2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline!

Nature’s Variety is a pet food company known for making natural and raw pet food products for cats and dogs. If you are considering introducing your cat to natural or raw food, Nature’s Variety Instinct may be the brand for you. To help guide you in picking the best food for your cat, we created this 2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct cat food review of their top-rated foods available on Chewy or Amazon websites.

Nature’s Variety is owned by Agrolimen – a company based in Barcelona, Spain. The brand’s manufacturing facilities are all owned by the company. All of Nature’s Variety Instinct’s frozen and freeze dried raw foods are made in their Lincoln, Nebraska facilities. Their wet and dry foods are made in Kansas. Their headquarters is based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Nature’s Variety Instinct recipes are developed by an in-house team of vets, veterinarian nutritionists, and food scientists. All of their products are preserved naturally. The dry products are preserved with mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), rosemary, and citric acid. Instinct Raw and Raw Signature products are frozen, while their wet food products are canned.

Nature’s Variety Instinct has a total of 8 cat food product lines. Instinct Raw and Instinct Raw Signature are their lines of frozen raw cat food. Instinct Raw Freeze-dried offers freeze-dried complete foods. Instinct Raw Boost mixes freeze-dried raw foods with dry kibbles in one bag. Instinct Ultimate Protein, Original, and Limited Ingredient Diet are all dry cat foods, while Instinct Wet is their line of canned or pouch wet foods.

2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 1

You love what you see? Purrfect! Rest assured that I put these products on the list specifically due to their genuine quality and not for other reasons. I would just like to be transparent with you and inform you that FelineLiving may obtain a share of sales or other monetary compensation from the links on this page. I hope your furry friends will love these reviewed products and that it will spark joy in each pair of feline eyes!

Mary Nielsen ♥

Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review

IMAGEPRODUCT 
2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 2
Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe
  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
  • Never contains any grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives
  • Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics, natural omegas and antioxidants
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2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 3
Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein® Recipe
  • 90% protein from real duck, chicken and eggs
  • Offers unmatched digestibility
  • Made in the USA using premium ingredients
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2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 4
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe
  • Boosted nutrition with high-protein kibble + freeze-dried raw
  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
  • Grain free
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2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 5
Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Recipe
  • For cats with food sensitivities
  • Farm-raised rabbit is the first ingredient
  • Delicious pate is formulated with vitamins and minerals
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2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 6
Nature’s Variety Instinct Real Chicken Recipe for Kittens
  • Savory recipe is made with high animal protein
  • A balanced mix of real chicken, salmon and beef liver
  • Includes natural sources of DHA for healthy brain and eye development in kittens
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2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 7
Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Recipe
  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
  • Delicious pate also includes essential vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients
  • Made with 95% of protein from real chicken, turkey and chicken liver
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2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 1

Nature’s Variety Instinct Dry Cat Food Review

Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Recipe 

2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 9Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken is high in protein at 41%. The kibbles are coated with crushed, freeze-dried raw food. It is made of 81% real animal ingredients and nutritious oils. The first of this product’s ingredients is cage-free chicken. The remaining 19% is made of fruits and vegetables. This dry food has no grains, corn, potatoes, or soy. It is free from artificial enhancers such as flavors, colors, or preservatives.

The first five ingredients of this grain-free dry food are chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, and peas.

Pros

No more puking. Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken has received great reviews from owners of kitties with sensitive stomachs. According to them, the kitties are able to keep this cat food down. It is highly digestible and does not upset the kitties’ tummies.

High quality ingredients. Cat parents appreciate the high quality ingredients in this Instinct Original recipe. They feel confident that they are feeding their pets safe and nutritious food. This cat food contains no artificial enhancers or fillers such as grains, potatoes, soy, or corn. The kitties get 81% animal ingredients and nutritious oils.

Cons

Smaller bag size. Some customers have noted that the bag sizes have recently gotten smaller, but the price remains the same.

Conclusion

Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Young Again is a high quality grain-free food that many kitties seem to love. Cats with sensitive stomachs have thrived well on this product. They are able to keep this cat food down without vomiting. It contains no grains that could trigger allergic reactions.

While this product is indeed high quality, some cat parents have noted a decrease in the bag sizes. However, the price of this cat food remains the same.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein® Recipe

2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 10Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Cage-Free Duck Recipe is developed to closely resemble the benefits of raw diet. This dry cat food has one of the highest levels of animal protein. 90% of its protein content come from real duck, chicken, end eggs. It is made highly digestible for better nutrient absorption.

This dry cat food has guaranteed levels of live prebiotics to support digestive health. Omega fatty acids are included to support skin and coat health. This product contains no grains, corn, potato, soy, by-product meals, and artificial enhancers.

This duck recipe’s first five ingredients are duck, chicken, chicken eggs, tapioca, and ground flaxseed.

Pros

High quality protein source. Made with real duck, chicken, and eggs, cat owners are assured that their kitties get high quality, protein-rich ingredients with every serving of this grain-free cat food.

