Nature's Variety has recently made some significant changes to their Instinct line of raw pet foods that cat guardians need to be aware of.
For years, the company produced raw foods that were appropriate for both dogs and cats. Now they are offering only three selections for cats - chicken, duck and rabbit - and in one small format called 'bites.' They are only available in 1.25 pound bags.
"Dogs and cats have different nutrient requirements", stated Eric Emmenegger, senior brand manager for Instinct. "While it’s possible to develop raw diets that are complete & balanced for both dogs and cats, our research showed that too many pet parents were unwilling to feed a diet labeled as complete & balanced for both dogs and cats. Cat owners are looking for cat-specific options and dog owners are looking for dog-specific options. The newest bag designs and formulas align with a species specific strategic approach which we believe will best help grow the raw category."
Emmenegger also explained the new cat-only choices. "Our initial raw frozen diets for cats SKU line up provides the three most popular cat proteins (chicken, duck and rabbit), in the most convenient form of raw frozen diets (Raw Bites), and in a package size that reflects the lower daily feeding requirements of cats (1.25LB)."
All medallions and patties produced by Instinct have now been reformulated with lower overall protein, lower fat and no added taurine. These formulas are no longer bio-appropriate for cats.
The dog-only formulas include lamb, venison, organic chicken, chicken, beef, duck and the newly introduced turkey.
The new foods, complete with new packaging, are already being distributed.
This is a blow to many cat guardians.
"The new 1.25 pound packages of the Instinct raw frozen feline must be for households with only one kitty - it would only provide about half a meal for my six kitties," joked Sondy Kaska of Iowa City, Iowa.
"Seriously, although I prefer to make raw food for my kitties, there are times when I can't and Instinct is the only frozen raw food available locally. My cats' preference was venison, and I loved being able to give them an alternative protein source since what I make is chicken. Now I don't have an alternative for them," she shared.
There is hope for Ms. Kaska and other cat guardians experiencing the same issue.
"At Nature’s Variety we are constantly evaluating whether or not our product assortment is optimized. Feedback from pet parents is always a key input when assessing and developing our product assortment," said Emmenegger.