Are Temptations Cat Treats Bad?

There has been a lot of wonders and worry over a Facebook post that seemed to have blown way out of proportion. The cat treats from MARS known as Temptations are being considered a deadly treat to a lot of caring cat lovers out there. While the treats aren’t  “deadly” I wouldn’t consider them to be healthy either. You still need to be aware of the ingredients!”

Creating the Issue

A lot of cats out there can handle some of the worst diets there are. From over-processed canned and dry food to unhealthy snacking and treats. The issue is, while a lot of cats “CAN” eat this stuff, many will suffer health consequences from it. Just like humans, if we eat more junk and processed foods then we should, our bodies will let us know by creating what we consider to be “symptoms” of some illness or disease. These so-called symptoms are actually your body’s way of trying to correct a problem. If you work against your body’s ability to heal itself by continuing to put the same crap in it, it will continue to have more problems. A cat’s body is no different!

Read the Ingredients Label

Looking at the ingredients on any cat product, there are a few you want to either minimize or completely get rid of depending on your cat’s health. These include corn, wheat, by-products (including meat meals), saturated oils, yeast, and heavy grains. The first 5 ingredients are the most important because they are labeled from the most to the least as far as quantity in the recipe.

If we look over the Temptations ingredients (I am reading off of the Backyard Cookout flavor), we will see the 5 following ingredients listed first and in this order: Chicken By-Product, Ground Corn, Animal Fat, Dried Meat By-Products, and Brewers Rice. Noting what I had just mentioned above, these treats are not “healthy” by a long shot. If we were to compare human food to cat food, consider something like this the McDonald’s of cat treats. No cat food or treat should EVER have all 5 ingredients from the no-no list.

Cats Love Them

Part of the reason many cats love them is down to the number of preservatives and additives in the ingredients. My cats love these treats and yes, I do give them to them but I also consider them for what they are. They basically are fast-food grade cat treats that should be just that, TREATS. Would you eat McDonald’s every day and consider yourself eating a healthy diet? I would certainly hope not! I am not telling you to stop feeding these to your cats but you really need to consider the ingredients and the amount you are feeding them. Small amounts here and there will be fine but don’t consider this a daily treat for your cat. Always consider your cat’s health as well. These treats may actually cause them some harm, especially cats sensitive to grains or those of them who have corn allergies. It is in the best interest of your cat that you be sure they are on the proper diet (including treats) for their own needs. 


Since writing this post I have noticed my cat doing something many have complained about and that is pulling out his fur. He did this on a few of his legs and the bald spots were not tiny, they were very noticeable. He is an indoor cat and only goes out while on a leash under my supervision. I also do not leave any kind of cleaner or pills out where he can reach them. The only thing I had changed was buying him a different flavor of Temptations, the Catnip Mixup flavor. I have stopped giving these treats to him altogether several months ago and the fur has grown back. He no longer pulls out his fur either. He does have food sensitivities and it was likely down to an allergy. If you are wondering what I feed my cats now, it is PureBites freeze-dried treats . For many people experiencing issues like this, it is best to try another type of treat with limited ingredients. Getting your kitty tested for allergies will help to determine which food/treats are best. 

For those who have experienced sudden changes (illness or death), it is likely due to your cat getting into something poisonous. 

You really have to pay attention to what you keep in your home and if you allow your cat to go outdoors, it should be in an enclosed area or under your supervision. Many people use rat poison outside their homes. Cars also leak anti-freeze which is known to taste sweet to cats and dogs. I have done research on several treats, several cases, and other than food allergy symptoms which will get worse over time, there is nothing in these treats that will cause sudden death. So unless some poison was added to the treats by mistake, we have to assume the sudden illness and death cases are caused by something else.


Whether you choose to continue to feed your cat Temptations treats or not, that is up to you. While most cats will be fine eating treats like this, not all of them will. For my cats, it came down to allergies and I had to stop buying them. If you suspect for any reason the treats are causing issues with your cat, it is best to stop providing them and take them to a vet to get tested for food allergies. One of the most common food allergies for cats is corn. Cats can also have bad reactions to plastic bowls, perfumes, and even fleas (some cats are deathly allergic to fleas). To find healthy alternatives, please read Healthy Treats for Cats.

