Note: I’m not here to sway you on what to buy for your cats. If something’s working with you, stick with it.
With Help from Dorky Cats.
Temptations treats are bad for cats because they are made with components like flavoring ingredients, corn, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, even petroleum derivates, and other ingredients that make these treats tasty, addictive, and unhealthy for cats.
Let’s see in detail what is inside Temptations and what can be done to help a cat that is addicted to them.
WHAT ARE TEMPTATIONS CAT TREATS?
Temptations is a very famous brand that sells cat treats in several flavors. The treats are crunchy outside and soft inside. Typically, cats like them very much, and once they have tried it, they want more and become addicted, or they demand to get more.
Based on the Temptations website, each treat is under 2 calories, and it is nutritionally complete and balanced for an adult cat.
Since the product is labeled as a treat, it is not meant to be used as food. Most cats want to have more once they get a few, but that can be dangerous for cats’ health. Recently, over the internet started to appear many articles and stories about Temptations and the negative effects on cats’ health.
Several cat owners have reported their cat being sick after eating them, and some needed urgent care or even dying from it. In comparison, other cat owners have reported having no problem whatsoever with Temptations.
So what is the truth about it? Are Temptation that bad? Are cats owners who are feeding too many treats to cats causing them to be sick?
WHAT ARE TEMPTATIONS TREATS MADE OF?
To make an informed decision, a cat owner should know what is inside those treats and decide if they want to give it to their cat every day, or if they want to give it once in a while or do not want to feed Temptations at all.
Here is an example of ingredients you can find in one of the Temptations treats bag, the MixUps BACKYARD COOKOUT™:
- Chicken By-Product Meal
- Ground Corn
- Animal Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
- Brewers’ Rice
- Wheat Flour
- Dried Meat By-Products
- Natural Flavors (source of Liver Flavor)
- Brewers’ Dried Yeast
- Potassium Chloride
- Choline Chloride
- Caramel Color
- Calcium Carbonate
- DL-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (source of Vitamin E)
- Zinc Sulfate
- Mixed Tocopherols (preservative)
- Natural Beef Flavor
- Red #40
- Dried Cheese
- Copper Sulfate
- Vitamin A Acetate
- Niacin Supplement
- Vitamin B12 Supplement
- Riboflavin Supplement
- Manganese Sulfate
- Thiamine Mononitrate
- D-Calcium Pantothenate
- Vitamin D3 Supplement
- Potassium Iodide
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
- Folic Acid
The first thing that jumps straight out of the list is corn (known to be GMO), wheat flour which normally contains gluten, and the meat and chicken by-products.
Do you know what meat by-products are? Meat by-products are not edible or cannot be legally used for humans, but pet food industries use them to create pet food, and it is legal.
Wait a second.
Is it logical to feed out cats with food that humans should not eat? Are we actually poisoning our pets?
TEMPTATIONS TREATS INGREDIENTS DESCRIPTION
Let’s go over some of the ingredients in Temptations. In this way, one can make an informed decision whether Temptations treats are good or bad for their cats.
Well, meat by-products include the following and are often thought to be waste materials:
- Undeveloped eggs
The worse part is that some of these by-products are left outside non-refrigerated (and this is why humans can’t eat it, amongst other things), but they are still used to create pet food.
Pet food brands that use meat by-products, not only use ingredients that are not considered edible for people but make millions of dollars on this waste.
When you see on the label the sentence generic by-product meat, it means that the source of the product can be derived from the following source:
- Dead animals from a zoo
- Dead on arrival
- Diseased and dying animals
- Euthanized pets from shelters
There is a lot to debate and discuss. But, for simplicity, we can say that it is best to avoid meat by-products from food and treats given to cats. It is hard to know what it is, where it comes from and how it was handled.
Corn in the U.S. is genetically modified, even though the FDA says it is Ok, and there are no side effects of GMOs. Many independent studies show otherwise. The worse thing is that animals are fed with GMO products, and when we or our pets eat the meat or even cat food with corn or soy content, they are exposed to eventual side effects.
Most genetically modified foods are:
- Salmon (unless it’s organic)
What are the side effects of GMO food? Cancer to start, liver problems, and a series of other conditions.
Corn and soy are a no-no.
What does that mean? What animal fat? And why aren’t they clear about it? Typically, animal fat is low-quality meat coming from dead, diseased, dying, or disabled animals. It is rancid most of the time, and they need to add flavors to make it taste better.
It is unbelievable. But it is not only Temptations using it. It is vital to start reading the labels on each type of cat food, and only those that have the least ingredients and are the most natural as possible.
A study from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) raised concern about many dyes currently in use. One of these is Red#40.
Red 40 is one of the most widely used dyes. The report state the following:
“Red 40, the most widely used dye, may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice. The dye causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in a small number of consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children. Considering the safety questions and its non-essentiality, Red 40 should be excluded from foods unless and until new tests clearly demonstrate its safety.”
Many pet food contains Red 40 or other dyes to make the product look better in the eyes of the consumer since cats do not really care about the color. Cats are risk when they consume dyes in food and treats. Cats owners should not buy food containing them.
