Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Tea" with the girls brought to you by Merrick and Chewy.com


So once again Chewy.com has sent us an offering to blog about.  I am loving getting gifts and having a built in blog post idea, but as of late the offerings have been something I'm not really comfortable feeding my cats.

Yes, there are always the kittens, but I feel a little odd sharing foods that I wouldn't feed my own cats on my blog. I had to abstain from last month's offerings, and nearly did from this month as well - but more on that at the end of the post.

Around the same time I was contacted by Chewy.com about the Merrick Purrfect Bistro I had won a gift box from Merrick to promote their Purrfect Bistro line of foods.

Which made it so nice and easy to do such a fun post..


I have to say I adore this little package they sent out, the whole 'Bistro" theme, with Bamboo plates and a bamboo spork to dish out the food with.. Muffin so very much needed a new collar (It is what all the fashionable kitties are wearing to the Bistro) as she took her old one off a few weeks ago and REFUSES to tell me where she put it.  More than a few kudos points go to them for packaging that up and mailing it to me with out tape!!  Love that, and love them for doing it..

The downside.. Jack can not eat chunked or shredded foods due to the higher plant based ingredients in them in order to make them maintain that shape. So many kitties have urinary issues from being fed foods that include a lot of plants in them.  It is also hard on their pancreas and kidneys as well. It is very very hard for science to find a direct link from 'feed plant get urinary issues' because you can not replicate that in the general population at large, and often issues do not pop up until years down the road, but cats that do have issues have a far easier time of it if you eliminate plant based ingredients from their diet. Merrick does have a few flavors in 'pate' form, which is the preferred form of food when I feed canned food (which isn't very often) due to it often having far fewer plants in it, but they use carrageenan as an ingredient.  Carrageenan is a derivative of red seaweed which is intended to keep things from separating as well as give the product a richer mouth feel.  It is used a lot in human foods to make low fat products have the mouth feel of higher fat products.  The problem is that carrageenan is know to irritate the lining of the stomach and colon.  I will not eat anything that has this as an ingredient, and I am certainly not going to feed it to my pets for more than occasional treat (which is what happened above) and it is also why I didn't feel comfortable feeding it to the fosters at this point (seeing as they are having issues with irritated colons at the moment)

I want to love Merrick foods, I really do.  They have a great tag line and their supposed philosophy of real food is something I want to get behind..



but with ingredient lists like this it will not make it into our regular rotation.  But Muffin and Fleurp were very very thankful for the snack!

Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Chicken Liver, Deboned Chicken, Peas, Dried Egg Product, Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Dried Potato, Cranberries, Ground Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Powdered Cellulose, Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Salmon Oil, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate(*), Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Taurine, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Thyme, Sage, Rosemary


(*) this was added by me in the ingredient list.  I like to randomly spend time looking up items in a list of ingredients to see why it was put there.  This one is FASCINATING.. I look up "Cobalt Glucoheptonate" and I see how it is beneficial to ruminant animals (cows, goats, sheep, aka animals with four stomachs that chew cud - cud being plants originally) and could not find much else.  I search for that term plus cat and all I see are ingredient lists for Merrick and a few vegan based cat foods. So then I search for Colbalt feline nutrition and I come across this book, Canine and Feline Nutrition, on google books that says:
Cobalt is a constituent of vitamin B 12.  Currently no fuction for cobalt in he body has been identified.  Additional cobalt does not appear to be required by dogs and cats when their diet contains adequate amounts of vitamin B 12.
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products so I do not understand why this supplement is in this food.  I am sure they have a very good reason, I just can't figure it out.

When you get right down to it almost everything can make you paranoid when it comes to food (both for yourself and for your pets) and there are many many cats who are living very long healthy lives on this and other foods I do not deem safe for my cats.  You need to make the decision for you and your cats. If you like the idea of regionally sourced ingredients more than the possible inflammatory effect of some of the ingredients then this is a great food option for you.


(food items were provided by Chewy.com and Merrick.com opinions are, pretty obviously, my own)


14 comments:

  1. Love the tea party pictures... especially that one where Muffin looks like she is sticking her tongue out and saying "It has an unpleasant aftertaste" (although from the evidence presented they obviously loved it!)

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  2. You are right--in the end, each person needs to do what is right for her/her cat(s). I have never tried this line of food. It looks like something I could rotate in at times, though, so I may check some out.

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  3. we love seeing the pic-a-nic.

    and you always have so much interesting stuff on food!! :)

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  4. Thank you for this post - it's very informative, both for me and my kitties. I've had digestive/auto-immune issues for a while now. I've been told to avoid gluten and a couple other things, but I had no idea about carrageenan! I'm going to keep an eye out for it and keep it out my and the furkids' food supply.

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  5. yes this is an informative post. will start looking more carefully on the food that my kitties eat.

    Emma and Buster

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  6. Thanks for this review. The Merrick canned food isn't yet available here but the dry has finally made it to our shores.
    The options for pet food without carrageenan (over here) are very limited.

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  7. Love the pics of your kitties at the "Bistro"!!!

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  8. I love chunky foods, and my human hates giving them to me, since my digestive system is a little rocky to begin with, but sometimes it is the only thing I will eat!

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  9. The mom just ordered us some of this food...but now she's having second thoughts about it since reading your post because she doesn't like carrageenan either. Guess we can eat it occasionally.

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  10. Well that was some darn good info, but the picnic was way cute!

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  11. What an adorable picnic!

    We are currently eating canned food with carrageenan because it has been such a trial to get us eating anything but kibble. The plan is to get us onto food without it once we're eating this more readily. So frustrating that they're using it unnecessarily like that!

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  12. That picnic is so cute! Love it... great review as well.

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  13. Love the tea party photos! I feel the same "paranoia" you do about pet food ingredients.

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  14. great tea party Connie,Sage is not to bad as it is great for for the gut and is know to be a natural stimulant of the gut to aid in increasing the appetite,xx Rachel

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