Cats seem to be fuller for much longer due to the high protein content of this food. Some older cats who have lost a bit of their muscle mass have gained a healthy amount of weight. The kitties have also shown higher levels of energy when fed this Instinct Ultimate Protein duck recipe.

Small kibbles. Cats love Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Cage-Free Duck Recipe. Not only is it rich in duck flavor, it is also crunchy and easy to chew. This product’s small kibbles make it easier for even older cats to chew.

Cons

A bit pricey. According to a few reviews, some cat parents find this product a bit too costly. This is especially true for multiple cat households.

Conclusion

Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Cage-Free Duck Recipe is a high-protein dry cat food that has given numerous cats multiple health benefits. Senior cats have developed lean healthy muscles. Many have grown beautiful, shiny coats and had an increase in energy levels.

The cats enjoy the taste of the crunchy kibbles, and the small size make it easy to chew and digest.

However, the high quality ingredients and all the health benefits cost more than the average dry cat food. While it may be a bit too expensive especially for multiple cat households, many find good value in this product for the health benefits that their cats get.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Recipe

2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 11Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken combines grain-free high protein dry kibble with bits of freeze dried raw meat made in their Lincoln, Nebraska facilities. This product’s first ingredient is cage-free chicken. This is a great way to introduce raw meat to your cat’s diet.

This dry cat food is minimally processed. It has antioxidants to support immune system health. The product offers natural probiotic boost and even higher omegas compared to Instinct Original.

The first five ingredients of this product are chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, and peas.

Pros

High in protein. As this dry food product is high in protein, cats do not need to gorge on food to satisfy their hunger. As a result, the cats do not overeat. They are fuller for longer and seem satisfied until their next meal.

Healthy skin and coat. Numerous cat parents have noticed significant improvements in their cats’ skin and fur quality. Their fur are softer and shinier. The skin of sensitive cats which were previously flaky or had scabs from scratching have cleared up and look healthier than before.

Cons

Crumbly. According to a few reviews, this product is a bit too crumbly. There is a good amount of food dust left in the bag, and cats usually will not eat it once it turns to food dust.

Conclusion

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken is a good high protein dry cat food mixed with freeze dried pieces of raw chicken. We recommend this as a way of introducing raw food to your cat.

Because it is free from grains and other common fillers, this grain-free recipe seems good for cats in need of weight management. The kitties seem fuller for much longer and actually eat less as a result. However, some find the kibbles slightly too crumbly, and results to a lot of food dust.

2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 1

Nature’s Variety Instinct Wet Cat Food Review

Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Recipe

2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 13Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Real Rabbit Recipe is a grain-free paté that contains only one type of animal protein and one vegetable. It is specially formulated for sensitive cats with food allergies. This wet food’s first ingredient is farm-raised rabbit. It contains no other animal protein sources such as chicken, eggs, beef, fish, or any other poultry. It is also free from grains, wheat, soy, corn, and potatoes. Peas are the only vegetable ingredient.

The first five ingredients of this rabbit recipe are rabbit, water, pea protein, peas, and rabbit liver.

Pros

Good for sensitive tummies. Cats who were previously suffering from digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and upset stomachs are doing quite well on this rabbit paté. They are able to keep this food down, and other symptoms have also improved. Even the litter box odors have been significantly reduced.

Goodbye allergies. Kitties with skin allergies have also thrived on the Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Real Rabbit Recipe. Their flaky skin and scabs have been reduced or have completely cleared up. This wet food is recommended for cats who are allergic to all grains and animal proteins except rabbit.

Cons

Pea protein. According to some reviews, the inclusion of pea protein is not preferable to some cat owners. The cat owners prefer that all protein come from a single source animal meat instead of adding plant-based ingredients to increase the protein content.

Conclusion

If you have a cat with food sensitivities such as allergies to fish, poultry, or grains, Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Real Rabbit Recipe may be the one for her. Many cats with sensitive tummies and food allergies have thrived well on this rabbit paté.

They were able to keep the food down, and those who had skin allergies now have much healthier skin and coat. However, some feel that the addition of pea protein is not beneficial to cats as it is a plant-based ingredient.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Recipe for Kittens

Original instinct cat foodNature’s Variety Instinct Real Chicken Recipe for Kittens has a high protein content to support the nutritional needs of growing kittens. Made with real chicken, salmon, and beef liver, this wet kitten food is tasty and formulated to help young kittens develop lean and strong muscles. This product’s first ingredient is chicken.

It has natural DHA for brain and eye development. It is free from grains, corn, soy, and potatoes, as well as artificial enhancers and preservatives. You can be assured that your young kitty is getting only nutritious ingredients in every serving.

This wet food’s first five ingredients are chicken, beef liver, chicken broth, salmon (source of DHA), and eggs.

Pros

Easy to digest. Kittens who were previously suffering from digestion problems such as diarrhea, IBS/ IBD have shown improvement since switching to Instinct kitten food. The improvement in their digestion made the kittens feel so much better, and now have more energy to play.

Beautiful, shiny coats. Many kittens who eat this wet food regularly have grown healthy, shiny coats and their owners could not be prouder. Their fur are soft, silky, and shinier than before.

