Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Kitten Dry Cat Food Review


Protein: 42.5% (min) | Fat: 22.5% (min) | Fiber: 3.0% (max) | Moisture: 9.0% (max)

Nature’s Variety’s Instinct range offers great value cat foods that are formulated using very high-quality ingredients. Their Original Kitten dry food formula is a perfect example of this. With real meat at the forefront of the ingredient list and plenty of vitamins and nutrients in each bite, it’s no surprise it’s become a favorite amongst owners.

Nature’s Variety find themselves in a price bracket that is hotly contested by Blue Buffalo, American Journey, and several other well-known manufacturers. With regards to kitten foods though, this Original Kitten food formula comes out head-and-shoulders above the competition. Offering excellent value as well as nutrition, their recently updated formula is perfectly balanced for the needs of growing cats.

We’re confident that this formula is one of the best kitten foods available today. The balance of nutrition and value makes it, in our opinion, one of the best cat food formulas around in general.

Nutritional Information

Real chicken takes the top spot on the ingredient list, which is always a great start. Dig a little deeper into the list and you’ll find that a staggering 81% of all ingredients are real animal ingredients and nutritious oils; this is excellent given that a wild cat’s diet exists almost exclusively of these ingredients. The remaining 19% contains nutrients that aid in the development of kittens and boost things like coat and skin health, digestive, and immune health.

A crude protein content of 42.5% (min) is impressive, and a fat content of 22.0% (min) is right on the mark for a kitten that needs calories quickly. Fiber maxes out at 3.0% which is plenty, and the inclusion of DHA (0.2%) and Taurine (0.2%) are exactly what you’d hope to find in a top quality kitten food.

Caloric Density and Feeding Guidelines

4,456 kcal/kg, 557 kcal/cup

For kittens, lots of calories are a must. It might seem that a kitten so small should require less, but kittens grow at a rapid rate and require more fat and protein than adult cats during this stage. At 557 kcal/cup, it’s very calorie-dense, which is excellent.

Feeding guidelines for kitten food change quickly and are subject to formulation changes. They also depend entirely on the kitten’s weight and activity level, so it’s best (as always) to treat these as a rough guide. You can find the current recommendations here on the manufacturers’ product page.

Our Verdict

We love this food and think it’s one of the best options for owners looking for a good value kitten food. A recent formulation change added more fish ingredients to boost the levels of essential fatty acids, further improving the formula. If you’re looking for a high-quality, affordable dry kitten food to feed alongside a wet food, look no further than Instinct Original Kitten.

Ingredient List

Ingredients correct at the time of writing. Please check the retailer’s product page or the packaging before purchasing; ingredients lists are subject to frequent change.

Chicken, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Egg Product, Chicken Meal, White Fish Meal (Pacific Whiting, Pacific Sole, Pacific Rockfish), Tapioca, Natural Flavor, Lamb Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Freeze Dried Chicken Heart, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

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