Customer Reviews: Merrick Before Grain #1 Chicken Paté Style Cat Food, 5.5 Ounce Can (24 Count Case)
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on March 21, 2012
We have two old orange male cats. They both developed urinary tract issues over the past year. The Hills Prescription diet they were placed on cost a fortune and of course, neither one of them would eat it.
Researching brand after brand, we found that Merrick has a low ash content, is not crammed with fillers and both cats love it. Taking them off a life-time of dry food (little did we know how bad it was for their health) was not easy at first, but with Merrick, they both love the turkey and the chicken. The obese one has lost weight and looks great. He went from 24lbs and is now down to 18.4lbs. The skinny one has maintained his weight. Both no longer are experiencing repeat urinary track infections.
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on April 13, 2012
Switched to this food when my kitty was newly diagnosed as a Diabetic earlier this year; as I wanted a high-protein, no-carb diet for him without all the fillers & junk in most foods...especially since he already suffers from Inflammatory Bowel Disease & reacts poorly to most foods. To my & the Vet's great surprise, at his first follow-up appointment, his blood sugar had normalized to the point that they took him off his insulin! AND, within a couple of weeks on this diet exclusively, the frequent bouts of bloody diarrhea he'd been suffering stopped as well. I'm keeping all my fingers & toes crossed, but so far, this food has been amazing. I only wish I'd found it sooner!
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on March 21, 2012
I've been doing some research on best cat food, and apparently cats as obligate carnivores fair much better on eating exclusively meat. And, since they don't usually have a strong drive to drink, even though they need plenty of water, they also fair much better on eating exclusively canned food.

So, going through a variety of food, I've noticed that even the so called "grain-free" food, contains BS ingredients like "cranberry" or "carrots". So, really, whom do they try to appeal, the cat or their gullible owner who thinks that if eating veggies is good for people, they must be also good for cats. Plus, even "grain-free" diet contain broth and liver. The cats may like it better than just plain meat, but it's not best for them. The best meat for cats is pure, bland meat.

So while may be inferior to raw diet (though much more convenient), Merick Before Grain, is the best canned food I could find for my cats. Since it (1) has no grains (2) has no BS marketing ingredients (i.e. fruits & veggies) (3) Contains just meat, not meat by-product, liver or broth.

So, do my cats love it? Nope. Did they it initially ate it? Nope. But with some patience, and some creativity (like mixing with other food) they start eating it. Reluctantly. Do they love it now? Nope. Do they eat it. Yes: slowly and reluctantly. So here's another benefit of this food (4) Cats (at least mine) don't choke themselves until vomit eating it. They eat it slowly over a period of stretched time. Like overnight. And that's good for them: to eat slowly over a stretched period of time (since that's how they eat in nature).

Most people are running back and forth, worrying if their cats hasn't finished their canned food within an hour. But people need not worry leaving cooked canned meat for many hours, since cats often eat decomposing carcasses in nature and are ok, they will be certainly ok eating canned meat that was left there for a while. Healthy cats have strong stomachs with an acidity so high that it destroys most food-poisoning bacteria.

I do give my cats some variety, like Wellness Grain-Free canned food which they love(even though it has some BS ingredients, liver & broth). But this food remains their staple diet.

Now, a note of caution: even though there are 6 varieties of this food, I recommend only three of them to be fed on regular basis: 1 Chicken, 4 Turkey & 5 Quail. On occasional basis 2 Salmon & 3 Tuna are ok, but fish may trigger allergies in cats, and fish was not in regular diet of cats' ancestors. For that matter I would be cautious with 6 Beef as well, since cats haven't evolved to pray on Cows, and I don't think the red meat is very healthy for them.
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on June 17, 2013
This isn't a complaint about the product, it's about AMAZON and their packaging and QC practices. (Before Grain is great for my FLUTD cat! )

I have reported broken cases of cat food at least 6 times in the past 2 years, and each time I've reported a broken case, the customer service team always does the right thing by refunding/replacing the item. I'm very understanding of these little mishaps. However, now I have to speak out. In my last shipment, I opened up a perfectly looking box with decent amount of air bubbles inside, only to find that I received a case of cat food with an internal label: "PLZ DMG OUT. THANKS." As I pulled the case out of the box, maggots growing inside the busted cans flowed out and onto my kitchen floor! That's what got delivered to me!

All this can be avoided if they trained their employees to limit 2-3 to a box, and to inspect the product. I've suggested this each time I spoke to Amazon, but each time the person only addresses the immediate issue of the order and not my complaint about their practices. I wish there were proper customer service channels to address their practices other than having to write on a review, because Merrick and Before Grain are great.

