flavor and do not refuse to eat it. One 4-pound package lasts long: the high-protein food keeps pets sated for a long time. Pros:

  • Made of high-quality chicken produced in the USA.
  • 100% grain-free formula without artificial flavors and preservatives.
  • Contains vitamins, minerals and Omega 3, 6 for healthy fur.
  • Suitable for cats with sensitive stomach and extra weight.
  • Perfect as regular cat food.


  • Sometimes, the bag is delivered damaged and torn.
  • Might make normal cats lose weight.

Related guide: 10 best cat foods for cats with sensitive stomachs.

  • Flavor: Chicken & Sweet Potato

Got a grown-up cat? Then you should care about providing the whole gamut of nutrients to maintain normal weight. Merrick Backcountry Mature Recipe is an optimal choice as regular cat food. This one is made of deboned chicken (freeze-dried raw poultry), and its formula is enriched with vitamins, minerals and taurine. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are essential for joints and hips, so this food is number one choice for cats older than 8 years. The formula is grain-free, so this dry food is suitable for overweight adult cats to get rid of extra kilos. If you have an indoor cat with a low level of activity, 0% grain Merrick Mature Recipe will help you keep its weight under control. Moreover, this cat chow is recommended for cats with a sensitive stomach: although it’s a high-protein product, the food contains probiotics for healthy digestion and EPA that helps to reduce inflammation. The food would be a great option if your feline friend is recovering from diseases and needs substantial, and yet highly digestible meals. This recipe can replace any regular cat food – its balanced formula is perfect from nutritional standpoint. It helps to maintain the health of joints, muscles and fur. If you plan to feed an outdoor cat with Merrick Mature Recipe, consider adding some wet food for compensating the calorie waste. Pros:

  • Contains probiotics for better digestion.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin protect joints.
  • Grain-free, high-protein formula with kibble is perfect for healthy weight maintenance.
  • Optimal for all adult cats.


  • Contains potatoes and peas (and their protein), which is not suitable for all cats.
  • Some picky cats do not like its taste.
  • Some cats eat only the chicken leaving kibble.
  • Size: 3 lbs, 6 lbs

Being a good option for balanced kitten nutrition, Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Kitten Recipe comes in the form of morsels in gravy. This wet food is made of deboned chicken, so it’s high in protein, and is easily digestible. One pouch contains one serving – no more overeating, you will always provide your kitten with the optimal portion of nutrients. Vitamin-rich formula contains minerals and taurine for healthy fur and strong bones. To top it off, the recipe is grain-free, so the vast majority of kittens like its taste and don’t have stomach problems after such protein meals. It goes without saying that the wet food from Merrick contains necessary moisture and boosts digestibility. If your little feline friend does not like the taste of chicken, consider other types of kitten recipes: rabbit, duck or trout. All of them are complemented with minerals and vitamins for better health and wellbeing. Note that no gluten, artificial flavors or preservatives are used – this is a 100% natural and safe product that can be given to small cats. The calorie contents are balanced optimally to ensure proper growth and development of kittens, though some users claim the adult cats love this cat food, too. Pros:

  • High-protein meal that contains vitamins and taurine.
  • Pleasant taste that most kittens like.
  • Digestible and grain-free for optimal weight.


  • To provide your kitten with all essential nutrients, you will need to give your pet dry food or some vitamins/minerals.
  • The calorie content might be insufficient for kittens older than 6 months.
  • Some customers wish it would come in more flavors to choose from.
  • Size: 3 oz

Finding a highly digestible and yet high-protein cat food is a true challenge. Luckily, cat owners can rely on Merrick Purrfect Bistro Sensitive Stomach formula as it contains prebiotics and probiotics for supporting intestinal health. Moreover, the food has easily digestible proteins thanks to being made of deboned meat, poultry, or fish. There are several varieties of textures and meats available – most ingredients are produced and processed in the USA. This cat food would be equally great for adult cats of any age: it contains antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. The recipe is 100% grain free, which means no bloating and vomiting anymore. Most adults cats won’t have any digestion problems once you switch to Merrick Purrfect Bistro Sensitive Stomach formula. High content of protein and decreased carbohydrates level help to sustain normal weight in both outdoor and indoor cars. Besides, the food is enriched with Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids contributing to healthy skin and fur. One 12 lbs pack will last for weeks, if you have one cat. The dry food can be used for regular meals, as well as for complementary nutrition. This is an optimal choice for overweight cats because it allows reducing the number of portions (no more begging between meals). In cats with healthy weight, it helps to sustain an optimal daily calorie intake. Pros:

  • Formula with prebiotics and probiotics + highly digestible proteins.
  • Optimal calorie contents.
  • Made of pure deboned chicken and poultry.
  • Good price/quality ratio.


  • Choice of flavors leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Not good for growing cats who need more calories.
  • Contains sweet potato: according to Merrick dry cat food reviews, some cats don’t like the taste.
  • Size: 4 lb, 7 lb, 12 lb
  • Flavor: Chicken, Chicken & Sweet Potato

If your cat is more into fish flavors of chow, it will fall in love with Tuna Limited Ingredient Diet Formula from Merrick. The recipe is grain-free and potato-free, so this is the source of pure protein (contains 30% crude protein). Being enriched with calcium, phosphorous, taurine and fatty acids, the food is perfect as a supplement nutrition and maintenance of healthy muscles, joints, and fur. Please note that Merrick limited ingredient cat food is not recommended for essential meals because its nutrient profile is incomplete: adult cats will need more calories to sustain normal weight. Yet, if you want your overweight cat to shed a couple of pounds, this formula might be a good temporary measure. For better results, you can mix the dry food with wet. To calculate an optimal portion for your cat, use the label on the package: it provides guidelines for feeding your cat only dry food, or for combined feeding. So why did I include this product into my chart? First, it is high in protein, and would be an awesome choice for active cats (especially outdoor ones). Secondly, there are no artificial flavors and preservatives, no soy and gluten. Thirdly, this food is suitable for cats with sensitive stomach and doesn’t usually cause bloating, nausea and vomiting when served in appropriate portions. Pros:

  • A great source of pure protein.
  • Appeals to cats that like fish flavors.
  • Contains vitamins, taurine, and fatty acids.
  • No grain, potato, or soy.


  • Not suitable for essential nutrition – should rather be used as a supplement.
  • The bag with dry kibbles contains a lot of small pieces and food dust, which is not appropriate.
  • Size: 4 lbs, 7 lbs, 12 lbs

One more fish flavor in our chart, Merrick Grain Free Salmon recipe is formulated as essential nutrition for adult cats. It has limited ingredients and serves as a great single source of animal protein. The formula contains no grains, no corn and soy – it’s a perfect pick for cats with stomach sensitivities and poultry allergy, but if your feline friend is a picky eater, choose this flavor cautiously. Alternatively, there are chicken and turkey variations. The dry food contains the essential vitamins, minerals and Omega fatty acids for healthy fur and strong muscles. Having easily digestible proteins and carbohydrates, this product contains an optimal amount of calories. It might be a good option for helping your cat to lose extra pounds. Also, I would recommend it as an addition to the primary nutrition (ideal with wet food) since it’s rich in proteins but lacks some vitamins. The dry food can be given to cats of any age, both indoor and outdoor (also recommended for pregnant cats and kittens). Our advice is to buy a small bag for a ‘testrun’: not all cats like the recent renewed recipe, and kibbles might be pretty large. Pros:

  • No grain, soy, or corn – pure protein enriched with vitamins.
  • Suitable for cats that don’t like poultry flavors.
  • Can be given to cats of any age, both indoor and outdoor.


