Are Temptations Cat Treats Bad?

Last Updated on September 10, 2020

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.

More articles

208 thoughts on “Are Temptations Cat Treats Bad?”

  1. I fed my boy (13 years old) temptation treats and whiskas wet food exclusively for 6 years now i have to bring him to get euthanized today because he developed ckd. I had no idea that whiskas wet foods could be so damaging and now i live in constant regret that i am responsible for the loss of my best friend. I am just devastated by his loss and i will never again feed these products to any cat, they should be banned from sale.

  2. My cat is now 12,and my family feels the need to feed him Temptations on a daily basis. By this,I mean he has a plate that is kept topped up. My cat is missing teeth and is peeing outside the litter box frequently,even after splurging on a new and bigger box. I am convinced that the Temptations have caused feline diabetes,though no one will listen to me when I point out the DIRECTIONS ON THE BAG that QUITE CLEARLY POINT OUT THE DAILY LIMIT. As the vet bills and the subsequent medicine are out of price range,the only option that I have left,after constantly cleaning up pee,is to get rid of our cat,something I don’t want to do and an idea no one else seems to want to discuss. We can’t have a cat that pees on the floor. (For the record,this is a household of full-grown adults).

  3. I have given my cats Temptations since 3 mos. old…in moderation…and so far, no repercussions. They are finicky eaters and I find if I give them a couple of these treats right before their meals, it stimulates their appetites to eat what is served. Also, I can count on shaking the bag to get my cats’ attention immediately and feel confident that in an emergency…like a fire, etc… this technique will be possibly life saving for them. Has anyone found a healthier treat that will provide this kind of reaction? Please share.

  4. My cats love these. That is USED to love these. They don’t get them anymore. My little Josie started having these unexplained ‘episodes’ where, her tail would go straight to the side, and she’d wobble as if she were drunk. This lasted for about 15 seconds and then she seemed fine. The veterinarian couldn’t see anything wrong. I switched food, made sure there were no toxins she could get in to. Once I stopped these treats (I was arguably giving her a lot) she seems to be getting much better. *knock wood*. I’ll never give them these treats again.

    • My cats have been throwing up shortly after giving these treats. Not all the time but enough to be annoying and possible affecting their health.

  5. We are a family of cat lovers and have always had a soft spot for cats who needed rescue. My family has never bought a cat, instead we’ve adopted half starved strays or cats found in crisis, several of whom we’ve invested a considerable amount money in order to save their lives. My cats and their well being extremely important to me, so naturally when I find a problem I act immediately. My oldest is a female simiese mix who I found when she was a kitten starving and dirty in a parking lot. She’s been with us for 15 years and recently she suddenly went blind which has broken my heart. She’s never had eyesight problems before so this was unexpected. After taking her to the vet and doing my own research the vet and I both think the problem was the Temptations cat treats caused hypertension which caused the sudden blindness from detached retina. I will never give any cat of mine Temptations ever again and I highly recommend no one else do so either.

    • I feel the same way about Purina products after I had a young cat die from stomach cancer. Her brother who ate the same as her also got sick. I found online a report that Purina gets some of their ingredients from China and it was reported that they were putting anti freeze in their cat food. I have never touched another Purina product again. I am stopping all Temptation products.

  6. My cat was fine, then a couple days after I started giving her these treats, she had massive diarrhea, ran away from her litterbox, and then scooted across the floor. On a second occasion that night…again ran away from her litterbox wildly, and then she flung poop everywhere, while meowing weirdly.

    Needless to say, I will not recommend these to anyone.

  7. One of my fur babies, loves these of course, and twice with in the past 6 months acts like his stomach hurts, I am guilty of over doing it by giving him to many treats, so I will do this in moderation, he’s fine but it has worried me when he acted blaug,. I’m guessing once a day for treats for him?

    • Thanks for your comment, Pamela. These treats in moderation are very, very unlikely to cause illness or health issues. The stomach aches could be part of his diet. Make sure he is on at least a 50% wet food diet with healthy proteins. There are formulas for sensitive stomachs with limited ingredients available as well.

      • I would like your opinion on Authority products for my cats. They have been on them a long time, recommended by rescue group.

