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The 19 Best Cat Foods From Instinct

Nature's Variety manufactures Instinct cat meals, which are available in wet canned food, dry kibble, and toppers.

Its idea comes from the fact that raw diets have the potential to give your cat with a variety of health benefits. It has used that inspiration to develop freeze-dried toppings and freeze-dried dry kibble.

This private company is headquartered in the Midwest of the United States and offers a variety of grain- and gluten-free cat meals.

Nature's Variety is a cat food company that incorporates raw feeding principles while also providing handy and easy-to-feed standard canned foods and kibbles.

If you're ready to learn everything there is to know about this brand, keep reading to discover out. Let's take a closer look at %product_count% of the best cat foods from Instinct with BestForPets (bestforpets.org).


Canned Wet Food Instinct Original Grain-Free Real Chicken Pâté Recipe

The first three ingredients in this wet canned meal are chicken, turkey, and chicken liver, indicating that it is a high-quality canned food with plenty of animal protein.

In fact, 95% of the components in this recipe are real meat, with the other 5% comprising fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and other useful nutrients.

This tasty pâté-style canned food also has a high moisture level of 78%, which will keep your cat hydrated and healthy.

It’s high in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which keep your cat’s skin and coat looking and feeling great. There are no meat byproducts, cereals, soy, potatoes, wheat, or maize in this.


  • Protein content is 10%.
  • The first three components are all real meat.
  • It contains no byproducts of beef.
  • Carbohydrates are scarce.


  • Above-average price


Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe With Real Chicken

With 81% actual animal protein, you can be confident that this dry kibble will provide lots of high-quality nourishment while still being convenient.

The remaining 19% of the components are composed of nutritious fruits and vegetables.

This kibble employs a revolutionary procedure in which raw materials are freeze-dried to remove moisture while retaining all nutrients.

This freeze-dried raw food is then broken to form a coating for the kibble, ensuring that your cat receives the benefits of raw food in every bite.

This kibble encourages good digestion and aids your cat’s overall health.


  • Protein content is 41%.
  • The first ingredient is chicken.
  • Probiotics and antioxidants are present.
  • A raw, freeze-dried coating is included.


  • Meat meal is included.
  • It contains peas, which might cause allergies.


Digestive Health Cat Food Topper Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers

This raw boost mixer adds the benefits of raw food to your cat’s kibble. This dish comprises a combination of components that encourage a healthy digestive tract.

This incorporates healthful fiber from pumpkins and sweet potatoes, as well as apple cider vinegar and natural probiotics, in addition to cage-free chicken as the first component.

This freeze-dried food is extremely easy to give because there is no need to add water or rehydrate it; simply feed it as is.

It’s intended to be a supplement rather than a complete diet, so pair it with a balanced wet food or kibble.

Depending on your cat’s weight, you can feed 1-3 tablespoons every day. This is also a tasty treat!


  • Protein content is 36%.
  • There are no byproducts.
  • Simple to feed
  • The first component is real chicken.


  • Coloring is present.


Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Real Rabbit Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

The predominant protein source in this wet cat chow appears to be rabbit.

Because this meal is designed for cats with allergies and food sensitivities, it contains proteins that are not frequently allergenic.

Except for the soup, the cuisine is 95% rabbit, hog, and liver. Rabbit and pork are novel proteins for many cats and excellent choices for those who are allergic to common allergens like as chicken and beef.

The remaining 5% of the diet contains ground flaxseed as a fiber source, montmorillonite clay as a mineral source, and peas and carrots, which enhance the carbohydrate level without adding much nutritious benefit.

Menhaden fish oil, a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids, is added to the meal. Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous benefits, the most important of which is that they can reduce inflammation caused by allergies.

The diet contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, making it nutritionally complete. A few fruits and vegetables appear near the bottom of the ingredient list.

Overall, this cuisine is high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates. Each 3-ounce can contains 80 calories, or roughly 27 calories per ounce.


  • It makes use of a combination of muscle meat and organs.
  • Suitable for cats with food sensitivities or allergies.
  • High in protein from animals
  • Carrageenan-free thickening
  • Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are not used.


