When it comes to reviewing a pet food line, apart from the actual recipe itself, there are the Three T’s to take into account. Whether it’s a dog food of a cat food, the first two T’s are always at the discretion of the testers, namely taste and texture.
The third T is in fact the “secret ingredient”, if you will, that must be in the bag or in the can to make it an excellent recipe. Hence the third T stands for trust.
This I translate to mean no ingredients from China, products sourced within the United States and a company with a history of producing high quality food based on premium ingredients.
Merrick Pet Care’s Purrfect Bistro line embraces the Three T’s.
Recently the line underwent some package design and name changes. However, the recipes remain the same. So for easy reference, the formerly Grain-free Healthy Adult Salmon is now labeled Real Salmon Recipe and the Healthy Adult Chicken has been renamed Real Chicken Recipe (Fish free).
I like to store my dry food in the original bag and then, to ensure maximum freshness, and, also because I like things to look good in the kitchen, I keep them in airtight stylish food cans.
So I was thrilled to discover that the new packaging in the 12-lb size now has an easylock “zipper” system for additional freshness. I consider this an important and “must have” feature for dry food. It irks me that so many expensive brands pay little attention to long terms freshness in this regard. Hopefully, this will be a feature of all the bags soon.
There is also so much confusion about pet food labels that I laud the idea of having the contents in large type in front of the bag, making it very easy for cat parents to get a quick ‘screen grab’ on the contents. For example, the words grain free, along with 74% protein and fat and 26% carbs, fiber, vitamins and minerals, is very visible.
Fudge and Ziggy have systemically eaten their way through every one of the product line’s 21 recipes covering both their dry and wet food, (taking into account their age as the line caters to both kittens and seniors too). Naturally, they have their favorites when it comes to both the first two Ts — taste and texture. After all they are cats!
When it comes to the dry recipes, their outright favorite is the chicken. No question about it. The kibble is an easy-to-eat ‘chunk’ size and, they have no difficulty in picking it up and crunching down.
The canned line has undergone some name changes too in terms of their textures. Pâté has remained. However what was previously called shredded is now called minced, and the sliced has been renamed morsels. A good move because I know of pet parents who have been confused over the differences between shredded and sliced, as they sound too similar.
Both Ziggy and Fudge love the pâté recipes as its lovely and moist. There are extra meows of delight when I open Chicken Pâté or Surf + Turf Pâté. And their other favorite texture is the morsels. This recipe has the protein source cut up into ideal mini bite-size morsels for cats to comfortably pick up and eat. And there is lots of gravy! This is a big plus factor for cats like Fudge, as sometimes she will lick up the gravy and leave the morsels for Ziggy for clean-up operations.
So here is the break down of the various recipes according to texture for easy reference and also listing the protein where it doesn’t appear in the name of the recipe. They are available in 3 oz and 5 oz cans. Merrick are also very good at making coupons available at any given time.
Surf + Turf Pâté (deboned beef and salmon)
Thanksgiving Day Dinner (deboned turkey)
Grammy’s Pot Pie (chicken)
Turducken (a combination of deboned turkey, duck and chicken)
Cowboy Cookout (deboned beef)
Chicken Á La King
Both Fudge and Ziggy will easily transition over from one recipe to another and really seem to like the excellent variety available.
Thus The Purrfect Bistro line gets my Must Have Stamp of Approval.
Product testers for this review were Fudge and Ziggy.
The Must Have Stamp of Approval is based on my personal opinion and the test experiences of the Reigning Cats and Dogs product testers as well as my personal knowledge of the product category. The Must Have Stamp of Approval is designed to advise pet parents on products that will in some way improve their pet’s health and well being, or, their own experiences as a pet parent.
Manufacturers are welcome to submit information and samples of new and innovative products for testing. The product testing team consists of dogs and cats of different temperaments and activity levels etc in an attempt to cover a lot of bases and produce worthwhile reviews. The team loves what they do and get to keep the products so they can show off to their friends and further spread the word.