Cons

Varying textures. A few reviews from cat parents state that the textures vary from can to can sometimes. There are times when they get a smooth paté, and other times when they get more meaty bits, or watery food.

Conclusion

This product is a good wet food for kittens who have no food sensitivities. Its animal protein content comes from chicken, salmon, beef liver, and eggs. Many kittens have thrived on this food. They have grown healthy and beautiful coats.

Even kittens who previously suffered from digestive issues found relief in this wet food. Their symptoms improved or were completely resolved since being switched to this Instinct Original recipe. However, some find the textures sometimes vary from can to can.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Recipe

2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 14This Ultimate Protein recipe is packed with protein from cage-free chicken. 95% of its protein content is sourced from chicken, turkey, and chicken liver. The first of its ingredients is chicken. This paté contains no grains, wheat, soy, corn, or potatoes.

The highly nutritious fruits and vegetables included in this wet cat food’s ingredients are peas, carrots, ground flaxseed, kale, cranberries, etc. It is rich in omega fatty acids from Menhaden fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Chicken liver and broth are added for an extra tasty meal.

The first five ingredients of this wet cat food are chicken, turkey, chicken liver, chicken broth, and ground flaxseed.

Pros

Helps build muscle mass. This Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein product has received rave reviews from owners of senior cats. The older kitties have previously lost a lot of weight and energy levels were very low. After being fed this wet food regularly, the cats have started gaining healthy weights again and have become more active. Even cats with hyperthyroidism have thrived on this food.

Great for weight management. Cats who needed to shed some excess weight are doing quite well on this cat food. This product has significantly lower carbohydrate content compared to the average wet cat food. The high protein content keeps them fuller for much longer. They do not feel the need to gorge and actually eat less food.

Cons

A bit sticky. Some cat owners find the texture of this canned food too sticky or pasty. According to a few reviews, the paté sticks to the spoon too much.

Conclusion

Instinct Ultimate Protein Real Chicken Recipe wet cat food has delivered great results for senior cats and those who are suffering from hyperthyroidism in terms of helping them gain healthy weights. It has also helped many overweight kitties lose their extra pounds. The high protein content has helped them all achieve healthy weights.

2020 Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food Review: Naturally High Protein Diet for your Feline! 1

Summary

This review has proven that Nature’s Variety Instinct deserves their reputation of being one of the highest quality cat food brands in the market. With all of their cat foods having real animal protein as the first ingredient, you are sure to find a variant that is best suited for your feline friend.

The ingredients are all high quality meat such as cage-free chicken and farm-raised rabbits. All of their cat foods are free from grains, wheat, soy, corn, and potatoes. The brand does not use artificial enhancers such as flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Their wet foods are free from carrageenan. The plant-based ingredients are all healthy and rich in nutrients. You can rest assured that your cat is getting only nutritious meals.

Their cat foods have received great reviews regarding the health benefits they have given to numerous cats. From healthier skin and coats, to regulating weights, to higher energy levels. Many pets seemed to have thrived on their cat foods, especially those with food sensitivities.

Cats who have food allergies or sensitive stomachs have been given relief from symptoms such as skin problems, diarrhea, and vomiting. Their conditions have significantly improved or were completely resolved. Nature’s Variety Instinct foods has been called a life saver more than once by cat parents.

All these benefits do come with a higher price. Their cat foods cost more than the average food. However, many feel that the extra cost is worth all the health benefits and possibly the vet bills they are able to save on.

Based on ingredient quality, results delivered, reviews from cat parents, and cost, Nature’s Variety Instinct is overall a highly recommended brand of cat food. They offer a variety of choices to those who wish to introduce raw food into their cat’s diet. They are likely to have some of the best foods available for kitties with food sensitivities or those who just seek a high protein, high quality food to keep their cats healthy and happy.

Have Nature’s Variety Instinct cat foods ever been recalled?

Yes. In 2010, some chicken-based raw food from Nature’s Variety Instinct were recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. 2015 saw a recall for some of their chicken-based products due to salmonella. Another recall was issued that year due to pieces of plastic found in some products. No recall has been issued for their cat foods since.

Is Instinct good cat food?

Instinct Raw Boost Chicken is one of the top 5 choices for best dry cat food overall for most reviewers. Here's a few important points: Packed with high-quality meat ingredients. Utilizes some organ meat for extra protein and nutrients.

Who owns instinct food?

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.

Is Instinct Raw cat food good?

Instinct is a high-quality cat food brand offering superior products at a relatively affordable price. Instinct's original dry cat food is also high in meat-based protein and low in carbohydrates for a dry cat food. It even contains a bit of freeze-dried raw meat in the kibble recipe for an extra boost.

  • Updated April 24, 2020
Mary Nielsen
 

A huge animal lover, born and raised around dogs, cats, chickens... Self-educated pet care nerd. Currently parent of three adopted cats and one small mutt. Animal adoption advocate. Loves a good book (about animals) and playing the piano.

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