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Nature’s Variety is a company that understands and cares about pets. This brand knows that pets hold a special place in your family and in your heart, so they make it their mission to create high-quality products that will support your pet’s health for as long as possible. Nature’s Variety offers a variety of nutritious product choices in two product lines – Instinct and Prairie. The Instinct line of kibbles and cans is one of the most extensive lines of premium pet food products on the market, including raw and frozen formulas as well as traditional kibble and wet foods. The Prairie line of kibble and cans is a line of natural, holistic products available at an affordable price point. If you want to feed your pet a high-quality, natural diet then Nature’s Variety is the name to trust.

Where is Nature’s Variety Cat Food Made?

The Nature’s Variety brand of cat food is made by Nature’s Variety, Inc. This company is an independent pet food company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Nature’s Variety employs an expert team of animal nutritionists to design and formulate their products to ensure the highest quality nutrition possible through the use of fresh, wholesome ingredients. Because Nature’s Variety is an independent pet food company they do not outsource their production – all of the brand’s products are made in manufacturing facilities located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Are There Any Recalls for Nature’s Variety Cat Food in 2018?

With a name like “Nature’s Variety” you expect a certain degree of quality and that is exactly what this brand delivers. The Nature’s Variety company believes that the best nutrition for pets comes from healthy, natural ingredients and they make it their mission to produce premium-grade, wholesome, and natural foods for pets. The Nature’s Variety company produces two brands – Instinct and Prairie – both of which are made with integrity and care, accompanied by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This being the case, you might be surprised to learn that Nature’s Variety has had nearly half a dozen recalls in the past decade. Here are the details for those recalls:

  • In February 2010, the FDA issued a recall for Nature’s Variety Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet dog and cat foods due to potential salmonella contamination. In March 2010, the FDA expanded the recall.
  • In July 2012, the Nature’s Variety company issued a voluntary recall of Prairie Beef Meal and Barley Medley Kibble for dogs due to an unusual odor.
  • In February 2013, the FDA issued a recall for Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula medallions due to foreign bodies and choking hazard.
  • In July 2015, the Nature’s Variety company issued a voluntary recall for several Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Chicken Formula dog food products due to potential salmonella contamination.

What Kind of Products Does Nature’s Variety Offer?

When it comes to their product offerings, Nature’s Variety lives up to its name – they offer one of the largest varieties of pet food products on the market. Nature’s Variety divides their products into two brands – Instinct and Prairie – and then further divides them into multiple product lines. The Instinct brand includes an assortment of raw frozen foods, freeze-dried meals, protein-rich kibbles, grain-free formulas, and limited ingredient diets for cats. There currently are not any cat food products available from the Prairie brand by Nature’s Variety but there is a cats-only product line called Pride which falls under the Instinct brand. This line includes gluten-free, grain-free kibbles and cans.

Nature’s Variety Dry Cat Food Products:

When it comes to dry food recipes, the Nature’s Variety Instinct brand offers four different product lines. The Ultimate Protein line of products features meat-rich recipes made with quality animal proteins. The Originals line of products includes high-protein, grain-free recipes that are highly digestible and biologically appropriate. The Limited Ingredient Diets line of products features simple recipes made with a limited number of ingredients and the Pride line of dry foods is grain-free, gluten-free, and packed with flavor. Here is a list of Nature’s Variety dry cat food recipes:

Instinct Ultimate Protein Dry Recipes:

  • Chicken Formula
  • Duck Formula

Instinct Originals Dry Recipes:

  • Chicken Meal Formula
  • Duck & Turkey Meal Formula
  • Rabbit Meal Formula
  • Salmon Meal Formula

Instinct LID Dry Recipes:

  • Rabbit Meal Formula
  • Turkey Meal Formula

Instinct Pride Dry Recipes:

  • Cheshire’s Recipe with Real Chicken & Chickpeas
  • Diva’s Recipe with Real Duck & Sweet Potatoes
  • Ritzy’s Recipe with Real Rabbit & Cranberries