Amazon must process thousands of cat food cases weekly, and so I can't understand how this is allowed to happen. I can't be the only one, and errors like this have to be hurting their bottom line. You're lucky my local area does not carry this brand, Amazon. Otherwise I wouldn't be putting up with this BS.
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on April 19, 2012
My cats have totally enjoyed all of the Before Grain flavors, but the #1 is their number 1 - I think next favorite for them is #5, then so on. They like it and I like the ingredients list - although I do wish there were no carageenan, it's thumbs up (or paws)
There is no excess water, this is meat for the cats - no fluff - I add a bit of water and they like that. This food always results in a clean dish and happy cats.
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on February 15, 2013
So most every other cat food out there is filled with stuff that cats would never eat out in the wild. Like what cat would want to eat tomatoes? Seriously? I have a 19 year old cat who is very picky and has some health issues. After a lot of research, I found that this brand of wet cat food is the only one with quality ingredients that cats NEED. It doesn't have all the other weird ingredients in it that other foods do like, peas, or potatoes... My cat hated those foods but loves this one. And she's doing well on it.
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on August 3, 2013
I've been using this as the main canned food for my little Siamese since I adopted her last October. It was the one food she would reliably eat, and that seemed to agree with her. Now Merrick has discontinued the Before Grain line, in favor of the new Purrfect Bistro line, foods with cutesy names ("Grammy's Pot Pie") that are more expensive. She tried that one and promptly threw it back up all over my kitchen floor. I got a couple of cans of the PB Chicken Pate, hoping it would be similar to the BG #1. It is somewhat similar, but softer, more reddish (they've added cranberry to the ingredients list) and has a bit of an oily looking liquid in the bottom of the can. I noticed that in the Grammy's Pot Pie as well. My girl will eat the PB Chicken Pate, but without notable enthusiasm.

Browsing in Petco last night, I came across the Soulistic brand, which is a Petco house brand. It's less expensive than Merrick, grain free, and I liked the look of the ingredients list. So I bought three small cans of various chicken formulas to try. I gave her the chicken and pumpkin one this morning, and she loves it! And it has stayed down, always a question. I checked for online reviews, and they are very favorable. You can get Soulistic here on Amazon, but it's a lot more expensive than from the store. I.e., with shipping, $1.67 for a small can, vs. $.99 in the store. As best I'm remembering, the larger can is $1.49, vs. $1.69 for the new Merrick product. It appears we have a good new favorite food; I think Merrick unwittingly did me a favor by discontinuing their product.
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on April 2, 2013
So far the kitties like this food! They've had a few cans now and usually if they don't like a food they won't eat it right away. But they have eaten every last bit of it so far. I like the ingredients in this product and I am hoping that it will continue to be a good product. One of my kitties has troubles with struvite crystals and he just cannot eat dry food anymore, we thought we could sneak some in as long as the quality was good (feeding him Before Grain dry food) but he needs to have canned food. So the vet told us he needed to be on Royal Canine SO food and after looking at those ingredients, I wasn't too thrilled about that. I'm hoping this food will do the trick, so far he is doing much better and not peeing outside of the litter box anymore. We are watching him close and feeding both of the cats this food now. We also switched to giving them distilled water, too, as we have well water and I think that might have been hard on him with too many minerals. The kitties used to eat the paw lickin chicken canned food, but something changed with the formula and they just weren't eating it as much and would leave half of the can in the bowl. So were hopeful on this food for now!

Revision: My picky cat decided he hated this food so we switched once again to Natural Balance Chicken and Liver- we'll see how that one goes! They have had a few cans of it and like it so far, but this process seems never ending to find a food they will both eat. Oh well, so is life with cats!
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on June 25, 2013
I want to switch to a totally canned, carbohydrate-free diet for my two cats, but it's hard to find a good quality canned food that's affordable. I spent a lot of time on Amazon researching my options and finally settled on ordering a case of Merrick's Chicken Pate Style. The good news is that there are no bad ingredients in this food....its all chicken, chicken broth, and vitamins/minerals. My cats enjoy the taste, and overall I'm happy I bought this brand. The only thing I don't like is that the food is extremely mushy, almost runny. There's just no bite or chew to it at all. My cats have to lap it up like water. When I order again, I'm going to try a case of the same brand, but a different style. So four stars for the quality of the ingredients, and I'm hoping for something a little more substantial and meaty next time. I will be back to update next month! Oh, and I'll be posting a picture of the opened can of food in a couple days so you can see what the food actually looks like!
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on August 8, 2012
I recently switched to this brand from Weruva. I have a fourteen year old cat who gets constipated sometimes. Since I switched to Before Grain this problem has largely cleared up.
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