WAFFLES: Hey Boss, check out the new food! Glogirly says it's good for me on account of I'm a species-appropriate mancat.
KATIE: Waffles, the food is species-appropriate. Not you. There's really nothing terribly appropriate about you –
KATIE: – OR your table manners for that matter. But that's a whole different blog post.
Instinct Raw Bites from Nature's Variety®
We're beyond thrilled to introduce you to Instinct Raw today. We may spend our days coming up with silly ways to make you laugh, but sound feline nutrition is not a laughing matter and one we take very seriously. If you've been curious about feeding raw, Instinct Raw Bites are a fantastic way to begin introducing a raw diet to your cats.
It's easier now than ever to find them too. Our local PetSmart recently started carrying Instinct Raw in their own freezer case.
How We Got Started with Raw
If you've been following us for awhile now, you probably know that Katie & Waffles have been eating a raw and cooked whole food diet for some time. We originally made the switch over to whole foods last year when we started treating Katie for IBD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
We're not experts. We're not medical professionals. We're just a couple of cats and a girl who've worked hard to understand the commercial pet food landscape and navigate our way through it.
Cats are Obligate Carnivores
Obligate means "by necessity" and according to the dictionary, "biologically essential for survival." Combine obligate with carnivore and it's all pretty clear. Cats must eat meat. It's a biological necessity critical for survival. Glogirly may try and convince us that jelly beans are critical for her survival, but we're not buying it.
So What Does Mean in Simple Terms?
Cats thrive on a diet that's as close to what they would eat in the wild if they could. That means fresh, raw, whole prey. Meat, organs bones... the whole enchilada, so to speak.
Cats cannot properly digest many of the plant-based proteins and other ingredients often found in dry and even canned foods.
It's pretty simple really. Like any animal, cats will do best on the diet nature intended for them.
What is Instinct Raw?
Instinct Raw mirrors a cat's natural diet - all natural, never cooked, complete and balanced nutrition packed with animal protein. It's made of 95% meat, organs and bones, 5% fruits and vegetables and 0% grain. We'd love it even more if the 5% fruits and vegetables were eliminated from the cat food, since we believe that cats don't need any fruits and vegetables, but 5% is definitely an amount we can live with. The fact that Instinct Raw contains the meat, organs and bones is far more important and something we can really get behind.
So Why are Meat, Organs & Bones So Important?
These whole food ingredients lead to optimal nutrient absorption. In other words, all of the food is easily digested. Some commercial foods have to add ingredients to make food palatable, hold it's shape, stay fresh, etc... And often those ingredients can't be properly digested and just pass right through. For us, this has never been more readily apparent than in the litter box.
Wait... did you say litter box?
One of the most dramatic changes we noticed when switching to a raw and whole food diet was with Katie and Waffles' poop. (did we just say poop??) That's right. What used to be dark and terribly stinky little tootsie rolls are now virtually odorless, weightless, light cardboard-colored tootsies. That's because there's none of that garbage waste from ingredients in their food that they're unable to digest.
If this litter box dream-come-true isn't enough to make you seriously consider switching your cat's diet, the health and wellness benefits most certainly will.
The BIG Health Benefits
This isn't just a list grabbed from Instinct Raw's website. These are all real benefits we've actually seen and experienced as a result of switching to a raw and whole food diet. In fact despite Katie's IBD, Katie and Waffles have never been healthier.
• Healthy skin and luxuriously silky coat
• Optimal digestion
• Healthy teeth and gums
• Relief from food sensitivities
• Ideal body weight
How to Make the Switch
1. Don't be intimidated.
We were at first. It probably took us almost a couple of years to take the raw plunge. But are we ever glad we did!
2. Introduce new food gradually.
Mix just the smallest amount of new food with your cat's original food. With Instinct Raw Bites, we'd suggest only one or even 1/2 of a single 'bite.' Gradually increase the amount of raw bites as you decrease the amount of original food.
3. Take it slow. VERY slow.
Patience is key when switching food. Cats are creatures of habit. If they've been eating the same kind of food for 1, 2 or 10 years, they may not even recognize a new type of food as food. That's how it was with us. Younger cats often have an easier time transitioning. Some cats take to a new food in just a week or two. Waffles, who was 2 at the time, completely transitioned in about 5 weeks. Katie, who is 10, took about 4 months. Don't give up though! It's totally worth it.
Four Protein Choices
Instinct Raw Bites for Cats is available in 4 varieties - Rabbit, Chicken, Duck and Tuna. Many cats have sensitivities to fish, so we choose not to use tuna or other fish products as a daily diet choice. Katie is definitely a rabbit girl. Rabbit can be a good choice for cats with GI sensitivities. And despite Waffles' reputation as a chicken devotee, he an equal opportunity meat eater and loves all the Instinct Raw proteins.
How to Serve
Keep the resealable bag in the freezer and just take out what you need a few minutes before serving. The bites thaw very quickly. You can also put a little hot water over them if you're in a hurry. Serve as a meal enhancer or a full meal. We even use individual bites as treats.
Want to Try Instinct Raw?
Sign up for a $3 off coupon on the Instinct Raw website. You can use it on any of the Instinct Raw products, including their $3.99 trial size. Follow them on Facebook too to keep up with their latest news and offers.