Nature’s Variety Canned Cat Food Products:

In addition to a wide selection of dry foods, Nature’s Variety also offers a variety of canned foods divided among four product lines – Ultimate Protein, Originals, Limited Ingredient Diets, and Pride. Many of the same recipes available in dry food form also come in canned food. Here is a list of Nature’s Variety wet cat food recipes:

Instinct Ultimate Protein Canned Recipes:

  • Chicken Formula

Instinct Originals Canned Recipes:

  • 95% Beef Formula
  • 95% Chicken Formula
  • 95% Duck Formula
  • 95% Lamb Formula
  • 95% Rabbit Formula
  • 95% Salmon Formula
  • 95% Venison Formula
  • Healthy Cravings Tender Chicken Recipe in Savory Gravy
  • Healthy Cravings Tender Tuna Recipe in Savory Gravy

Instinct LID Canned Recipes:

  • Duck Formula
  • Lamb Formula
  • Rabbit Formula
  • Turkey Formula

Instinct Pride Canned Recipes:

  • Champ’s Chicken Recipe Flaked Food
  • Daredevil’s Duck Recipe Flaked Food
  • Lucky’s Lamb Recipe Flaked Food
  • Rockstar’s Rabbit Recipe Flaked Food
  • Starlet’s Salmon Recipe Flaked Food
  • Trickster’s Tuna Recipe Flaked Food
  • Cheshire’s Chicken Recipe Minced Food
  • Diva’s Duck Recipe Minced Food
  • Lovebug’s Lamb Recipe Minced Food
  • Ritzy’s Rabbit Recipe Minced Food
  • Sherlock’s Salmon Recipe Minced Food
  • Titan’s Tuna Recipe Minced Food

Nature’s Variety Raw Cat Food Products:

What really sets Nature’s Variety apart from the competition is their wide variety of raw, freeze-dried, and raw boost products. The Instinct Raw product line includes raw frozen medallions and nuggets made from premium-quality animal proteins. The Instinct Raw Market line includes an assortment of freeze-dried nuggets that offer the nutritional quality of raw food with the convenience of dry food. The Raw Boost line features grain-free kibbles mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces for a boost of quality nutrition and flavor. Here is a list of Nature’s Variety raw food products:

Instinct Raw Recipes:

  • Chicken Recipe Raw Bites
  • Rabbit Recipe Raw Bites
  • Chicken & Tuna Recipe Raw Bites
  • Chicken Recipe Raw Medallions
  • Rabbit Recipe Raw Medallions

Instinct Raw Market Recipes:

  • Chicken Recipe

Instinct Raw Boost Recipes:

  • Chicken Meal Recipe
  • Duck & Turkey Meal Recipe
  • Rabbit Meal Recipe
  • Chicken Meal Indoor Health Recipe
  • Rabbit Meal Indoor Health Recipe
  • Chicken Meal Healthy Weight Recipe
  • Chicken Recipe Raw Boost Mixers
  • Rabbit Recipe Raw Boost Mixers
  • Chicken Recipe Raw Boost Minis
  • Duck Recipe Raw Boost Minis

Dry Cat Food Recipe Review: Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Duck Formula

This Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Duck Formula dry food recipe is packed with 95% protein from real duck, chicken and eggs. In addition to being loaded with healthy proteins, it is also naturally gluten-free and grain-free, making it an excellent choice for cats suffering from food allergies or sensitivities. This formula features omega fatty acids to keep your cat’s coat smooth and silky as well as probiotics for digestive support. There are absolutely no rendered meats or by-products and the recipe is highly digestible. Plus, the kibbles are coated with a freeze-dried raw coating to enhance the nutritional value and flavor of this recipe.

