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The Nature’s Variety website states that a “pets instinctive nature is to eat more meat, poultry, and fish, and less grain”. This is especially true for cats who’re carnivores through and through. From looking at most products in this range they certainly hold true to that statement, with masses of meat content.
This review is for the Instinct Originals Rabbit Meal Formula, but other formulas (Chicken, Duck and Turkey, and Salmon) are on par.
The first four ingredients in this food are meat products. What makes this food really stand out is all four of these meat products are in their meal form. That’s fantastic! We have rabbit meal and chicken meal which is great, backed up by salmon and herring meal which is fantastic. The latter will be a great source of nutrients and omega fats as well as protein. The protein content of this food sits at 40% which is really good.
Next in line we find tapioca. This is often used as a substitute for grains as a source of carbohydrates. It also helps bind a kibble. An upside of tapioca is it’s biochemical simplicity, as unlike many grains it’s not known to cause any allergies in dogs or cats. On the other hand, the carbohydrate content in tapioca contains a high proportion of sugar, second only to sugar cane (read this excellent article by Wysong). I think it works as a good ingredient in this food, with so much protein and nutrients provided from other ingredients.
We find some excellent ingredients throughout the list, such as pumpkin seeds and alfalfa★★★ Source of chlorophyll, dietary fiber.. The food seems well thought out and I can’t really fault it.
What’s good about this food….
Excellent range of meat meals in the top four ingredients, with well thought out vitamins and minerals throughout.
….and what’s not so good.
Nothing worth mentioning, but be aware tapioca has a high sugar content.
Rabbit Meal, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Herring Meal, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols★★★★ Natural Vitamin E★★★ Antioxidant used as food preservative. preservative. and Citric Acid★★★ Vitamin C, immune stimulant, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic.), Pumpkinseeds, Sun-Cured Alfalfa★★★ Source of chlorophyll, dietary fiber. Meal, Tomato Pomace★★ Mostly used as gimmick, not enough nutrition is available to make a difference, can be too acidic on digestive tract causing upset., Montmorillonite Clay, Natural Pork Flavor, Sunflower Oil★★ Gimmicky, source of fat for energy, healthy coat, not preserved., Potassium Chloride★★★ Standard source of potassium, balances acid/alkaline levels., Choline Chloride★★★ Standard source of choline, emulsifies fats., DL-Methionine★★★ Standard source of methionine, supports healthy skin and nails, liver activity and immune health., Salt★ Used to cover up rancid meat and fat, can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension — used to encourage cats to drink, source of sodium chloride., Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement★★★ Standard source of A, vital to immune function, develops strong eyes and bones, lowers risk to cancer., Vitamin D3★★★ Standard source, aids calcium and phosphorous in building bones and teeth. Supplement, Vitamin E★★★ Antioxidant used as food preservative. Supplement, Niacin★★★ Standard source, promotes proper digestion, healthy skin and nerves. Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate★★★ Standard source of a B-complex vitamin B5, supports adrenal activity., L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate★★ Cheap, feed-grade source of Vitamin C, used as supplement, non-assimilated., Thiamine Mononitrate★★★ Standard source of B-1, effects nervous system and mental attitude., Pyridoxine Hydrochloride★★★ Standard source, immune stimulant, major factor in protein metabolism and red blood cell production., Riboflavin★★★ Standard source of Vitamin B2, necessary to energy production, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Supplement, Folic Acid★★★ Standard source, needed for blood building and DNA synthesis., Biotin★★★ Standard source to promote healthy skin and coat., Vitamin B12 Supplement★★★ Standard source, involved in immune response.), Blueberries★★★ Gimmicky, not enough used for benefit to eyes., Cranberries★★★ Gimmicky, not enough used in food to help the urinary tract., Peas★★★★★ Excellent source of protein/carbohydrates/fiber., Taurine★★★ Standard source, necessary for cats who are unable to manufacture taurine on their own, helps regulate nervous system, promotes thyroid and cardiovascular health. Some benefit to dogs., Minerals (Zinc Proteinate★★★★★ Best source of zinc, protects against free radicals, essential to insulin formation and immune function., Iron Proteinate★★★★★ Excellent, most expensive source of iron needed for red blood cell reproduction., Copper Proteinate★★★★★ Best source of copper used, aids in bone formation, iron absorption, protein metabolism, bone formation, Manganese Proteinate★★★★★ Best source of manganese, necessary to development of strong bones and enzyme activators, enhances immune system., Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite★★★ Standard source of selenium, powerful anti-oxidant protects the body from free radicals and heavy metals, supports immune response.), Inulin, Yeast Culture (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae), Dried Enterococcus faecium★★★ Gimmicky probiotic to aid digestion, not enough to help and can not stand up to heat processing. Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis★★★ Gimmicky probiotic to aid digestion, not enough to help and can not stand up to heat processing. Fermentation Extract, Freeze Dried Rabbit (including Freeze Dried Ground Rabbit Bone), Freeze Dried Pork Liver, Freeze Dried Pork Heart, Rosemary Extract★★★★★ Natural preservative, concentrated..
Other products in this range:
- Instinct Originals Chicken
- Instinct Originals Duck & Turkey
- Instinct Originals Salmon