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instinct wet cat food review | Topdeblogs

Does Nature’s Variety Instinct have what it takes to satisfy your cat’s carnivorous instincts? Find out in our unbiased Nature’s Variety Instinct cat food review.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Nature’s Variety Instinct on What Matters

We’ve analyzed Nature’s Variety and graded it according to the We’re All About Cats 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.

We give Nature’s Variety Instinct cat food a 44 out of 60 rating or a B grade.

About Nature’s Variety Instinct

Nature’s Variety began as a small pet food manufacturer in Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s now owned by Agrilomen, a Barcelona-based firm. Agrolimen also owns Affinity Petcare, a leading European pet food supplier and holds 50% stake in Mogiana, a Brazilian pet food company.

Nature’s Variety continues to operate as an independent company with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. The company focuses on meat-centric recipes and emphasizes the value of fresh, freeze-dried, and raw ingredients.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Nature’s Variety Instinct cat food is manufactured in company-owned facilities in the United States.

Nature’s Variety ingredients are primarily sourced from the United States, with some proteins sourced from New Zealand, Australia, France, and Italy. The company doesn’t source any meat or poultry from China, but doesn’t mention sourcing other ingredients from the country.

Has Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Been Recalled?

Nature’s Variety appears to have been recalled four times since its creation in 2002.

In 2015, Nature’s Variety recalled several varieties of chicken-based food after FDA testing revealed that the food was contaminated with salmonella. Earlier that year, the company issued a recall due to pieces of plastic in their food.

In 2012, the company recalled four sizes of kibble for dogs after learning that the food had an “off-odor” smell before its expiration date. Nature’s Variety said the food wasn’t contaminated, but voluntarily withdrew the food to ensure a top-notch experience.

Back in 2010, the company issued a recall of chicken-based raw food due to potential salmonella contamination.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Nature’s Variety Instinct Offer?

The Nature’s Variety Instinct cat food lineup is broken into six lines.

  • Instinct Original includes both dry and wet foods. All of the foods in this line are at least 70% animal ingredients and are made without any grains.
  • Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet foods are geared towards cats with food sensitivities and allergies. They’re made with one animal protein and a single primary vegetable ingredient. This line includes both wet and dry foods.
  • Instinct Ultimate Protein wet and dry foods are at least 90% animal-derived protein and have up to 3 times more chicken or duck than other natural brands.
  • Instinct Raw Boost is kibble with chunks of freeze-dried raw meat. The line also includes Raw Boost Mixers, which allow you to add those freeze-dried chunks to your kibble of choice.
  • The Instinct Raw line includes one recipe. It’s a frozen raw product made primarily from chicken.
  • Raw Signature includes raw frozen bites and medallions made from chicken and rabbit.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

What Do Customers Think Of Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food?

Nature’s Variety foods are well-loved by customers.

The company is one of few that receives largely positive reviews on Consumer Affairs, a customer advocacy site with a definite negativity bias. Here’s what a few customers have to say about Nature’s Variety cat food:

Positive Reviews

“The Instinct Original canned cat food looks and smells good enough for human consumption! The food is juicy and moist without being watery or gravy-like-all food. My cats are loving it (as well as the Kitten version for my 7 mo old.) They had no problem transitioning from another brand.” – Suze, reviewing Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe

“I have taken painful measures to find a food with no chicken or egg to help rule out allergies after trying another brand of skin sensitive food for 12 weeks to no avail. Was very happy to find this brand and all my feline friends who are indoor pets seem to love it. It is helping their coats improve and hopefully will improve their overall health. We have only been using Instinct for 4 weeks. We are just beginning. The only downside to novel protein foods is the $$$$$. Wish there were coupons. Not a big inventory at Pet Food stores either. Glad Chewy stocks so well.” – SmokeysMom, reviewing Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Rabbit Recipe

Negative Reviews

“Decided to write this after switching to a different food. I tried “ natures variety” thinking grain free was a good idea. However after over 6 months of this diet, i noticed my two cats were lethargic and gaining weight. The food pellets in this food are so small that more food would fall from their automatic feeder than should have. Neither cat needed to chew the food so they would swallow it whole and later vomit it out. One cat developed very dry skin and heavy dandruff. I switched this month to a Royal Cannin food and already have noticed a difference in both cats. They are more playful and their coats are looking better.” – Bentleysmom, reviewing Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food

“I’ve done tons of research of which canned food is good for my cats (I have two precious exotic shorthairs). So many pet food reviews say Instinct is one of the best—it’s not as expressive as Ziwi, but it’s definitely on the more expensive side. Anyway, long story short. I have two reservations about it: 1) my cats are not super interested in it; 2) above all, I saw giant peas in it—I don’t think cats need it and in my opinion veggies are worse than meat byproduct, as they are simply NOT what cats eat or need. Final thought: Sometimes I feel I should just go with the cheaper Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Pate. My cats like Fancy Feast and there’s no veggie in Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Pate.” – Eleni, reviewing Original Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

How Much Does Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Cost?

Let’s break down how much it would cost per day to feed your cat’s Nature’s Variety. For the sake of this exercise, let’s say that your cat weighs 10 lbs and follows the feeding guidelines recommended by Nature’s Variety Instinct.

Nature’s Variety Instinct wet food would cost between $2.28 and $3.36 per day, depending on which variety you choose. Nature’s Variety dry food is significantly cheaper and would cost closer to $0.42 per day to feed the same cat. Their raw food is comparable to the canned recipes, adding up to roughly $2.30 to $3.35 per day.

All of their recipes, including their raw frozen formulas, are reasonably-priced and easy to find in stores. The brand is comparable in quality and price to Wellness CORE, except Nature’s Variety Instinct offers a wider selection of raw food.

Overall, Is Nature’s Variety Instinct A Good Choice?

Nature’s Variety cat food is a good option to consider if you’re looking for meat-centric, dye-free food. With a selection of limited-ingredient recipes and formulas focused on novel proteins, this brand is a promising choice for cats with food sensitivities and allergies.

Though the brand has been recalled a few times during a relatively short span of time, none of these recalls were associated with reports of illness. Nature’s Variety maintains a good reputation among customers and appears to be a reliable choice.

Where To Buy Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food?

Nature’s Variety cat food is sold by pet specialty retailers, including major chains like Petco and PetSmart. Click here to find a retailer near you. If you’d prefer to shop online, you’ll find Nature’s Variety cat food on Amazon, Chewy, Petco, and

Click here to shop for Nature’s Variety cat food on Chewy

About the author

Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.

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