As promised, the first ingredient in this recipe is fresh duck and it is followed by fresh chicken and eggs. These three protein-rich ingredients make up the majority of the recipe’s 47% crude protein and they contribute significantly to the recipe’s natural flavor. The fact that three sources of fresh animal protein are at the top of the list for this Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Duck Formula dry food recipe is a good thing because fresh meats like duck contain up to 80% moisture by volume. When the product is cooked and much of that moisture is lost, the total volume of protein provided by that ingredient is likely to be much lower. The fact that there are three fresh proteins listed before the first carbohydrate, however, means that this is unlikely to be a problem for this recipe. There is also some supplementary protein in the form of dried whey protein concentrate.

The main carbohydrates used in this formula are tapioca and ground flaxseed. Both of these are gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates, plus the flaxseed contains a little bit of healthy fat. You will also find dried tomato pomace as a source of supplementary fiber in this recipe. Some consider this to be a questionable ingredient but the total fiber content of this formula is only 3% so it isn’t likely to be a problem. For fat, this Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Duck Formula dry food recipe relies primarily on canola oil. As a plant-based fat this ingredient is less biologically valuable than an animal-based fat like the salmon oil that appears near the end of the list. Overall, however, this formula provides 17% crude fat which is within the recommended range. This recipe also contains chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption and dried fermentation products for probiotic support.

This Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Duck Formula dry food recipe has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 47%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 17%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 3%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10%
  • Taurine (Min) – 1,000 mg/kg
  • Vitamin E (Min) – 100 IU/kg
  • Calcium (Min) – 1.02%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 0.92%
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.35%
  • Calorie Content – 438 calories/cup

This Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Duck Formula dry food recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages. To feed your cat this recipe, offer cats weighing 5 to 10 pounds between 3/8 and 5/8 cups daily, ideally dividing it into two meals. Growing kittens may require up to twice this amount and pregnant or lactating female cats may need two to four times this amount. For adult cats, follow the feeding recommendations for several weeks while keeping an eye on your cat’s bodyweight and condition. If your cat appears to be gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, you may need to scale back his daily portion a little bit. For cats that lose weight or become lethargic, consider increasing the daily portion. This product should be fed at room temperature and any uneaten portion should be stored in a cool, dry place.

Nature’s Variety Dry Cat Food Recipe Rating: 4/5 stars

Overall, this Nature’s Variety Instinct Ultimate Protein Duck Formula dry food recipe is a high-quality, protein-rich formula that any cat would be lucky to receive. This recipe starts out strong with three animal-based proteins and stays strong with two gluten-free, grain-free carbohydrates. Where the formula starts to go downhill is in the use of a plant-based fat as the primary source and the inclusion of tomato pomace and whey protein concentrate. This recipe also contains an awful lot of synthetic supplements, though many of the minerals are chelated and there are also some probiotics at work here as well. There are also some fresh fruits and vegetables, but they appear at the very end of the list so they are not likely to be present in any significant quantity. All in all, this is a quality product but there is a little bit of room for improvement.

Wet Cat Food Recipe Review: Nature’s Variety Instinct Originals Rabbit Recipe Wet Food

This Nature’s Variety Instinct Originals Rabbit Recipe wet food is part of the original lineup of Instinct products. It is made with 95% animal protein, 5% fruits and vegetables, and 0% gluten and grain. This formula features a balance of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat as well as fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients. Because this recipe is made with rabbit as the primary protein (and because it is gluten- and grain-free), it is a great choice for cats suffering from food allergies and sensitivities. It is also loaded with natural flavor!

As promised, the first ingredient in this recipe is fresh rabbit. While fresh meats like this contain 80% moisture by volume – volume that may be lost during cooking for dry foods – it isn’t a problem for this recipe because the moisture level is at 78% The second ingredient in this Nature’s Variety Instinct Originals Rabbit Recipe wet food is pork liver. Not only is this a supplementary source of protein, but it also contains some healthy animal-based fat as well as key nutrients. After the third ingredient (water) comes ground flaxseed, a supplemental source of both fat and fiber. There are also several fresh fruits and vegetables on the list which contribute carbohydrate energy and fiber – they also act as natural sources for key nutrients. In terms of supplements, this recipe contains several chelated minerals and synthetic vitamins for nutritional balance.

