Instinct by Nature's Variety Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

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Based on the belief that raw is the purest form of nutrition, Instinct by Nature's Variety Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food was created to closely mirror the benefits of a raw diet. In fact, it has the highest levels of protein from real meat — absolutely no animal meal — and unmatched digestibility* for optimal nutrient absorption. Including guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics, natural omegas and antioxidants, the result is a protein-rich kibble that’s easy on the tummy and great for skin, coat and immune health.

Key Benefits

  • 95% protein from real chicken offers up to 3 times more real chicken.* Absolutely no animal meal!
  • Unmatched digestibility* for optimal nutrient absorption.
  • Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics, natural omegas and antioxidants support digestive health, healthy skin and coat, and immune health.
  • Never contains any grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.
  • It’s the only kibble with the pure, real nutrition of raw in every piece. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients from around the world.
*Compared to other premium natural cat food brands

See all items by Instinct

  • Item Number
  • Brand
    Nature's Variety
  • Food Form
    Dry Food
  • Lifestage
  • Made in
    United States
  • Special Diet
    High-Protein, Grain-Free, Gluten Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Nutritional Info


Chicken, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Ground Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Montmorillonite Clay, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Taurine, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Freeze Dried Chicken Heart, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract

Caloric Content

4,470 kcal/kg, 491 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 47.0% min
Crude Fat 17.0% min
Crude Fiber 3.0% max
Moisture 10.0% max
Vitamin E 100 IU/kg min
Taurine 0.15% min
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) 85 mg/kg min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids 0.35% min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids 2.5% min
Bacillus Coagulants 60,000,000 CFU/lb min

Feeding Instructions

Ideal feeding amounts will vary by age, weight, and activity level so the guide below should be used as an initial recommendation. Divide the cups per day by the number of feedings per day. Be sure to always provide clean, fresh water. Along with dry food, we recommend feeding raw or wet food to help increase the amount of water in your pet’s diet.

Daily Feeding Guidelines (standard 8 oz dry measure cup):

Weight Adult Maintenance Daily Feeding (Cups) Weight Loss Daily Feeding (Cups)
5 lbs 3/8 1/4
10 lbs 1/2 3/8
15 lbs 3/4 1/2

Transition Instructions

Always introduce a new food over a period of 5 - 7 days, mixing increasing amounts of Instinct with the current food each day.

Visit the Instinct Pet Food website for more specific feeding recommendations and information on how to easily combine different forms of food.

Pet Lovers Also Bought

Feed them Kibble Unlike Any Other

Instinct Ultimate Protein contains real meat protein and no rendered meat, meal or by-product meal. In fact, Instinct Ultimate Protein Chicken Formula has three times more chicken than any other brand. This food has a freeze-dried raw coating for pure nutrition, digestibility and great taste. Free of fillers, it is complete and balanced for all life stages and all breeds. It is available in a variety of proteins and in dry and canned.

Feed them Kibble Unlike Any Other
Transforming the Lives of Pets

Transforming the Lives of Pets

Nature's Variety Instinct believes that everything we feed our pets should be real, whole, pure and as close to its natural state as possible. They are on a mission to transform the lives of pets and make it possible for more people to feed their own pets the pure, real nutrition that only comes from raw.

Pure, Real Nutrition of Raw in Every Recipe

Instinct is on a mission to transform the lives of pets through the pure, real nutrition of raw. Their belief in the power of raw inspires every food they make. Instinct has carefully crafted their foods to provide easy ways to incorporate raw into your pet's diet.

Pure, Real Nutrition of Raw in Every Recipe

Real Food for Real Nutrition


Instinct believes protein should primarily come from pure animal sources. Animal protein provides all the essential amino acids, which vegetable protein alone can't provide.


Instinct never uses fillers like grain, gluten, corn, wheat and soy, because they think every ingredient should have a specific nutritional and functional purpose.


Real meats, whole fruits and vegetables and turmeric are a few of the ingredients Instinct uses to provide naturally derived nutrients and enzymes for overall wellness.

The Mindful Choices Instinct Makes

Every Instinct recipe shows the careful, deliberate approach they take in crafting their food. They use only real ingredients, and you'll never find artificial colors, flavors or preservatives or fillers like corn, wheat or soy.



Highly digestible protein with essential amino acids. Instinct uses only high-quality chicken that's free of antibiotics with no added growth hormones.