  • No taurine in the formula.
  • Not enough as essential nutrition for growing and pregnant cats.
  • The new formula has a different taste that some cats don’t like.
  • Size: 4 lbs, 7 lbs, 12 lbs

The cats that don’t like seafood flavors and prefer pate-style foods should be offered Merrick canned cat food made of beef. The Beef Wellington flavor is made of real deboned beef and contains an optimal amount of moisture for better digestion. It is recommended as complementary nutrition (use together with vitamin-rich dry foods). The food contains no artificial flavors or preservatives – the exceptional taste appeals to cats thanks to a way special cooking. Like many other recipes from Merrick, this one contains a moderate level of fat and carbohydrates, and is high in protein. Even if your furry friend does not like beef taste, Purrfect Bistro canned food comes in an assortment of flavors – all grain-free. One 5.5 oz can contains 2-3 portions for an adult cat, so it may last for one day. This food contains vitamins and minerals that are essential for a cat’s health, especially fur and skin. The canned pate-style food would be a great addition to the main diet for both indoor and outdoor cats. Combine it at the ratio 1/4 cup of dry food with 1/2 can of wet food. It can also be given to kittens (1 can per 4 lbs of weight), and pregnant cats (3 cans per 8 lbs of weight). Pros:

  • Contains vitamins and minerals;
  • 0% grain, no soy and GMO;
  • Morsels in gravy recipe is perfect for cats with stomach problems.


  • According to customer reviews, some cans’ content is too watery;
  • Cannot be used as essential nutrition.
  • Size: 5.5 oz

About Merrick Company

Being established back in 1988, Merrick company specialized on producing dog treats and dog food. 25 years later, it introduced the first series of cat food. The decent quality of Merrick’s cat food has quickly made it a competitive player on the market. According to the customers’ feedback, most cats like Merrick food and feel pretty well after switching to their chow/wet food. 

This is one of the few companies that strive to use high-quality ingredients with a high level of protein (from 30% to 80%) and low level of carbohydrates. Besides, every type of food contains vitamins, minerals, and taurine – all essential elements for cat’s wellbeing. 

However, after Merrick was acquired by Nestle in 2015, probably, they have changed the formula and recipes – many cat owners admit that their feline pets ceased eating the food or experienced digestion problems after meals. Yet, the reaction depends, and some customers still prefer Merrick cat food to other brands. I recommend reading labels to ensure your pet gets the same original Merrick food that they are used to.

What makes Marrick one of the best cat food manufacturers?

First, Merrick uses high-quality ingredients from well-established producers, and processes the meat from the USA. It supports local growers and communities, so the meat is always fresh. No ingredients are exported from China. At the same time, if some ingredients are in short supply, they can export the meat. For example, Merrick produces some food from New Zealand lamb.

Secondly, Merrick develops recipes with a well-balanced ratio of proteins, carbohydrates, moisture, and healthy fats. The formulas are enriched with vitamins. No artificial colorings, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives are used.

Also, Merrick prepares food in Hereford (TX), and their facilities are Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3-certified and certified by the USDA National Organic Program.

Has Merrick been recalled?

Despite general positive reviews, Merrick’s food has been recalled a few times in the following cases:

  • In 2010, Merrick treats were suspected to be contaminated with salmonella.
  • In 2011, the same problem repeated: in January Texas Taffy pet treated were said to have potential salmonella contamination. The same was recalled about Doggie Wishbone treats.
  • In 2013, some customers complained about the mold in canned cat food, but no Merrick cat food recall followed. 
  • In 2018, beef-based dog treats were suspected to have a high level of thyroid hormones. 

Generally, there were no reports about bad quality of Merrick cat food – most users are satisfied with the product. However, a lot of users started complaining about the changes of formula since Merrick was acquired by Purina company (Nestle). Evidently, the ingredients or recipe have been changed not for the better – a lot of cats refuse to eat it, and some owners report pets feeling sick after meals.

What Kinds Of Food Does Merrick Offer?

As I have mentioned, initially Merrick started with the production of dog food and dog treats. Later, it introduced a series of cat food. Today, it produces the following lines of cat food:

  1. Grain Free. Presents a balance between nutritional value and calorie contents. This is a high-protein series of food that does not cause obesity and stomach problems in cats. Read more about grain-free cat formulas.
  2. Limited ingredient diet. Those types of food are made without grains, and some do not contain potato. This series is recommended to picky eaters and cats with allergy.
  3. Purrfect Bistro. A series of wet and dry food that’s available in a variety of flavors. Special types for indoor cats and kittens included.
  4. Backcountry. This is cat’s all-time favorite meal. Grain-free meat cuts in gravy are perfect for regular nutrition, this is why many cat owners decide to switch to this food.

