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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2012
Research had led me to Merrick canned cat food. I discovered how bad dry food was for cats...leaving them dehydrated and nutritionally deficient. I had always fed my previous cats dry cat food and the diseases that the research indicated were caused by a dry food diet were exactly what ended my other cats' lives. Merrick is a good quality, high protein food with no grains. My kittens love the beef flavor. My Vet feeds her cats this food, too. Do your research and feed your cats only what is best for them....high quality canned, no grain food.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2012
This is easily the best grain free, low phosphorus, low ash cat food for the money. For anyone looking for a grain free diet, this is an amazing collection of ingredients. For those looking for a low phosphorus food to deal with bladder/urinary issues, the beef option is the best option offered by this company.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
I've been switching my two cats over to a 100% Merrick diet after recommendations from my mom and doing my own research to the quality of foods. If you're reading these reviews, you've obviously already done your research so I won't spend much time on the importance of a meaty, protein filled diet for your carnivorous felines. I am typically very reluctant to review anything on behalf of my cats because I know how finicky cats are and they all have their own particular tastes so what one cat will not touch might be another's absolute favorite. My experience with this particular variety of food seems to be consistent, though...

I switched my two indoor cats over to Merrick Before Grain #1 Chicken Dry Cat Food, 11.1 Pound Bag from their usual Iams diet quite easily. They absolutely love the new dry food. I then switched them from their old 9-Lives canned food to Merrick Before Grain #5 Quail Paté Style Cat Food, 5.5 Ounce Can (24 Count Case) which they were hesitant to try, but after the first two nights absolutely loved it.

I didn't want to commit them exclusively to an avian diet so I wanted to give this beef variety a try. They were very unhappy with it. The normal feeding time bonanza was turned off like a switch after both cats simply smelled the food and walked away. Not only would they not eat it, but they seemed entirely disinterested in food entirely for the rest of the evening! They didn't even bug me to replace it with their old favorites- just not hungry anymore. I left the food out for the night and when I came downstairs the next morning I was happy to see that they ate half of a bowl... but walking into the living room I saw a few piles where they regurgitated their meals.

Enough of that... I took the remainder of the case to my mom's to see if any of her four indoor cats would eat it. They did the same thing as my two and wouldn't touch the stuff. As a fallback, she put some outside for the feral colony she cares for (they typically eat any free meal). THOSE cats wouldn't even touch the stuff!

So in total (so far; I'm still passing this around to friends to see if we can find any cats that like it) here are the cats that won't eat the beef variety:
- My two indoor cats
- My mom's four indoor cats
- Any of the six to eight ferals at Mom's place

That's 12-14 cats that won't touch it. As I noted earlier, your mileage may vary but you might want to try a smaller pack than the 24-can case on Amazon to start out with.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2012
To start off - my male cat had a urethral blockage due to struvite crystals forming in his urine which prompted me to switch to high quality wet food immediately. He did well on the chicken, quail and turkey flavors of the Before Grain brand. However, I wanted to give them a little variety so I ordered a case of the beef and a week or so later he was blocked up again with a urinary pH of 8 (this is really bad, the pH should be about 6.5 to prevent the crystals from forming). The vet said it's common to hear about a diet change about a week prior to the cat getting blocked up again. I would advise you NOT to buy the beef flavor, especially if your cat has urinary tract issues. I wish there would have been reviews like this for me to read before I bought it as I now have another $700 spent and a very unhappy kitty.

I also noticed (by the way) that there seems to be significantly less water content in the beef flavor than there was in the chicken, quail or turkey food. More water content = more peeing = less of a chance for the crystals to form apparently.

EDITED: I just want to clear up some confusion as not many people are finding this review helpful. It is not the Before Grain brand that I have issues with, it is this particular Beef flavor (which by the way is not a meat source that cats would eat naturally). I am very much a fan of the Chicken (Number 1) and Quail (Number 5) and would recommend those to everyone.
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on July 23, 2013
I purchased this food for my 15-year-old female cat because she has been plagued with chronic cystitis for unknown reasons. After doing some research, I found that this food had low levels of phosphorus and magnesium and contained high-quality protein (no fillers or grains). My cat loves it! After being on it for a month, her health is stable: she has experienced no cystitis attacks while on it. She seems happier and more engaged than she did on her previous prescription food, and her coat feels soft. Her dry skin has also improved. I will report more as time goes by. If she continues on her current trend, I think this food is a winner.
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on July 9, 2013
I've been giving my cats Before Grain dry and wet food for about a year now and we've been very happy with it. I had mostly been ordering the fish or quail varieties of canned food and my cats liked it, but would often take all day to eat it or leave some in the bowl. Last month I ordered the beef and, wow! They practically inhale a can in a matter of minutes. I guess we have a new favorite :)
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on November 1, 2013
Merrick has discontinued their BG (Before Grain) products and they have replaced them with Pate to which chicken and a vegetable ingredient has been added. I called to ask about the nutrition and they told me the nutrition in this canned food was approximately the same. So I may try the Pate replacement.
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on September 18, 2013
Vet recommended due to ingredients and Max loves it.!

Thank you,

Maryann Stanco
Oceanside CA

is this enough why do you wnat more
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on January 30, 2014
The cats ate it up - they really preferred to the turkey version by a long shot. It lasted longer than grocery store brands, too, because more nutrient-rich.
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on July 15, 2013
My cats love the BG chicken, turkey, quail & salmon varieties, but all 3 turned their noses up at the beef. It also has a rather unpleasant smell.
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