Nature’s Variety Cat Food: A Comprehensive Review

When it comes to choosing the right food for your feline friend, the array of options available can be overwhelming. One brand that frequently pops up on the radar of cat owners is Nature’s Variety, specifically their ‘Instinct’ line of products. But how well does this brand stack up? Let’s dive into a comprehensive review of Nature’s Variety Cat Food.

About Nature’s Variety

Nature’s Variety is a pet food company that believes in providing pets with a diet close to what they would get in nature. The brand offers a range of products, including dry and wet food, as well as raw frozen diets. Their Instinct line has been particularly recognized for its grain-free recipes and quality ingredients.

Quality of Ingredients

The cornerstone of any reputable cat food brand lies in the quality of its ingredients. Nature’s Variety prides itself on using real meat and wholesome fruits and vegetables. Their food is free of corn, wheat, soy, and other common fillers, and they do not use artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

A Closer Look at Instinct

The Instinct line of cat food is Nature’s Variety’s flagship product range. Let’s take a more detailed look at what makes it unique.

Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe: This product comes in both dry and wet forms and is made from real meat like chicken, duck, or salmon. It’s grain-free, meaning it’s a good choice for cats with sensitive stomachs or allergies to grains.

Instinct Raw Boost: Combines high-protein, grain-free kibble with freeze-dried raw pieces for a balanced diet that’s close to what cats would eat in the wild.

Instinct Ultimate Protein: This is a high protein, grain-free product that contains up to 3 times more real chicken than conventional dry cat food.

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet: Ideal for cats with food sensitivities, this recipe contains a single animal protein source and a single vegetable.

Veterinary Opinion and Certification

Many vets consider Nature’s Variety as a reputable cat food brand. Their products meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles, which means they are suitable for all life stages. However, it’s always a good idea to discuss any dietary changes with your vet to ensure the food meets your cat’s specific needs.

Cat Owner Experiences

General consensus among cat owners is positive. Most report that their cats enjoy the taste of Instinct cat food and have experienced benefits like healthier coats, increased energy levels, and better digestive health. However, it’s important to note that every cat is unique and what works for one may not work for another.

Price Point and Accessibility

While Nature’s Variety Instinct is considered a premium cat food brand and comes with a higher price tag than some other brands, many cat owners find the benefits to their pet’s health and wellbeing well worth the investment. The brand is widely available in pet stores, supermarkets, and online platforms.

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Montmorillonite Clay: A Unique Ingredient

One notable ingredient in the Instinct range is Montmorillonite Clay. While it might seem unusual to find clay in cat food, it’s actually used as an anti-caking agent and a source of minerals. Additionally, it’s believed to have detoxifying properties.

The Nutritional Profile of Nature’s Variety Cat Food

One of the main reasons why Nature’s Variety stands out is because of its impressive nutritional profile. Their Instinct line, for instance, is often lauded for its high protein content derived from quality animal sources like chicken, duck, or rabbit. It’s not uncommon to find crude protein levels of 40% or higher in their products, which is substantial when compared to other cat food brands. Additionally, their recipes often incorporate organ meats, which are rich in nutrients.

The use of healthy carbohydrates in their formulas is another positive aspect of Nature’s Variety. Unlike some brands that might rely on low-cost grains or fillers, Nature’s Variety opts for more nutritious sources such as peas and chickpeas. These ingredients are not only grain-free but also high in fiber, supporting good digestive health.

Cat Food Varieties and Flavors

When it comes to flavors, Nature’s Variety doesn’t disappoint. With a selection ranging from chicken, duck, and rabbit, to more exotic choices like venison, your cat will have a variety of flavors to choose from. This is particularly beneficial for picky eaters or cats that appreciate variety in their diet.

Safety and Recall History

When choosing a cat food brand, it’s important to consider the company’s recall history. A recall is typically issued when there is a concern about the safety of the product. Nature’s Variety had a few recalls in its history, but it’s noteworthy that they have been transparent and proactive in these instances. It’s always wise to check the most recent recall information to ensure the safety of the food you are feeding your cat.

Special Dietary Options

Nature’s Variety understands that some cats have specific dietary needs. Their Limited Ingredient Diet line is specially designed for cats with food sensitivities or allergies. This line features a single protein and a single vegetable, eliminating common allergens and providing a simple, nutritious diet for sensitive cats.

Similarly, their Raw Boost line combines high-protein kibble with freeze-dried raw pieces. This blend aims to provide the nutritional benefits of a raw diet, which some owners believe closely mirrors a cat’s natural diet in the wild.