This Nature’s Variety Instinct Originals Rabbit Recipe wet food has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 10%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 4.5%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 3%
  • Moisture (Max) – 78%
  • Vitamin E (Min) – 25 IU/kg
  • Calcium (Min) – 0.25%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 0.2%
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.9%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.15%
  • Calorie Content – 162 per 5.5-ounce can

This Nature’s Variety Instinct Originals Rabbit Recipe wet food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages. To feed your cat this recipe, offer cats weighing 5 to 10 pounds about 5 to 8.5 ounces daily, ideally dividing it into two meals. Growing kittens may require up to twice this amount and pregnant or lactating female cats may need two to four times this amount. For adult cats, follow the feeding recommendations for several weeks while keeping an eye on your cat’s bodyweight and condition. If your cat appears to be gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, you may need to scale back his daily portion a little bit. For cats that lose weight or become lethargic, consider increasing the daily portion. This product should be fed at room temperature and any uneaten portion should be refrigerated.

Nature’s Variety Canned Cat Food Recipe Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Overall, this Nature’s Variety Instinct Originals Rabbit Recipe wet food is a great source of quality protein and grain-free energy. This formula contains plenty of meat and animal fats so it is a quality source of energy for your cat as well. It also contains fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients, though it does still rely on a high number of synthetic supplements for nutritional balance. When converted to dry matter basis, this formula contains 45% crude protein, 20.5% crude fat, and nearly 14% fiber. The protein and fat content is well within the recommended range but the fiber is a little high. All in all, however, this recipe is nutritionally balanced and made with quality ingredients.

Final Thoughts

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As a whole, the Nature’s Variety company is one of the better pet food brands on the market. Not only does Nature’s Variety use only the freshest, most wholesome ingredients but they design their formulas to provide biologically appropriate nutrition for dogs and cats. This company offers two high-quality brands with dozens of products divided into various product lines. No matter what your cat’s nutritional needs or preferences may be, there is sure to be a Nature’s Variety cat food to suit him.

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Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a freelance writer specializing in the subject of pet health and wellness. An avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate has a great deal of experience writing about all kinds of pets and all aspects of pet care. Her work has been featured on a number of pet websites and she is a regular columnist for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine.

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  • Nature’s Variety
    Ingredients
    Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay, Eggs, Peas, Carrots, Lecithin, Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley

    Sodium Selenite is controversial according to thetruthaboutpetfood.com.
    It can be deadly to pets. Care to comment?

  • This canned cat food is fantastic. It has no guar gum, xanthum gum, menadione sodium bisfulite, carrageenan, and no dyes or added color like 90% of the other brands do.

  • I was feeding my 18 year old cat with health issues, to include food allergies, the wet can food, which she really liked. Around summer as I was putting the wet food in her bowl I found what looked to be a rectangular shard of bone/plastic about 4 mm long. As the weeks/months went by, still finding more fragments/shards, I purchased less & less, & just switched to another brand that contained no fragments/shards. Not sure why they decided to include fragments/shards to the wet food. It is so much so, I gave up spending my time sifting thru it. That last thing I can afford is an expensive trip to the vet. I even decided to try the new wet food packets, but It smelled like goat meat to me, so I gave up on that too. What a shame. And yes I too am aware of thetruthaboutpetfood & what pet food really is.

  • Im having a VERY DIFFICULT TIME TRYING TO BUY VARIETY CAT FOOD;; SAVANNAH CROCKPOT CHICKEN AND MOMS TURKEY WITH VEGETABLES BOTH ARE PATES!!! NO GIBLETS , PLEASE. My store is getting ready to stop selling. Chewy does not send or have these cat foods. Please help!! A call to your company in Colorado was UNSATISFACTORY!!