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.

temptations ingredients
Temptations Mix-ups - Backyard Cookout

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. 

UPDATE & WARNING

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 Purina Beyond Grain Free Chicken & Egg Recipe. 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.

Conclusion

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). 

More on Your Cat's Diet

We’ve written many more articles about a cat’s diet. If you’d like to continue reading, check out an article below!

 

Signs of Food Allergies in Cats

Should I Feed My Cat Red Meat?

3 Tips to End Cat Puking for Good

Bone Broth Benefits for Cats

Healthy Cat Food on a Budget

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Marie
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Marie

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.

Jane
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Jane

For treats, I give him Crumps treats, (Real dried meat) and whimsies.

Jane
Guest
Jane

If I had a cat, I certainly would not feed it Temptations. Read the ingredients don’t impress me at all. I know a cat that gets Temptations and he is overweight, big time, and getting worse.
I have a Collie dog in which we cook meat, eggs, eggshells, fruit, yogurt, garlic and good stuff and he is doing so well. He is very happy! No more dog kibble, or canned food for him!!!!!!

Johanna
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Johanna

I am very concerned now because we just took our three kittens to the vet for their boosters and they all got temptation treats. They are all throwing up and have diahhrea. The one who ate the most treats is the sickest. Commercial pet food is not regulated and most of it is horrible-especially the known brands. Putin’s is one of the worst. I am switching to raw diet only now because of what I have learned about pet food over the years. Two sites to learn are TruthAboutPetFood.com and Dr. Marty’s Natural Food. He has a wonderful video ex-Lanning… Read more »

MARIE
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MARIE

My cats got so sick on Temptations I think it is the GMO corn. It is not normal how they act over them and they do not want to eat anything else.. I compare it to a research mouse that picks the drugs over the food every time. They throw up have dry stools and drink water like they are dying of thirst. My cat had to be taken to the vet and the first thing he said was the Temptations have to go. It is amazing now difference in both my cats. They are not treat crazed animals anymore.

Deborah A Rodriguez
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Deborah A Rodriguez

I am on a list serve where a neighbor stated his cat ate approx 10 treats and was dead by the morning. The reason I am writing is that the company refused responsibility for the death. I am interested in knowing if the company has statistics on deaths reported. (Probably not due to liability issues.) Realizing this is anecdotal data only, I would still stay away.

Nita
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Nita

Just wanted to inform everyone who has a cat with cardiac issues that I learned this week (From a MARS company rep) that Temptations Treats are high in salt – each treat has 2.3 mg. Average cats (without cardiac issues) only require 21 mg of sodium per day. Our cat is on meds for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, including a diuretic. He loves Temptation treats, but decided to restrict totally for a while, and he is doing better. Did some research on the internet to determine if his treats were contributing to fluid retention and made the discovery of high salt content… Read more »

MARIE
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MARIE

Temptations are not good for cats. I had no idea until I went to the vet. He told me to throw all of it away do not donate it I took the advice right away and as time passed I started to see improvements it was such a relief….So i thought “All is well again with the cats” until I noticed again the throw up everyday on the ground and the litter box had the most awful-smelling stools or dried stringy poops that looked like a necklace.. I also notice I cant keep the water bowls full and my cat… Read more »

Ellen Hobbs
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Ellen Hobbs

I have given my cats and I’ve had up to 8 cat’s at one time Temptation treats for year’s. My cat’s absolutely love them. With that said, one of my kitties just passed away at 22years old another at 16 years old one at 13 years old (who wsd HIV positive) my twin girls were 15 and 16 years old and I still have a baby girl who is 16 and eats them every day. I also have 2 more babies one is 5 and the other is 6 and they too eat them every day with NO signs of… Read more »

Lisa Kenyon
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Lisa Kenyon

I decided to stop giving these to my cats because within a 30 minute’s of eating them, they both vomit, at least three times each.

Jessie pudge
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Jessie pudge

I’ve been given my 2 cats these treats for the last 3 years and just recently my male cat has been doing the same thing vomiting after eating them.

MARIE TILLMAN
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MARIE TILLMAN

Mine too.

Coleman
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Coleman

I generally do not reply to any forums, because this subject regarding Temptations cat treats is relatable to many of the negative responses I decided to share my experience. About 3months my husband & I started giving our 16yr old cat these treats. Our cat started to show signs of illness about 2wks ago, we made an emergency appt. took him to the veternarian to find out that he has kidney failure & high blood pressure. He stayed overnite to do more extensive testing. We could not figure out why all of a sudden he had issues when we never… Read more »

Pattie
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Pattie

I’m curious why, after a disparaging review of Temptations, you continued to feed them to your cat, only to come back with another disparaging claim? Kinda makes me wonder at your motives??

Jay
Admin

Hi Pattie,

please read the paragraph under “Update & Warning”.

Pamela
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Pamela

Whiskas chicken Temptations almost killed my two cats. They started losing weight and hair. I thought for sure I was going to lose them. They made a come back when I stopped the treat and gave them canned fish.

Judy
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Judy

My friend had 2 cats. 5 years apart in age. One died of cancer. The other was under weight, loosing hair and severe vomiting. I asked him to stop giving him Temtation treats. After 6 months, his health returned. Shinny hair coat, gained weight and the vomiting stopped

MARIE
Guest
MARIE

Yep my cats were sick too until I stopped. It could be the GMO corn its hard to say why this happens to cats. I had a roommate feed my cats Temptations behind my back and they got sick again. I could not believe it. I found the empty bags in her trash. I feel so bad about it. She knew it would get them sick and did it anyway:(