Julia Ogden

Written by Julia Ogden

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: May 14, 2024

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: May 14, 2024

Our Verdict



Merrick Purrfect Bistro dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 4.5 stars.

Merrick Purrfect Bistro is high in quality protein with moderate fat levels and low levels of carbohydrates. The formula is fortified with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and antioxidants.

  • Contains taurine
  • Protein-packed kibble
  • Contains probiotics
  • Pricey

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Merrick Purrfect Bistro product line has eight dry cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe 4.5 A
Grain-Free Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe 4.5 A
Healthy Grains Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe 4.5 A
Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe 4.5 A
Complete Care Hairball Control Recipe 4.5 M
Complete Care Sensitive Stomach Recipe 4.5 A
Complete Care Weight Control Recipe 4.5 M
Grain-Free Healthy Kitten Recipe 4.5 G

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.

Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content







Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried egg product, potato protein, natural flavor, tapioca, ground flaxseed, phosphoric acid, inulin (from chicory root), dried whey protein concentrate, salmon oil, choline chloride, salt, organic dried alfalfa meal, taurine, minerals (iron amino acid complex, zinc amino acid complex, zinc sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, cobalt proteinate, cobalt carbonate), yucca schidigera extract, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), 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

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”. 1 

Chicken is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

The second and third ingredients are chicken meal and turkey meal. Meal is considered a meat concentrate which contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken and turkey.

The fourth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a cat food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The fifth ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber. However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The sixth ingredient is potatoes. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The seventh ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable. Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label – a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The eighth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid. 

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

From here the list goes on to include a number of other items. But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of the product.

However, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.

We also view the presence of taurine in this recipe as a positive addition. Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats associated with the healthy function of heart muscle and eye sight, and is crucial for maintaining good health in cats.

This recipe receives a 4.5star rating.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato recipe looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 42.7%, a fat level of 19.1% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 30.2%, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42.7% and a mean fat level of 19.1%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30.2% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 45%.

This means the Merrick Purrfect Bistro dry product line contains above-average protein, near-average carbs and above-average fat when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

Merrick Purrfect Bistro is an all-natural, ancestral diet. With the nutrients a cat needs by mixing high quality proteins with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Has Merrick cat food been recalled in the past?

Yes, Merrick has had two recalls, these were limited to their treats.

In January 2010, they issued a voluntary recall out of fear that their beef treats were contaminated with salmonella. No animals were reported sick as a result of eating the treats, but the company issued subsequent recalls for the same reason several times that year and into 2011.

In 2018, they recalled a wide range of treats due to elevated levels of a naturally-occurring beef thyroid hormone. This wasn’t a life-threatening issue, but one dog became ill as a result of eating the treats (that animal later made a full recovery).

You can view a complete list of all cat food recalls since 2021 here.

To stay on top of any cat food product recalls, sign up for our free email alerts, here.


Merrick was founded in 1988 by Garth Merrick in his family kitchen in Hereford, Texas. Garth began home cooking for his beloved dog, Gracie, to make sure she was eating the most nutritious and wholesome food possible. 

Nestle Purina Petcare purchased Merrick in July 2015.


1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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