Instinct Wet Cat Food

In the world of feline nutrition, Instinct stands as a reputable brand, synonymous with high-quality, grain-free, and nutrition-dense offerings. Over the years, Instinct has curated an array of wet cat food variants that have received nods of approval from both cats and their humans. This article aims to provide an unbiased review of Instinct wet cat food, shedding light on its nutritional profiles, the quality of ingredients, benefits, and potential drawbacks.

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The Instinct Brand: A Quick Overview

Instinct, a subsidiary of Nature’s Variety, champions a philosophy that underlines the importance of raw food. They believe that redefining pet food in its most natural state leads to healthier, happier pets. This ethos extends to their wet cat food lineup, marked by high protein content, grain-free formulas, and the inclusion of raw ingredients.

Nutritional Profile of Instinct Wet Cat Food

High in Animal Protein

As obligate carnivores, cats require a diet high in animal protein. Instinct wet cat food holds true to this requirement, with protein content that exceeds industry standards. It sources its protein from quality animal-based ingredients like cage-free chicken, farm-raised rabbit, or wild-caught salmon.

Low in Carbohydrates

Instinct wet cat food is grain-free and low in carbohydrates, aligning with the natural dietary needs of cats. By avoiding grains and fillers, Instinct caters to felines with sensitive stomachs and those prone to allergies.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Each can of Instinct wet cat food contains an optimal balance of essential vitamins, minerals, and taurine, vital for your cat’s overall health, growth, and development.

Ingredient Quality and Transparency

Instinct maintains a clean label, ensuring transparency with its ingredients. There are no artificial colors, preservatives, or vague ingredient labels. The primary ingredient is always a quality source of animal protein, followed by wholesome fruits and vegetables like carrots, peas, and cranberries that provide natural antioxidants.

The Benefits: Why Choose Instinct Wet Cat Food?

Enhances Hydration

With a high moisture content, Instinct wet cat food aids in hydration. This attribute is particularly useful for cats who don’t drink enough water, supporting urinary health.

Supports Weight Management

High in protein and low in carbohydrates, this diet promotes lean muscle mass and helps prevent obesity, a common issue among house cats.

Suitable for Sensitive Stomachs

The grain-free formulation of Instinct wet cat food makes it a suitable choice for cats with sensitive stomachs or food allergies.

Potential Drawbacks: The Other Side of the Coin

While Instinct wet cat food carries numerous benefits, it might not be the perfect fit for all felines.


The quality ingredients and raw-focused formula make Instinct a higher-priced brand compared to other wet cat foods in the market. While many pet parents consider this an investment in their cat’s health, it might not fit into every budget.


Although many cats love the taste of Instinct, like any other food, some may not find it appealing. Cats are notoriously picky eaters, and their preference can vary widely.

The Range of Varieties in Instinct Wet Cat Food

Instinct wet cat food offers an impressive range of flavors and textures that cater to the diverse palates of feline friends. From pates to minced recipes and chunky stews, there’s something for every whiskered connoisseur. They offer proteins from traditional sources like chicken and turkey, as well as more unique options such as rabbit and venison.

Specialty Diets and Formulas

Recognizing the varying dietary needs of felines, Instinct has developed an assortment of specialized formulas. The ‘Limited Ingredient Diet’ is crafted for cats with food sensitivities and allergies, with a simple ingredient list that reduces the risk of potential allergens. The ‘Ultimate Protein’ formula boasts even higher protein levels, perfect for very active cats or those needing to gain some weight.

The ‘Raw Boost’ Revolution

Instinct’s unique offering in the wet cat food market is its ‘Raw Boost’ line. It seamlessly blends high-quality, grain-free paté with real pieces of freeze-dried raw meat. This approach allows pet parents to introduce the benefits of raw food into their cats’ diet, enhancing digestion and promoting a healthier coat and skin.

Packaging and Sustainability

Instinct wet cat food is typically available in two sizes: 3 oz and 5.5 oz cans. The cans are recyclable, demonstrating Instinct’s commitment to sustainability. However, it’s important to note that, like most wet cat food brands, Instinct’s packaging does not have a resealable option, making storage a potential issue if your cat doesn’t finish their meal in one sitting.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Instinct wet cat food generally garners positive reviews from cat owners. Many highlight improvements in their cats’ coat condition, energy levels, and digestion since switching to this brand. Particularly, the ‘Limited Ingredient Diet’ and ‘Raw Boost’ lines receive praise for their perceived positive impact on cats with dietary restrictions or sensitivities.

However, a few users have reported instances where their cats initially resisted the change to Instinct, emphasizing the brand’s taste may not be universally loved by all felines.

Ingredients Sourcing and Quality Control

Instinct is transparent about its ingredient sourcing, with the majority of ingredients sourced from the USA and none from China. It also assures stringent quality control measures at every stage of production to ensure your cat receives the best product. Nevertheless, no pet food can claim absolute immunity from recalls, and Instinct has had a few in the past, mostly precautionary and none since 2019, demonstrating an improved track record.

The Role of Your Veterinarian

Regardless of the cat food brand you select, always keep in mind that your veterinarian should play a vital role in determining your cat’s dietary needs. Factors such as age, health status, lifestyle, and breed can influence what type of diet is best. Engage in regular discussions with your vet about your cat’s diet, including before making a significant switch like introducing Instinct wet cat food.

Conclusion: Is Instinct Wet Cat Food Worth It?

