Instinct Raw Cat Food Review


This is a review by Dorothy Wandruff of Nature’s Variety Instinct Frozen Raw Food for cats. Personally, I was attracted to it. The concept appealed to me. I feel there is a need for cat food that is more like the cat food of wild cats and less artificial. It should be better for a cat’s health if it is a more natural food….


Dorothy’s Experience with Nature’s Variety Instinct Frozen Raw Food

….I read the ingredients and it all looked fine and delicious. Even with the busy weekend ahead, I placed a few of the nuggets in various cat bowls, wrapped them well and put them in the fridge to thaw overnight.

It was an adventure trying to get the cats to like it! I started by putting only the thawed nuggets down, and no other food. Marvin was the only one to even give it a lick, and I think he was just being polite. He never really ate any.  Nor did any of the cats. Daisy the dog however, loves it!

To be fair, I have tried many premium canned cat foods that have been manufactured in what they describe as human-grade food product for cats. For whatever reason, the cats are not interested.  I think it has something to do with smell. The only quality brand I’ve found that they do like is Weruva. Of course they love friskies too, which certainly smells awful, but I prefer not to feed it to them. So many cereals, grains and animal by products they just don’t need.  I had high expectations for this brand, but they did not go for it.

Perhaps if it was raw mouse! Or maybe even the chicken version? If you would like me to try that too I’m happy to order it up. I’m sure Daisy will eat it if the cats don’t.

Here are a few more pictures of the study:

Instinct Raw Cat Food Review

Instinct Raw Cat Food Review. Photos by Dorothy Wandruff.

Short Video

Michael’s Conclusions

Disappointment. But not surprised. It seems that theory does not translate into practice. This food should be attractive to cats as it is designed to be natural and high quality.

I wonder whether the fact that it is frozen and then thawed is a factor? Perhaps not. Even a freshly killed mouse would probably be ignored. It is probably more about cats being used to the usual commercially manufactured cat food.

You can see from the packaging that it arrived frozen. This seems amazing to me. Is it viable to send out frozen food in the post? Is it going to thaw out partially? Will that have an influence on palatability?

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


Instinct Raw Cat Food Review — 12 Comments

  1. Pingback: My cat suckles on my arm. Advice please. | Pictures of Cats

  2. I feed the rabbit raw medallions from Instinct and my two cats love it. I had to mix it with their regular wet food first, though, to get them used to the taste. They have been on dry and wet food for over 10 years so raw food was a new concept to them. They did eat it after it was mixed with the wet food and then started eating it raw. Now they love it and their health is so much better, too. I stopped feeding them the raw (the store that supplies it is far away) and their coats started looking rough again. They are back on it and I feel so much better!

  3. Red used to eat raw beef if I gave him some. It was just beef for humans bought at the supermarket and he loved it. Expensive stuff. He ate half of it before I then cooked and ate the rest. I think Michael is right – cats who are used to commercially produced foods which have strong smell and flavours have their tastebuds dulled down so thats all they want. I’m sure they could easily get used to raw food over time and end up preferring it. Its the same with humans. If you eat too much processed food you get used to it and then natural stuff might taste boring but when you go back to natural it then taste so much better. So I conclude its just a question of taking the time to get them used to whatever food you want to feed them. It may be worth the effort. I still can’t believe they just sent it in a styrofoam (polystyrene in english) box with the hope that it doesnt end up melting because the reciever is at work all day or something.

    • Yes, you make a point I missed. Commercially produced cat food is highly palatable. Although it is just processed rubbish to form tasteless protein chunks there is plenty of taste and smell added. I suspect that plain raw food is not tasty or smelly enough. I am fairly sure that it would benefit cats if they could get used to it. It is a shame that the domestic cat has become distanced from his wild cat roots. One day domestic cats won’t know how to catch a mouse. They’ll be fat with small legs and long fur. Furballs.

    • I agree. I still have a good three pounds, and this morning I mixed a thawed raw nugget with Weruva canned chicken. They did eat it. It would be an interesting experiment to slowly work towards just the raw. However, the bag says for cats and dogs, so I’m not sure it has all the necessary nutrients a cat needs. Maybe the dry food would supply enough. They all like to graze on kibble during the day. I give them a good quality grain free dry food. What do you think Michael?

  4. If you have the time and not fussy about handling raw meat and fish products , then my personal experience says that cooked fish waste added to minced boiled meat along with rice is the best natural food for cats. I discovered this “CAT FOOD FORMULA” on an experimentation basis realizing that a lot of fish was wasted in the fish markets in Mumbai.I now collect the fish waste, boil it at home and give my cats a mixture of rice/minced meat/fish waste. My cats Matahari & Matata are now beautiful specimens of their breed type with excellent fur coat.Prior to this they would shed their fur in excess than normal, addition of fish in their diet improved their health considerably.THIS SECRET “CAT FOOD FORMULA” IS ONLY FOR “P.O.C” bloggers and readers! Try this for your cats if you have the time as most people are too busy at work to prepare fresh food for their cats. Hence the billion dollar business of “PACKAGED CAT FOOD”.

    • I like your homemade cat food formula. It sounds very good. Thanks for telling us about it. I like the fact that you take the time to make it. I think the Instinct raw food is not as good as it could be because it is frozen and thawed out. Cats are sensitive to this sort of thing. Dogs are less picky as is demonstrated in Daisy eating it.

  5. I subscribe to 2 raw feeding newsletters. There are posts every day of cats refusing to eat the food to the point their health is put in danger. The only raw we had a lot of success with were raw chicken legs and necks.

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