  • None


Kitten Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe by Instinct by Nature’s Variety

Nature’s Instinct kitten food is made mostly of healthful animal components and is high in amino acids, which help your cat thrive.

The first ingredient is chicken, and it contains salmon as a natural supply of DHA, a fatty acid that aids in the development of the brain and eyes.

This kitten food contains no carbs or plant protein, which weigh down and squander your kitty, but it does contain traces of cranberries, pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and parsley.

Overall, this dish is a low-carb alternative, including only roughly 9% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis. It is slightly more expensive than many other kitten feeds, but it provides significant nutritional value.

Each 3 oz can has 103 calories, which is typical for kitten food.


  • High in animal protein, including chicken, beef, and salmon
  • Soft canned food has a pleasant feel and keeps you hydrated.
  • Carbohydrate content is really low.
  • DHA-rich for optimal brain and eye development


  • It is slightly more pricey than many other kitten meals.
  • Does not routinely receive good customer feedback



  • Food Type: Wet
  • The first five ingredients are rabbit, water, pea protein, peas, and rabbit liver.
  • Analysis guaranteed: 10% protein, 3% fat, 1.5% fiber, 76% moisture
  • Calories per cup: 156 calories/5.5 oz.
  • Price per pound/ounce: $0.63

Wet cat food contains more animal products than dry food, and Instinct by Nature’s Variety LID Grain-Free Real Rabbit Recipe canned food is no exception.

It has a very short list of main ingredients, which includes fresh rabbit, water, pea protein, peas, and rabbit liver.

Aside from these, the only ingredients in this recipe are supplements to guarantee that your cat receives complete and balanced nourishment.

This formula is designed to be simple in order to limit the danger of provoking food allergies and sensitivities, and it includes a unique protein source.

It includes about 42% protein and 12.50% fat when measured as dry matter. It could be a little higher in fat, but it is already very rich in calories, so keep feeding instructions in mind.


NATURE’S VARIETY INSTINCT Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken

  • Food Type: Dry
  • Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, and peas are the first five ingredients.
  • 41% protein, 22% fat, 3.5% fiber, and 9% moisture are guaranteed.
  • Calories in a Cup: 496 calories in a cup
  • Price per pound or ounce: $3.99

This Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken is “a healthier way to feed kibble,” according to Instinct.

This product is made up of high-protein kibble with actual meat as the first ingredient, as well as freeze-dried bits of raw chicken.

This formula contains probiotics for healthy digestion, increased quantities of omega fatty acids for attractive skin and coat, and more antioxidants for strong immunity, as well as real animal protein to support your cat’s healthy lean muscle mass.

Fresh chicken is the first ingredient, followed by three more premium animal protein sources: chicken meal, turkey meal, and menhaden fish meal.

The following ingredient is peas, a grain-free carbohydrate, followed by healthy chicken fat and tapioca. At 496 calories per cup, this meal contains 41% crude protein and 22% fat.

Instinct Cat Food: A Quick Look


  • All of its dishes begin with actual meat as the initial ingredient.
  • Kibble, canned food, and toppers are available.
  • Grain-free
  • Some recipes are suitable for allergic cats.
  • Artificial colors, preservatives, and tastes are not used.
  • Simple to understand
  • High protein content


  • Some recipes contain allergies such as peas or eggs.
  • Expensive

History of Instinct Cat Food Recalls

Nature’s Variety has had two recalls.

  • It recalled a few chicken-based dishes in 2015 after FDA testing revealed salmonella contamination. They also recalled a couple recipes that year owing to plastic contamination.
  • It issued another voluntary recall in 2012, but this time for dog food.
  • They recalled a few raw chicken meals in 2010 due to concerns that they were tainted with salmonella.

Review on Instinct Cat Food

Who Creates Nature’s Variety and Where Does It Come From?

Nature’s Variety is based in St. Louis, Missouri. Agrolimen, a Spanish corporation, now owns it.

Its Instinct line is created in the United States of America with ingredients obtained from all over the world.

Some of its ingredients come from France, Italy, New Zealand, and Australia. It does not buy chicken or beef from China.

Nature’s Variety Is Best Suited For What Kinds of Pets?

Nature’s Variety is ideal for grain-free or gluten-free cats. All of its recipes emphasise the use of whole-food products above artificial substances or fillers.