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My cat has had the same problem since shortly after rescuing her from being abandoned by her previous owners. The practice of over grooming herself to the point where she leaves bald spots is the equivalent to the human disorder of pulling out one’s hair called trichotillomania, only I cannot recall the name of the disorder in felines. My vet showed me a text book on the condition. But I know it’s caused by stress like when I’m not around and she wakes up from a nap, is hungry, lonely or bored.. She sometimes does it while I’m home but… Read more »

Denise Lewis

my daughter sent cat treats in December they were the temptations catnip one of my cats started to be sick right around then i didn’t think about the treats well my cat died on July 15th his intestines had twisted and came out of his body this is a cat that never saw the out side im wondering if the treats did it he was not hit by a car the vet asked if he was he could not explain to me how this happened this was the most horrible thing i have ever seen in my life i can’t… Read more »


So sorry for your loss. It gets better. ♥

Colleen Young

I’m a vet tech (40 yrs.) and never feed my 27 cats any of these “Crack” type temptation treats. It’s like feeding your cats McDonald’s. I also don’t feed my cats or dogs grain free foods. I feed my indoor cats Purina Indoor Advantage and my outdoor cats Purina Naturals.


I recently was food shopping in the pet aisle. I overheard a man tell another customer that temptation cat Treats killed his cat. I feed my 3 house cats temptations & whisker lickins as treats. I was concerned so I googled & found this site. Great information is posted here. Many have commented that their cats go crazy For these treats. My do as well. I only feed them about 6 each a day. I know they are only treats. I may look into other options now. Also, the article on cat fur pulling hit home. My sister recently told… Read more »


I just rescued a cat from the vet .. I started giving her treats (temptations) she acts like she is addicted to them . Every time I go into the kitchen she wants them .. flips her bowl if she doesn’t get any .. I didn’t realize that they are like crack for cats.. so I’ve read .. how can I ween her off them ??

Linda Lunney

My cat does the same thing . . I immediately quit feeding her this treat . . seems to be very unhealthy and addictive.


I give my 1 yr old cat temptations every now and then ( everything in moderation). I decided to try something new so I bought her Purina Whiskas and last night she had diarrhea and was vomiting all night and was like choking. I looked in back of package and it said Nestle-Purina. So I did further investigating and asked Google where Purina pet ingredients are made and it said they use synthetic vitamins that come from different countries and one of them is CHINA! Why don’t they put this on there packages?! Then I typed in Purina pet products… Read more »


I worked for a veterinary dermatologist for 8 years and just wanted to comment on your “update/warning”. Allergy testing is only accurate for environmental components, like pollen, molds etc. Food allergy testing, be it serologic or skin testing, is completely unreliable and waste of money. The only sure way to “test” for food related sensitivity is via an elimination diet which must be done for a minimum of 8 weeks (unless you’re getting negative results, of course). It takes that long for a cat’s body to be fully rid of its previous diet.


My cats are 19 months old sisters, they have had these treats before, only a few at a time and while they loved them and went a little nuts for them we didn’t notice any extreme reactions. We didn’t have them for at least a few months and when I bought more I bought the chicken flavor in the giant tub size. My husband gave them to my cats twice since then, and he did give them very large portions without realizing that it might be a bad thing. Both times one of my cats (same one both times) went… Read more »

Linda Lunney

I agree . . my two cats show hostility after having them . . . I obviously quit too. Do you feed them a safer replacement that you’d recommend?>


I can tell you one thing, my cat acts like she is a drug addict looking for her fix, i am about to stop with the temptations


Sorry but this article is based on what?
First of all, these treats are crap. Secondly, my cat (no fault of my own) got into the bag overnight (I left on counter) And was dead in a day. My cat ate science diet food and was healthy. These treats kill if not properly dispensed. PLEASE if you love your cat and decide to feed them crap don’t leave it out. I am Forever heartbroken.

Linda Smith

I gave my 1 yr old kitty Temptaions with catnip and I’m pretty sure it killed him. He was sick immediately after eating them and died the next morning. He was in perfect health before he ate them.