Feeding Transition and Guidelines

When switching to Nature’s Variety or any new food, it’s essential to make the transition gradually. A sudden change can lead to digestive upset. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your cat’s current food, gradually increasing the proportion over 7 to 10 days. This slow transition can help prevent gastrointestinal issues and help your cat adjust to the taste and texture of the new food.

Nature’s Variety provides feeding guidelines on their packaging, but these should only serve as a starting point. Your cat’s age, weight, activity level, and overall health status can all impact their nutritional needs. Regular veterinary check-ups and discussions about diet can help you fine-tune your cat’s feeding regimen for optimal health.

Sustainability and Ethics

Nature’s Variety prioritizes sustainability and ethical sourcing in its operations. They partner with trusted suppliers and aim for high standards of animal welfare. This commitment not only promotes a more ethical pet food industry but can also contribute to the quality and safety of their products.

Final Verdict

Nature’s Variety offers a range of high-quality, grain-free cat foods that cater to various dietary needs. It’s clear that they value natural ingredients and a diet that’s as close as possible to what cats would eat in the wild. However, as with all cat foods, what really matters is how well it suits your individual cat. Always consult with your vet before making any significant changes to your cat’s diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Does “Holistic” Mean in Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

When Nature’s Variety refers to their cat food as “holistic,” it means the recipes are created with the whole health of the cat in mind. The ingredients selected are designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition for your cat’s optimal health. They consider all aspects of a cat’s wellbeing, including muscle development, immune health, digestion, and skin and coat condition.

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2. What is Montmorillonite Clay in Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

Montmorillonite clay is a natural ingredient found in some Nature’s Variety recipes. It is a type of mineral-rich clay that offers potential health benefits. Some studies suggest that it can support digestive health by binding toxins in the gut. It also provides essential minerals. The amount used in the food is minimal and considered safe.

3. Can Nature’s Variety Cat Food Support Special Dietary Needs?

Yes, Nature’s Variety offers several options for cats with special dietary needs. Their Limited Ingredient Diet line, for example, is suitable for cats with food sensitivities or allergies. These formulas focus on simple, easily digestible ingredients. Additionally, for cats requiring a high protein diet, their Ultimate Protein line could be an excellent option, offering an elevated protein level compared to the standard recipes.

4. Are there Grain-Free Options in Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

Absolutely, Nature’s Variety offers a wide range of grain-free recipes. They believe that grain-free formulas are a more natural choice for cats, mirroring their ancestral diet. They use alternative carbohydrate sources, such as peas and chickpeas, to provide the energy your cat needs without the grains.

5. What are the Different Ranges Offered by Nature’s Variety?

Nature’s Variety cat food is available in several ranges, each serving a specific purpose. This includes the Original range, offering high-protein nutrition with diverse protein sources; the Limited Ingredient Diet range for cats with sensitivities; the Ultimate Protein range providing elevated protein levels; and the Raw Boost range combining kibble with freeze-dried raw pieces for a nutrient-rich diet.

6. Can Kittens Eat Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

Nature’s Variety does have options suitable for kittens. It’s important to ensure that kittens are getting food formulated specifically for their growth needs, as they require more protein and certain nutrients compared to adults. Always check the food packaging to ensure it’s appropriate for your kitten’s life stage.

7. How Often Should I Feed My Cat Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

The frequency of feeding will depend on your cat’s age, weight, and overall health status. Typically, adult cats are fed twice a day, while kittens may require more frequent feedings. Nature’s Variety provides a feeding guide on their packaging, but it’s also advisable to consult with your vet to determine the most suitable feeding regimen for your individual cat.

8. Are Nature’s Variety Cat Food Recipes Low in Carbohydrates?

While Nature’s Variety recipes are grain-free, they are not necessarily low-carbohydrate. They use alternative sources of carbs like peas and chickpeas in their formulations. However, compared to some other brands, the carbohydrate content is generally moderate. Specific nutritional details can be found on each product’s packaging.

9. Is Nature’s Variety Cat Food Suitable for Cats with Kidney Issues?

Nature’s Variety doesn’t specifically offer a line for cats with kidney issues, which typically require low-protein, low-phosphorus diets. Their products are high in protein, so they might not be suitable for cats with kidney disease unless advised by a veterinarian. Always consult your vet before choosing a diet for a cat with health issues.

10. Does Nature’s Variety Offer Wet Cat Food Options?

Yes, Nature’s Variety offers both dry and wet cat food options. Wet food can be a good choice for cats as it helps provide additional hydration, which is particularly beneficial for cats that don’t drink enough water. The wet food options also follow the brand’s high-quality ingredient philosophy, providing nutritious meals with real meat and wholesome vegetables.