The Nature’s Variety Instinct products we’ve examined here are as near to a raw diet as you’ll find in a long-life cat food, with high levels of protein and plenty of minerals.

If you want to feed raw but don’t want to cook it yourself or keep pre-packaged cat food in the refrigerator, this is the best option.

If your cat suffers from allergies, Nature’s Variety also provides a limited-ingredient diet that includes only one type of animal protein and one vegetable.

Which Pets Would Benefit from a Different Brand?

If you prefer to feed your cat grain-free food, you’ll be disappointed to learn that the whole Nature’s Variety Instinct range is grain-free.

If you want grain-free cat food, Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food may be a good choice.

Primary Ingredients Discussion

Let’s look at the main ingredients in Nature’s Variety Instinct cat food.

Genuine meat

Nature’s Variety Instinct recipes include at least 70% animal protein. This can come from a single protein or from a combination of proteins. Nature’s Variety’s recipes include chicken, turkey, duck, fish, and rabbit.

Fruits and vegetables that are nutritious

Each Nature’s Variety Instinct recipe includes a fruit and vegetable blend designed to provide fiber, antioxidants, and other important components to your cat’s diet.

The Advantages of Raw Feeding

Raw diets offer your cat with a high degree of nourishment. However, they can take up a lot of storage space and are pricey.

Nature’s Variety has bridged the gap between kibble and canned meal convenience and the unparalleled nutritional benefits of raw feeding.

Certain recipes contain allergies

While Nature’s Variety Instinct does include a variety of limited-ingredient diet recipes for cats with allergies, some of its other recipes do contain common allergens such as peas, eggs, and chicken.

What Other Users Have to Say

“Nature’s Variety has a strong reputation among customers and appears to be a reliable choice,” says All About Cats.

Amazon – As pet owners, we constantly double-check Amazon buyer reviews before making a purchase. These can be found by clicking here.


Nature’s Diversity Instinct cat foods offer all of the advantages of feeding a raw diet with the convenience of kibble or canned food.

It uses high-quality ingredients, with real meat serving as the basic component for all of its meals. While Nature’s Variety has had a handful product recalls in the past, its recent track record is spotless.

Based on what we’ve learned and tested, the ingredients in Canned Wet Food Instinct Original Grain-Free Real Chicken Pâté Recipe and Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe With Real Chicken are the two most important and reliable on the list.

The best cat foods from Instinct are all prepared in the United States of America with a global blend of ingredients.

Instinct comes highly recommended by us and thousands of delighted customers as a company with an excellent reputation for employing high-quality ingredients and delivering the true nutrients of raw food to more of us cat owners than ever before.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) all knows that if our cats are happy, we are happy!


What is the price of Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food?

Let’s calculate how much Nature’s Variety would cost every day for your cat. Assume your cat weighs 10 pounds and follows the feeding parameters given by Nature’s Variety Instinct for the sake of this experiment.

Nature’s Diversity Depending on the variety, Instinct wet food would cost between $2.28 and $3.36 per day.

Nature’s Variety dry food is substantially less expensive, costing around $0.42 per day to feed the same cat. Their raw food is comparable to canned meals, costing between $2.30 and $3.35 per day.

All of their recipes, including raw frozen formulae, are economically priced and widely available.

The brand is equivalent in terms of quality and pricing to Wellness CORE, with the exception that Nature’s Variety Instinct has a larger assortment of raw food.

Is Nature’s Variety Instinct a Good Option?

If you’re looking for meat-centric, dye-free cat chow, Nature’s Variety is a fantastic option to consider.

This brand is a potential solution for cats with food sensitivities and allergies, with a selection of limited-ingredient recipes and formulas focusing on new proteins.

Despite the fact that the brand was recalled a few times in a relatively short period of time, none of these recalls were related with reports of illness.

Nature’s Variety has an excellent reputation among customers and appears to be a trustworthy option.

Where Can I Purchase Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food?

Nature’s Variety cat food is available at pet specialty stores such as Petco and PetSmart. To locate a retailer near you.

If you prefer to shop online, Nature’s Variety cat food is available on Amazon, Chewy, Petco, and PetSmart.com.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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