SYNTHETIC VITAMINS SUPPLEMENTS
Synthetic vitamin supplements in cat treats and food are dangerous for your cat. Vitamins need to come from whole food and actual plants or food. If they are synthetically made like the following ingredients, in the long run, the presence of it will create vitamin deficiency in your cat:
- Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B1 Thiamine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B3 Niacin or niacinamide
- Vitamin A (Palmitate)
- Ascorbic acid: learn how the average Vitamin C supplement is made
- Vitamin E Mixed tocopherols( the white bread of Vit E ) fractionated vitamin.
- Vitamin E acetate also ( the white bread of Vit E ) fractionated vitamin.
- Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate) (Ascorbyl Palmitate)
The fact that the label says natural means nothing, they have to state the name of the plant it comes from like brewer’s yeast, green pepper, orange peel, rose hips, safflower oil, acerola cherry, shiitake mushroom, alfalfa, blackstrap molasses Dunaliella salina, wild yam, carrot, rice bran, chickweed, wheatgrass, amla, barley grass, nettles, algae, kelp, pine park, grape seed extract, turmeric, etc.
In other words, pet owners need to read through the labels and understand what they mean. In the case of Temptations treats, the vitamin content is actually junk. It is better to find food without synthetics supplements, but with real high-quality meat, fish, etc.
Read more on Temptations ingredients here: WHY DO CATS LIKE TEMPTATIONS SO MUCH?
ARE TEMPTATIONS TREATS BAD FOR CATS? FINAL CONCLUSION
Based on the above points, Temptations is not a good choice for a cat, even as a treat. One can argue that if yo give it to a cat from time to time is not going to have bad effects. But it is the same if saying that if you eat poison from time to time is not that bad.
It may not be that bad, and the body can eventually deal with it, on the long run it may create very negative effects though. Unfortunately, it is not only Temptations, but most cats food and treats use meat by-products, we may be feeding our cats dead cats or dogs. We will never know.
The answer is to buy real meat and real natural food for cats. Cat are carnivores, so food that goes near their natural eating habits is perfect. Here is an example of a cat treat that has very few ingredients and contains a lot of proteins:
The only ingredients are Ground duck with bone, duck liver, duck gizzard, duck skin, herring oil, mixed tocopherols, d-alpha-tocopherol. And they are Free-Run, Grain-Free, No Hormones, Antibiotic Free, Gluten Free, and Made in the USA.
5 NATURAL TREATS BRANDS FOR YOUR CAT
You can do research on the nearest pet shop, reading the labels of products they sell. Here are some brands we could find that has one ingredient, very low ingredients, natural as much as possible:
About this product:
- Just One Ingredient: Tuna
- Crafted From Select Cuts Of Real, Whole Fish
- Never Any By-Products Or Fillers
- Lightly cooked for a perfectly tender texture, then flaked into flavorful little bites
About this product:
- ORIJEN Original Freeze-Dried Cat Treats are nutrient-dense and high in protein, and whole free-run poultry and wild-caught fish
- It is using raw animal ingredients, including meat, organs, cartilage, and bone
About this product:
- Cranberries Support Healthy Urinary Tract
- Grain-Free, Natural With Added Taurine
- Under 2 Calories Per Treat
- Wheat, Corn, And Soy Free. Made With Real Chicken
About this product:
- 100% edible and digestible pure whole fish treats for cats containing herring -3 fatty acids
- These fish treats are air-dried within USDA, EU, and mast standards and regulations
- 100% natural—no additives, no preservatives, and no supplements. There is only a single ingredient which is just fish, nothing else!
- It contains taurine, which is vital to keeping your cat’s heart-healthy
- For freshness and convenience, our fish are packaged in a stand-up, resealable bag
About this product:
- REAL, NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Raw is made with raw meat, fruits, vegetables & other wholesome ingredients
- MINIMALLY PROCESSED, NEVER COOKED: Raw is never cooked and less processed than other pet food—keeping valuable nutrients intact
- NUTRIENT DENSE: Raw, uncooked foods retain natural flavors, antioxidants, amino acids & vitamins, and minerals
- FROZEN OR FREEZE-DRIED: We take our raw frozen product and freeze-dry it (removing the moisture), which makes it shelf-stable
Here some related questions and answers:
- Are temptations cat treats made in China?
Temptations are made in Canada, according to what is written on their site. Temptations treats are produced by Mars Incorporated.
- What happens if a cat eats too many treats?
Typically, cats eating too many treats gain weight and have side effects due to the harmful ingredients in some of those low-quality treats. For example, they can vomit, have diarrhea, develop urinary tract infections, liver problems, cancer, and other illnesses, if they continue over a long period.
- Is it bad to give my cat treats everyday?
It depends of the ingredients, low quality treats should not be given often, once in a while or never. It is better to replace them with high quality, natural treats. If you have good quality treats, it is common to treat a cat every day at least once. But cats treats should not replace a meal.
- Can I feed my cat temptations as a meal?
Temptations should not be given to a cat as a full meal, they are treats and thus used with moderation. It is even mentioned in the official Temptations website.
It is imperative to read labels and understand how pet food industries produce the food we give to our cats. If many people start buying healthier brands and stop buying lousy cat food, eventually, those multi-billion companies would be forced to improve their products to stay in business.
But not many cats owner read the ingredients on the labels and are aware of what is inside wet or dry food. Most people may just read the front cover where words like “natural” and “healthy” are used too easily.
Let’s spread the good education and correct information to improve the quality of life of our cats and change the current system.