Note that ALL cat food from Merrick is made without grain. Also, you can find a lot of food types without potato. There are food varieties with poultry, fish, and regular meat. 

Unfortunately, there are no food types for sterile cats, and the choice of foods for kittens and senior cats is very limited.


How long does Merrick cat food last for multiple cats?

It depends on the size of food package and how many cats you have.

When it comes to canned food, the optimal amount of daily portions is calculated according to the calorie intake norms. For example, an adult cat that weighs 10 lbs needs about 280 calories per day. One 3 oz. can of Merrick wet food contains about 70-10 calories, which means one adult cat will need 3-4 cans a day.

Here’s the table with calorie intake norms:

  1-5 lbs 5-10 lbs 10-15 lbs 15-20 lbs
Kitten 200 kcal 300 kcal 600 kcal 800 kcal
Lean adult cat 170 kcal 280 kcal 360 kcal 440 kcal
Overweight cat 180 kcal 240 kcal 280 kcal 310 kcal
Pregnant/Nursing cat 336 kcal 603 kcal 851 kcal 1091 kcal

If you feed dry food, one 4 lb box will last 10-15 days, if you have two adult cats weighing 11-16 lbs each. How to calculate it? If you have one adult cat, it needs to eat about 1/2 cup of dry food per day. One 4 lb box contains about 16 cups. Divide the box contents (16 cups) on the portions and you will get the days.

Here’s a table to guide you: 

Weight Age and Activity Cups of dry food per day How long will a 4 lb box last
1-5 lbs Adult 1/8 – 1/4 cup 120-60 days
1-5 lbs Kitten/Pregnant 1/3 – 1/2 cup 48-32 days
6-10 lbs Adult 1/4 – 1/2 cup 60-30 days
6-10 lbs Kitten/Pregnant 2/3 – 3/4 cup 24-21 days
11-16 lbs Adult 1/2 – 3/4 cup 30-21 days
11-16 lbs Kitten/Pregnant 1 – 1 1/4 cups 16-13 days
17-21 lbs Adult 3/4 – 1 cup 21-16 days
17-21 lbs Kitten/Pregnant 1 1/3 – 1 3/4 cups 12-9 days

This table shows how much dry food lasts, if you have one cat.

Do not forget to give your cat enough water when the dry food prevails in its diet!

How much weight will a cat gain on Merrick cat food before she starts to lose some

In fact, the vast majority of Merrick recipes are high-protein ones, which means there is no excessive fat or carbohydrates. Thus, you should take care for your cat to consume enough calories per day! Make sure you combine wet and dry food, and the cat does not get hungry too soon.

Even if you feed Merrick to an overweight cat, it is not likely to start gaining pounds before getting leaner. Optimal combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat is the main advantage of the product. 

All Merrick recipes are grain-free, but if you need a pure protein-rich type of food, opt for the variants without potato and peas. There are several variations of protein contents (from 30% to 70%) – choose accordingly.

How much Merrick cat food should each cat eat per day?

According to the information provided by the manufacturer, you should give one can of Merrick wet cat food per 8 lbs of weight once a day (if it is combined with dry food). If you feed kittens, you can give twice as much, while pregnant cats can eat up to three times as much (3 cans per 8 lbs of weight). 

When it comes to Merrick dry cat food, the norms are as follows:

Goal Weight (lbs) Cups Per Day (Approx)
4 – 7 1/3 – 1/2 cup
4 – 7 lbs 1/3 cup + 3 oz. can
7 – 10 1/2 – 3/4 cup
7-10 lbs 1/2 cup + 3 oz. can
10-15 lbs 3/4 cup + 3 oz. can
10 – 15 3/4 – 1 cup

Before setting diet goals, please, visit a veterinarian. Only a specialist can define the cat’s optimal weight and recommend a proper diet.

Final Thoughts

Merrick is established cat food brand with decent manufacturing and online reputation.

Does your cat like it?

Let me know in comments!

    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty
    Go to shop
      Calculate Shipping