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.

temptations ingredients
Ingredients in Temptations Mix-ups, Backyard Cookout Click the image to enlarge

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. 

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). 

Do you feed your cat Temptations or something else? Tell us in the comments!

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Lisa Beam
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Lisa Beam

My cat loves temptations, but I am starting to find tufts of fur around the house and now I saw where she has large piece of fur missing from her leg. I am going to stop her treats and switch to another brand and see if that is the issue. Thank you for this article.

Kaylee F
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Kaylee F

I gave my cat Temptations Jumbo Stuffed treats the other day and she threw up in half an hour. I gave her one today to see if it was the treat that made her sick or if she was just stressed (my roommate had moved in the day I originally gave her the treat) and three hours after I gave her the treat today, she threw them up. So they’re going in the trash can for sure

Greg
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Greg

Thank you for posting this information.

My 15 year old male cat — who is an indoor/outdoor cat and the mayor/alpha predator of our neighborhood — had been losing significant weight, pulling his fur out and vomiting.

A $$$$ trip to the vet found nothing out of the ordinary in his labs — checking for diabetes, thyroid, etc — and had no diagnosis. We considered his diet, and realized the Temptations were the only change. His symptoms line up with what you and other posters are reporting.

In less than a week off the junk, his fur loss is stopping, and his digestion seems better. Fingers crossed. You may have helped save another cat-life.

Kelly
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Kelly

The only time my kitten eats temptations is at the vet, when she’s about to get a vaccine. The vet will lay out a few cookies and she will happily eat them while she gets stuck with the needle. Since this is only every 3 weeks, I am okay with it. At home she eats blue wilderness kitten food (chicken flavor) and the blue wilderness salmon treats. She loves those! I considered buying temptations for her to snack at home too, but I’d rather they be only a VERY special treat, for traumatic occasions like vaccines or vet visits in general.

Linda J Riley
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Linda J Riley

I’m one of thos people that had no idea that Temptations could be dangerous, and my cat has been getting them for 4-5 years. But it’s only been during the past year that I noticed subtle, occasional changes in my one cat, and I didn’t attribute the problem to the treats. But after reading these other comments, I believe I’ve unknowingly been poisoning my little Buckwheat. He has been showing signs of addiction–even coming in the middle of the night waking me up with yowls, and bugging me for his treats. He started licking and pulling at his fur a lot more the past few weeks, and again, I just thought it was fleas. Then, a few days ago, I opened a new bag of Temptations (beef), and started giving them to him several times a day. That’s about when I became concerned about Buckwheat’s behavior. He started getting lethargic,… Read more »

ButterMeows
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ButterMeows

My 1 year old small cat really likes these. Not a addiction, but she prefers it over other treats available. Her health is completely fine and she seems to like these treats. She doesn’t seem to have any adverse reactions to this particular item and doesn’t seem to have some issues that some people say their cat has. She has a ranged diet. Should I keep giving her these treats? Or should I stop completely? She also seems perfectly normal. (I might edit if I see any reactions etc.)

Gail
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Gail

We have 4 cats who are nuts over Wilderness Cat Treats – here are the ingredients in the order given on the package: deboned chicken, chicken meal, potato starch, peas, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Potassium Chloride, preserved with Mixed Tocopherals, Oil of Rosemary

Crude Protein: min 20%, Crude Fat : min 12%, Crude Fiber 40% max, Moisture 10% max
Anyway our cats go bonkers over them – we feed about 5-10 to each cat – I am concerned about their addiction, but after reading this article it appears that Wilderness Cat Treats may be safe. Any thoughts?

Bobbi Danner
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Bobbi Danner

My cat was losing patches of hair. My vet thought it was flea allergies and we were giving him shots, to no avail. Then 2 of my friends cats started doing the same thing. The only thing we had in common was the temptations treats. I was going to go back to the vet and continue with the shots but before I did, I decided to experiment. I completely quit giving them treats. It’s been a little over a week and my cats hair is finally growing back in. So I just say buyer beware

Shawsue1982@gmail. Com
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My cat died of urethra blockage, caused by urinary stones and he loved chicken temptations, i wish I would have done research first.. I feel guilty that I have him temptations.

Joy
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Joy

The same exact thing happened to my cat she’s been pulling out her fur after about 4 months of eating Temptations treats!!!