Newton: Some of you may remember that Ashton mentioned the other day that we have been on a long dietary journey from kibble to canned food, and the nice folks at Nature’s Variety asked if we wanted to try their raw food, Instinct Raw Bites.
Nature’s Variety makes three formulas of raw frozen food: chicken, duck, and rabbit. We chose chicken and duck, since we big fans of poultry canned foods. We thought the transition would be easier that way.
The Instinct raw bites arrive frozen, so you get them from a store that sells them from a freezer and store them in your own freezer, right next to the ice cream.
Ashton: Hey, you didn’t tell me we get ice cream as part of this, too!
Newton: Not right now, Ashton. We’re talking about Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Bites right now, not ice cream. The raw bites are about the size of kibbles. We compared them to the size of some of our old kibbles for comparison. This is nice because it’s a familiar form factor and doesn’t seem as foreign to us. They look like this when they are right out of the package:
Newton: When they’re right out of the package, I will sniff them, but won’t eat them because they’re frozen.
The instructions on the package say that you should thaw them for fifteen minutes, then they will be ready to eat. After 15 minutes, I will lick them, but the remaining ice crystals mean that I still won’t eat them. Ashton will try to eat them, but drops them back into the dish. Both of us found that you need to wait at least 30 minutes at room temperature for them to be thawed enough to eat.
Because it’s a raw food product, the recommendation from Nature’s Variety is taking away any uneaten food after 30 minutes, so that was cutting things pretty close, for recommended safety’s sake.
One of the things the head peep discovered during our test was that if she overslept even a little bit, she didn’t have 30 minutes to spare in the mornings. She quickly realized that she needed a backup plan so that she didn’t have hungry, angry cats!
In addition to making sure we had backup canned food in case of not having time to thaw, we tested something that Nature’s Variety doesn’t recommend at all: thawing of the food in the refrigerator before eating it. Like typical cats who don’t like playing by the rules, both Ashton and I loved it best that way. Pierre doesn’t accept new food readily, so he wasn’t convinced even with defrosted food, but we’ll continue to work on him.
Ashton: I’ll eat Pierre’s portion! Hey, are you going to finish that?
Newton: You better believe I am! I love Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Bites, and they have made me a big fan of eating species-appropriate raw food!
Disclosure: We received our raw bites at no charge from Nature’s Variety. We also received a small fee to cover the time it takes to cover the time it takes to take photos and write the blog post. Receiving the product and fee did not influence anything we say. All posts on our blog reflect our unbiased opinions.