I rarely accept foods for review, unless it’s something I’ve already thoroughly researched and/or tried. I won’t use Allegra and Ruby as product testers for diets whose claims I can’t verify.
Nature’s Variety is a brand I’ve been feeding for several years, in both the raw and canned varieties. They made my – very small – list of recommended brands (the list is small because I’m extremely picky about what I feed my cats). When they asked me whether I’d like to try their new Raw Bites product, I readily agreed, much to Allegra and Ruby’s delight. They wish my food review policy wasn’t quite so stringent…
Nature’s Variety frozen Raw Bites, are, as the name implies, bite size frozen raw pieces that thaw quickly. They’re formulated just like their other frozen diets, available in nugget and patty form, with 95% meat, organs, and raw ground bone. The remaining 5% are made up of fruits and vegetables.
I’m a lazy raw feeder, and I like the nugget and patty products. They make raw feeding as easy as opening a can: simply thaw and feed. For that reason, I didn’t see much of an advantage to offering a product with even smaller pieces, but I could see where this form of raw food could be a good starting point for someone new to raw feeding.
However, there’s one thing I really love about the small size, and it sold me on the product: now I can easily use raw food as treats. I currently give the girls freeze-dried meat treats, which they love, but this is a nice alternative. I simply thaw a handful of treats in a small container in the fridge – just enough to last for a couple of days. Now we always have raw treats on hand.
The Raw Bites thaw quickly, but neither of the girls would accept them straight out of the freezer, and I doubt that most cats would. If you’re going to feed them as a meal, I would recommend thawing meal-sized portions in the refrigerator for a couple of hours prior to feeding.
We tested the chicken diet, which contains chicken and turkey, and as such, would not be something I’d use on a regular basis since I prefer single protein diets – but the girls gave the new Raw Bites a chop licking four paws up.
Allegra actually took these right out of my hand – something she’s never done with treats.
If you listen closely to Ruby muching away on her Raw Bites treat, you may actually hear her say “nom nom nom.”
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Bites come in chicken, turkey, beef and lamb flavors. The beef and lamb varieties are single protein. For more information, please visit Nature’s Variety’s website.
Disclaimer: This falls into the category of do as I say, not as I do! I do not recommend giving these raw treats on a carpeted surface. I had to shoot the videos in areas where the light was halfway decent, and my kitchen doesn’t quality for that. Use common sense when feeding raw meat diets, and clean and wash all utensils, dishes and surfaces that come into contact with the raw food with hot, soapy water.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.