11. How does Nature’s Variety Source its Ingredients?

Nature’s Variety prides itself on using high-quality ingredients from trusted sources. They commit to ethical sourcing practices and maintain strong relationships with their suppliers to ensure the ingredients meet their standards. Some of their products also contain ingredients from sustainable sources, aligning with their commitment to environmental responsibility.

12. Can Nature’s Variety Cat Food Help with Hairball Control?

While Nature’s Variety doesn’t have a specific hairball control formula, their high-fiber recipes can help manage hairballs. Fiber can aid in moving the hair through the digestive system and reducing the likelihood of hairball formation. Always consult your vet if your cat frequently suffers from hairballs.

13. What Quality Control Measures does Nature’s Variety Employ?

Nature’s Variety takes quality control seriously. Their products are produced in company-owned facilities where they adhere to strict quality assurance protocols. Each batch of food undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets their high standards for nutrition and safety.

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14. Can Nature’s Variety Cat Food Support My Cat’s Dental Health?

While no cat food can replace regular dental care and veterinary check-ups, Nature’s Variety dry cat food can play a role in dental health. The kibble texture may help scrape off plaque and tartar from the cat’s teeth as they chew. However, for cats with existing dental issues, a vet should be consulted for appropriate care and diet recommendations.

15. Can I Rotate Different Flavors of Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

Yes, it is possible to rotate between different flavors or varieties of Nature’s Variety cat food. This can prevent your cat from getting bored with their food and ensure they get a range of nutrients from different sources. However, any change should be made gradually to prevent digestive upset. Always monitor your cat’s reaction to a new flavor or variety.

16. Does Nature’s Variety Cat Food Use Artificial Preservatives?

No, Nature’s Variety does not use artificial preservatives in their cat food. They opt for natural preservation methods instead. This decision aligns with the brand’s philosophy of providing wholesome, natural nutrition for cats.

17. Can Nature’s Variety Cat Food Help with Weight Management?

Although Nature’s Variety doesn’t have a specific weight management line, their high-protein and fiber-rich formulas can help keep your cat satiated, potentially assisting in weight control. However, portion control and regular exercise are key to managing a cat’s weight. Always consult with your vet if you’re concerned about your cat’s weight.

18. Are Nature’s Variety Cat Food Recipes Cooked or Raw?

Nature’s Variety offers a range of both cooked and raw cat food. Their Original, Limited Ingredient, and Ultimate Protein lines are cooked, whereas their Raw Boost line combines high-protein kibble with freeze-dried raw pieces, offering the benefits of raw nutrition with the convenience of dry food.

19. Is Nature’s Variety Cat Food Suitable for Senior Cats?

Yes, senior cats can enjoy Nature’s Variety cat food. While the brand doesn’t have a specific line for senior cats, their high-protein and nutrient-rich formulas can support the health needs of aging felines. However, since senior cats may have specific dietary needs, it’s always recommended to discuss dietary changes with a veterinarian.

20. How is the Palatability of Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

Based on customer reviews, many cats enjoy the taste of Nature’s Variety cat food. The use of high-quality animal proteins and natural flavors contributes to the palatability. However, keep in mind that taste preferences can vary greatly from one cat to another.

21. Does Nature’s Variety Offer Therapeutic Diets for Specific Health Conditions?

Nature’s Variety does not offer therapeutic diets specifically tailored to treat certain health conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes. Always consult with your vet to select the most appropriate diet if your cat has a specific health condition.

22. Is Nature’s Variety Cat Food Environmentally Friendly?

Nature’s Variety demonstrates a commitment to sustainability in their practices. Their manufacturing facilities are powered by 100% wind energy, and they aim for ethical sourcing and responsible packaging. While no pet food company can claim zero environmental impact, Nature’s Variety seems to be taking steps in the right direction.

23. How does Nature’s Variety Handle Potential Food Recalls?

In case of a potential recall, Nature’s Variety has shown proactiveness in the past to quickly communicate with customers and take necessary steps to ensure pet safety. They prioritize transparency and act responsibly to protect your pet’s health.

24. Where Can I Buy Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

Nature’s Variety cat food can be purchased in pet specialty stores, certain grocery stores, and online platforms. It’s always recommended to buy pet food from trusted retailers to ensure product authenticity and quality.

25. What if My Cat Doesn’t Like Nature’s Variety Cat Food?

If your cat doesn’t take to Nature’s Variety cat food, you might try a different flavor or product line within the brand. If your cat still doesn’t enjoy the food, there are many other high-quality cat food brands available. It’s essential to find a food that your cat enjoys and that meets their nutritional needs.

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