Could this Merrick brand be the right choice for your cat? Find out in our Whole Earth Farms cat food review.
Note: As of May 2022, Merrick has announced the discontinuation of the Whole Earth Farms cat food line. Check out our Merrick Cat food review here.
The Cats.com Standard—Rating Whole Earth Farms on What Matters
We’ve analyzed Whole Earth Farms and graded it according to the Cats.com standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. Here’s how it rates in each of these six key areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 7/10
- Ingredient Quality – 8/10
- Product Variety – 8/10
- Price – 8/10
- Customer Experience – 9/10
- Recall History – 6/10
Overall Score: 7.7/10
We give Whole Earth Farms cat food a 46 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.
About Whole Earth Farms
Whole Earth Farms is owned and manufactured by Merrick Pet Care, which has been under Nestle Purina ownership since 2015.
The company is open about what Whole Earth Farms is—it’s food for people who like the idea of natural ingredients and don’t want to spend a lot of money on it.
The brand is marketed as providing “goodness from the earth at a great value”, but there’s not a lot of meat in that statement. We’re going to evaluate Whole Earth Farms on what matters, like its safety history and real experiences from the people who use it.
Sourcing And Manufacturing
Merrick Pet Care promises to partner with local growers in the United States, but the company sources from around the world. All of their recipes, including the Whole Earth Farms foods, are made in the company’s kitchens in Hereford, Texas. These kitchens are Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3-certified and certified by the USDA National Organic Program.
Has Whole Earth Farms Cat Food Been Recalled?
Though Whole Earth Farms has never been recalled, other Merrick brands have been pulled off of store shelves several times.
In 2010, Merrick treats were recalled due to potential salmonella contamination. The next year, two additional varieties of treats were recalled, again due to salmonella contamination. In 2018, several Merrick beef-based treats were recalled due to potentially elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.
What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Whole Earth Farms Offer?
Whole Earth Farms offers five dry recipes and fifteen canned products. Whole Earth Farms kibble and canned food are made from what the company calls all-natural ingredients.
It’s a slippery term, but Whole Earth Farms seems to use it to mean that the food is made without artificial colors or artificial preservatives. Whole Earth Farms makes a few more promises about their food—they don’t contain corn, wheat, soy, or by-products.
Whole Earth Farms Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price||Our Grade|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Salmon Recipe Dry Cat Food||Dry||$0.16 per oz||C+|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Healthy Kitten Recipe Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.36 per oz||B-|
|Whole Earth Farms Duck Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.36 per oz||B-|
What Do Customers Think Of Whole Earth Farms Cat Food?
Whole Earth Farms cat food goes over well with most customers. It’s not a good match for everyone. Some turned their backs on Merrick brands after the Nestle buyout in 2015. Others argue that Whole Earth Farms relies too heavily on plant ingredients. Some have noticed inconsistent quality and a few others say their cats don’t like the way the food tastes.
But most agree that Whole Earth Farms is a decent brand at a decent price.
Let’s see what a few real customers have to say about Whole Earth Farms.
“This is one of my favorite cat foods to add to my rotation. So glad Merrick made a more affordable option with stellar ingredients for my furbabies. My cats didn’t like it *quite* as much as some of the other brands, but they ate the whole bag. I really like that it’s grain free as well. I worked at a pet store for a number of years and this was always one of my go-tos for people who wanted quality ingredients without a hefty price tag.” – Mango, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Salmon Recipe Dry Cat Food
“One of my cats has early stages of chronic kidney disease and won’t eat the prescription kidney foods, but both cats will eat this. This product has similar numbers to kidney diets in terms of phosphorus, a little higher with protein but not too high, and much healthier ingredients overall. I add water to the bottom of their bowls (they don’t care for it mixed into the food itself… it probably lessons the smell and flavor a bit), so they are getting extra moisture, as it’s a pretty dense food. The only thing I don’t care for is that it’s harder to clean the cans for recycling. Most other foods I can put water in, hold my had on top, and shake loose the food remnants. With this food I have to actually wipe the inside of the can and the can lids and have to be careful not to cut myself while doing so. This is a lifesaver food after trials of dozens of foods and lots of research on kidney friendly diets. I still try out the Rx KD foods on occasion, to see if I can get him interested again, but the most important thing is that he eats!” – Blackcats2, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Duck Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food
“I received my autoship pack of the duck flavor a few weeks ago. The fist two cans have been very dark in color and the cat won’t touch it. I opened up another can and found what can only be described as a hockey puck. Typically the cans are full to the lid and have enough liquid in them that they’re moist. They are easy to cut up into the chunks for my cat. The hockey puck looking food seemed very dry and lacking the amount that should be in the can. I went through and shook the other remaining cans in the pack and found two more hockey pucks. I’m worried what the rest of the cans will look like, if they’ll have enough gravy, and if they’re even safe for my cat.” – Porkchop, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Duck Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food
“It had a slight cardboard smell to it? Didn’t really smell like food to me. My kitten has grown up with a variety of wet foods and loves everything I put in front of her. However this food she turned her nose up to. Out of hunger she would eat half a serving, but leave the rest untouched. Maybe some kitties like it, but my kitten seriously eats everything from pita bread to arugula and all kinds of food, and didn’t like this.” – Anna, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Healthy Kitten Recipe Canned Cat Food
How Much Does Whole Earth Farms Cat Food Cost?
Though marketed as an economical choice, it’s definitely in a higher price bracket than most of the foods you’ll buy at the grocery. It’s more expensive than Fancy Feast, Friskies, and most Wellness Complete Health foods.
Instead, Whole Earth Farms is at the bottom edge of the premium price range. Their wet foods cost about $2.16 per day to feed a 10-lb cat and their dry foods would cost about $0.32 per day.
Overall, Is Whole Earth Farms A Good Choice?
Where To Buy Whole Earth Farms Cat Food?
You can buy Whole Earth Farms in pet retail chains like Petco and PetSmart along with select feed stores and independent pet specialty stores. Click here to search for a store near you.
If you’d rather shop online, you’ll find Whole Earth Farms on Chewy, Amazon, PetSmart, Petco, and PetFlow.