      • Thanks for your comments, Lila. I am not very familiar with this brand. I know it is a generic store brand similar to Walmart’s Great Value line. I did a quick search and see it is made in the USA which is always a good thing. It appears to be loaded with fillers (grains) which is not unheard of, many other brands (even expensive ones) have a lot of filler. For most young adult cats, this food would be fine but for cats who are older or who have medical conditions, I wouldn’t recommend it just because of the filler content. I believe it is best that the main food items of a cat’s diet should be grain-free.

  8. 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 in another room. And she doesn’t know how to “self-soothe” and doesn’t come find me when she wants attention or needs to be distracted from herself. I can detect when she is anxious by the way she grooms herself and whether she’s going to pull out fur before she actually does it. But now I’m wondering if the condition is aggravated by these treats.

    I had just opened a new bag of Temptations and given her only two treats. Within 20 minutes or so she started sounding very congested, and started to cough/sneeze –the same sound as earlier in the year when I had to take her to the emergency due to severe and ongoing cough/sneeze attacks and extremely congested and other symptoms. It fortunately resolved with an antibiotic. But now I know with certainty that it’s these damn Temptation treats that’s making her sick and I’m throwing them out and never buying them again. It’s not the first time she has developed symptoms that before I didn’t think much of. But now I’m putting it together.

    After reading this website and alerting me to the ingredients of the treats, I discovered an ingredient that was mentioned in a previous article I read that said Natural Balance chicken and liver variety was recalled in JUly of 2020 due to this ingredient, and stated that can be fatal when consumed by cats. The ingredient is called Choline Chloride and was the 10th ingredient listed on this red bag of Temptations that I gave her two treats from. Until reading this article tonight, and hearing the sound of her being so congested which developed immediately after only giving her two of them made me realize just how dangerous they are to her health and life. I’m not going to be able to know whether these treats also make her fur pulling worse since I’m not going to give them to her anymore. But I don’t think so because I haven’t given them to her recently and just yesterday she made a new bald spot on her forearm. I just need to make sure she gets play time with me at least daily or every other day. When she gets this quality time with me she it saves her from herself by keeping her from becoming moody and pulling out her fur. She’s kind of a special needs cat in this way–she needs a specific kind of attention (play time) on a regular and routine basis and to be taken out in her stroller daily. When there’s a break in our routine, it affect her and that’s when she pulls her fur out.

    Like everything else,I’m sure diet can also affect behavioral conditions in cats such as this,just as it does in humans. But this is a known condition in cats–just ask the vet about it or google it. More importantly, try to notice changes in routines, environment or anything that could be affecting your cat emotionally as to the possible trigger of such behaviors.

  9. 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 wrap my head around it i am crushed from what i am reading now i believe it is the cat treats that caused this he was my best friend and i miss him so much

  10. 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.

  11. 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 me her cat is doing the same thing. I forwarding this article to her. Thanks for the great info & tips.

  12. 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 ??

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

  13. 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 Consumer Affairs and the (reviews) things I read were horrible. Kidney shut down, dogs and cats getting sick… one lady showed a picture of the treats and there was like string in the treats! For all I know I could be feeding my cat the coronavirus! I tossed the 2 packages I bought and contacted Purina…


    ( I wish I could post a picture of Googles answer)

    • Thanks for your comment Victoria. To ease some of your fears, the coronavirus (a very common virus) does not live very long on surfaces or food, even if a person or animal has directly sneezed on something and it was sent to you. In most cases, it takes a week or longer for items to come into the US from China by which time, the virus and any trace of it would be dead and gone. Packaged food items also sit on shelves for weeks to months before being sold which makes it even less likely for this to happen. The treats you purchased were likely made and manufactured long before the outbreak even started. While I understand your concerns with the treats, this virus is nothing to worry about as far as they go.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 absolutely crazy and started aggressively attacking our whole family and her sister. We had to strategically get her into the garage for the rest of the night and in the morning she would be fine and her cuddly sweet self again. We were convinced she had a brain tumor or something medically wrong until we realized that both nights were the only two nights she had gotten these treats. After looking it up I’m convinced these treats are the reason for her scary behavior. Needless to say we threw them out.

    • 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?>


Leave a Comment