Known as one of the best complete foods, eggs provide a complete amino acid profile, including essential nutrients necessary to ensure optimal health.



An outstanding source of fiber for improved digestion, a great source of protein, and an excellent source of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.

About Nature's Variety

Nature's Variety is an independent pet food company based in St. Louis, Missouri with manufacturing operations in Lincoln, Nebraska. They believe the best nutrition comes from healthy, natural ingredients. Nature's Variety makes a variety of premium, wholesome, natural foods to keep pets healthy and happy. The company produces pet food through two brands - Instinct, the leader in raw pet food; and Prairie, a balanced holistic line of food.

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About Nature's Variety

Instinct is sharing the pure, real nutrition of raw by providing over one million meals annually to the dogs and cats in all Best Friends Adoption Centers nationwide. This includes their sanctuary in Kanab, UT as well as shelters in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and New York. Together, Instinct and Best Friends Animal Society can transform - and save - the lives of pets.

Customer Reviews

76 reviews 76 Reviews 4.8 out of 5 Stars

99% Recommend

99% of reviewersrecommend this product

4.8 / 5
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  • Makes former feral a happy cat

    By on

    Our former-feral cat Littlie was not eating. He was also killing everything in the neighborhood - mice, rats, birds. I finally went to the pet store to ask about something that could make him happier. We got this on their recommendation, and now he's falling all over himself with joy every time he hears the food pour. He's gone from skinny to normal weight and hasn't killed a bird in weeks.

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  • Disappointed..

    By on

    I have always been a fan of Nature's Variety Instict line for cats.. but recently found out that their new formula has added the Menadione Sodium Bisulfite as an ingredient. I understand that this is the only Vitamin K approved by the AAFCO; however, I will not be feeding this line to my 3 Bengal cats. They don't add it to their canned or their Freeze Dried Raw Nuggets so why to the dry food? Oh well... I only feed very little dry food but I just wanted to let everyone else be aware.

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  • Never saw a cat eat so fast

    By on

    I splurged on this food because my cat was getting dandruff, and after some googling I decided to buy this dry food thats packed with omega fats. I can't even pour the bag quick enough, he sticks his face right in the bowl. He loves it, and I noticed a shinier coat in days

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  • High Protein Diet

    By on

    Excellent alternative for those cats that do not like wet high protein cat Food, non Guar Gum and no carragenan - bad for intestinal function. My Persian cats are making the switch to no starch high protein diet.

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  • Ok product

    By on

    For the price and fabulous ingredients that it has i was expecting my cats to like it more then they did, they ate it but they still prefer friskies over all

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  • 17 year old cat

    By on

    I can't say enough good things about this cat food. I have always feed my indoor cats what I researched and found to be great quality food. My female cat has always been thin and very active. She has also been one of those cats that gets sick from time to time. As she has gotten older I switched her from the dry food she has always eaten to the canned food. She seemed to be starving once I made the switch to the canned food. I wanted her to have a high protein cat food and so I decided to go back to the dry food and bought this. It is fantastic!! She looks great and is obviously feeling good on this new food. It is a little pricey but so worth it!

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  • Cats can't get enough !

    By on Top 1000 Contributor

    My cats have always been fed high end wet cat food. I recently bought a puppy and he was being fed dry dog food. The cats started walking away from there regular wet food and trying to eat the dry dog food. I was getting frustrated with the cats going on strike and not eating and having to chase them away from the dog food. I researched dry cat food and liked this based on ingredients. The cats have never devoured cat food like this. I do worry about them being getting dehydrated because of the low water content of the food. So far so good, the cats also want the dogs water and drink often .....also new behavior!

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  • New Favorite

    By on

    Of the Instinct types, my two finicky felines overwhelmingly prefer this Ultimate Chicken recipe. A second favorite is Instinct with real rabbit.

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  • Best Food Ever

    By on

    All three of our cats are chicken fanatics.They range in age from 13 to 1. This has been the only food all three will eat. Highly recommended.

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  • Excellent as treats

    By on Top 50 Contributor

    I bought this food to give to my cats as treats. I don't like all the ingredients in regular treats. My cats eat canned food and they like the dry food so this works out well for all of us. I can freeze this food so it's always "fresh" and I always have a good high quality emergency back up cat food. I think Nature's Variety is a good brand and I like that the food is grain free, high protein and has no rendered meats in it.

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