Overall, Instinct wet cat food scores high on nutritional quality, ingredient transparency, and aligning with a cat’s natural dietary needs. While the price point and individual taste preferences could be potential drawbacks, the holistic health benefits that this brand provides could outweigh these concerns for many cat owners. As always, it is crucial to monitor your cat’s response to any new food and consult with a veterinarian if you have concerns about their dietary needs.

FAQs about Instinct Wet Cat Food

How should I transition my cat to Instinct Wet Cat Food?

Transitioning your cat to a new food should be a gradual process to prevent digestive upset. Start by mixing a small amount of Instinct food with your cat’s current food. Over the course of 7-10 days, gradually increase the amount of the new food while decreasing the amount of the old food.

Can I mix Instinct Wet Cat Food with dry food?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to mix wet and dry food. In fact, this can provide your cat with some variety and also offer the benefits of both kinds of food, such as the high moisture content of wet food and the teeth-cleaning benefits of dry food.

How often should I feed my cat Instinct Wet Cat Food?

The frequency of feeding depends on your cat’s age, weight, and activity level. As a general rule, adult cats should be fed two meals per day. Kittens require more frequent feeding. Always ensure to follow the feeding guidelines on the can and consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice.

How long can I store Instinct Wet Cat Food after it’s been opened?

Once opened, Instinct Wet Cat Food should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 2-3 days. To ensure the food remains fresh and palatable for your cat, transfer any unused portion to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid.

Does Instinct Wet Cat Food suit cats with specific dietary needs?

Instinct offers several special formulas to cater to cats with specific dietary needs. For instance, the ‘Limited Ingredient’ line is designed for cats with food sensitivities or allergies. However, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before switching your cat to a new diet, especially if they have a medical condition.

Where is Instinct Wet Cat Food made?

Instinct pet foods are made in company-owned facilities in the United States. They maintain a high standard of quality control and source most of their ingredients from the USA, ensuring top-quality, safe, and nutritious meals for your pet.

What is the calorie content of Instinct Wet Cat Food?

The calorie content in Instinct Wet Cat Food varies between different recipes. You can find the specific caloric content for each recipe on the can’s label or the product page on the Instinct website.

Does Instinct Wet Cat Food contain any artificial preservatives or additives?

No, Instinct Wet Cat Food does not contain any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. It’s also free from fillers like corn, wheat, soy, and other grains. The brand is dedicated to providing natural, raw-inspired diets for pets.

What is the protein content in Instinct Wet Cat Food?

Instinct Wet Cat Food has a high protein content, aligning with a cat’s natural dietary needs as obligate carnivores. Exact protein content varies between different recipes and can be found on the product label. However, rest assured that Instinct prioritizes animal-based protein sources in their recipes.

Is there a recall history for Instinct Wet Cat Food?

Instinct has had a few recalls in the past, but these have primarily been precautionary measures. There have been no recalls since 2019, suggesting an improved track record in terms of product safety and quality assurance.

What type of ingredients does Instinct Wet Cat Food avoid?

Instinct Wet Cat Food is committed to a clean and thoughtful approach to its formulations. It avoids the use of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, as well as known allergens such as corn, wheat, soy, and grains. Additionally, the company commits to producing meals free from by-product meals, a point of differentiation in the pet food industry.

Can I feed my kitten Instinct Wet Cat Food?

Yes, Instinct offers formulas specifically designed for kittens. These formulas are nutrient-dense to support the high energy needs and growth requirements of young cats. However, always consult with your veterinarian before introducing a new diet to ensure it is appropriate for your kitten’s specific needs.

Does Instinct Wet Cat Food contain taurine?

Absolutely. All Instinct cat food recipes contain taurine. Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats, playing a critical role in their heart and eye health. Since cats can’t produce enough taurine on their own, it’s crucial to provide it in their diet.

Is Instinct Wet Cat Food suitable for senior cats?

Instinct does not currently have a line specifically marketed for senior cats. However, their high-protein, nutrient-dense recipes can generally be suitable for older cats. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate diet for your senior cat, considering their specific health conditions and nutritional needs.

How does the ‘Raw Boost’ formula differ from other Instinct Wet Cat Foods?

Instinct’s ‘Raw Boost’ formula stands out for its unique incorporation of freeze-dried raw pieces into the traditional wet cat food format. These raw pieces retain more of their natural nutrients compared to their cooked counterparts, potentially offering a nutritional “boost” to your cat’s diet.

Can Instinct Wet Cat Food help with urinary issues?

While no food can treat or cure urinary issues, diets high in moisture, like wet cat food, can aid in hydration and potentially reduce the risk of urinary tract issues by encouraging more frequent urination. Instinct’s grain-free, high-moisture recipes could contribute to this effect. If your cat has urinary issues, it’s important to consult with your vet to develop an appropriate dietary plan.

How can I know if my cat is allergic to Instinct Wet Cat Food?

Signs of food allergies in cats can include gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea, as well as skin symptoms like itching and redness. If you suspect your cat might be allergic to a new food, it’s crucial to consult with your vet. They can guide you through an elimination diet to identify potential allergens.

Is Instinct Wet Cat Food appropriate for cats with diabetes?

Cats with diabetes can benefit from a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates, which more closely aligns with their natural diet. Instinct Wet Cat Food fits this profile, making it potentially suitable for cats with diabetes. However, if your cat has diabetes or any other medical condition, you should consult with your veterinarian before making dietary changes.

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