Comparison of Two Brands of Popular Cat Treats

June 29, 2013


Cat TreatsA friend asked me recently why I haven’t reviewed any “normal” cat treats.  When pressed as to what she considered normal, she added,

“You know…those treats we can buy in a can or package at the grocery store and they don’t cost much.”

Ok my friend, here it is, and you aren’t going to like it.

Let’s compare two popular cat treats, Temptations® and Whisker Lickins® Crunch Lovers™.

Cat Treats

I’m sorry to say that I don’t have many good things to say about Temptations® Cat Treats.  The first ingredient is chicken by-product meal, and by-products in any form are not my idea of a healthy protein.  That is followed by ground corn and animal fat.

I won’t go into my feelings about corn being used in pet food, since you can read about it on another page on this website.  Animal fat can include all manner of garbage that I wouldn’t want my cat to eat.

Next up is rice, followed by yet another by-product.  That’s an unnecessary filler and more bad stuff!  After that, it’s all vitamins and natural tuna flavor.  There’s no real tuna in this treat – just the flavor.

In their favor, Temptations® does advertise that it contains no artificial flavors and says they only contain 2 calories per treat.  They also state on their website that the treat is 100% nutritionally complete, but I can’t agree.  Those by-products may contain dead, dying, diseased, and disabled remains of animals or worse and that is not, in my opinion, a healthy food for cats.

Cat Treats


Whisker Lickins® Crunch Lovers™ Cat Treats

Cat TreatsRemember that the first four ingredients on the list carry the most weight in a food.  The first one listed on the Whisker Lickins® can is chicken meal, which is high in protein.  But then we see Brewer’s rice, corn gluten meal and animal fat.  All of that is not what Fluffy needs to eat.

Further down, we see soybean hulls, which aren’t easily digested.  How can that be good for your pet?

Artificial flavors and colors are chemicals and are never good choices.

Read on past the list of vitamins and check out the two preservatives listed.  BHA and BHT are known carcinogens and should never be included in pet food.

So there you have it:  A review/comparison of two “normal” commercial cat treats.  I would not want my pets to eat either of these products and neither should you.


Leave a Comment

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen August 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

My vet said my cat should be eating chicken and rice foods. He did not think anything fancy was necessary. This was after he saved my cat from almost dying of urinary crystals – which I understand is a fairly common pet problem with cats. My cat has never been sick another day in his 12 years, his coat is beautiful and he is a happy healthy kitty. We give him store brand treats and over the counter, inexpensive chicken and rice food, which includes both chicken byproducts and brewers rice.


Diann showers October 15, 2016 at 4:31 pm

There are 2 types of crystals, one is produced from the urine been too acidic and the other which is more common is from
The urine not being acidic enough. Feeding chicken and rice is good for the digestive problems cats so often suffer from but knowing the type of crystals is important. My cats had structure crystals. I started purchase h a food after treatment that prevented them from forming. The prevention was simply a chicken and rice mix with cranberry in it. Struvite stones happen when the urine isn’t acidic enough which is the most common and it’s almost always cause by the food you feed you cat. Companies know this yet don’t care and take no responsibility for you dead pet. I used 9 lives urinary formula with success for years and suddenly all but one of my 26 cats was diagnosed with struvite crystals except one and 2 vets said it was the food. I stopped using that food after it happened and found out that pet foods have gone downhill because big conglomerates found out how lucrative the pet industry is and began buying all the major companies. Pet health went right out the window and they came up with cheap garbage to use as fillers instead. They found a way to make an even bigger profit at your pets expense


Carol North October 15, 2016 at 5:02 pm

Well-said, Diane! I agree with you 100%.


David McElroy May 31, 2015 at 2:15 pm

My 40 yrs as an R&D manager In the semiconductor industry helped me develop a good BS filter. And you rang all the alarms! You didn’t give references or make any scientifically valid statement. The crap on this website is worse than useless. I hoped to see some analysis of what is in these treats, or some other useful information. Nope! Nothing here worth reading.


Carol North May 31, 2015 at 3:11 pm

It would have been easy to dismiss your comment because of your general bashing of this website. Instead, I’d like to clarify a few points. I can tell you haven’t read much of the website, because you obviously don’t have a clue what we are about. I have never pretended to be a chemist or certified pet food nutritionist, but I do know petfood. My background in studying the makeup of pet food is clearly defined in the ABOUT section of this site and discussed in other articles. This website discusses the good and bad in pet food based on the ingredients – not the percentages or chemical makeup of the food, although I do have a working knowledge of those. I have worked in the pet industry long enough to know that cats are carnivores and need real meat in their diets. There are too many problems today with grains causing allergies in pets or grains contaminated with molds, or genetically-modified grains that are questionable for both humans and pets. I know – and have written an article on this website (had you bothered to investigate) about rendered dog and cat food. There is a quote from, and video of, a now former executive of AAFCO confirming that rendered pet food may contain most anything “including Fluffy.” Wonder where you think that zoos or veterinary offices dispose of dead or euthanized animals? They are sold to rendering plants. I wonder why you believe that chemicals are ok for our pets to consume. I wonder why you would think that mislabeling of ingredients in commercial pet foods is acceptable. This website includes information on all those subjects and more.

The information about what is in pet food is easily available all over the Internet. I suggest you do a bit of research before dismissing the subject. Or perhaps you are just a representative for one of those less than stellar pet food manufacturing companies who believe our pets should eat anything. David McElroy, I always appreciate valid comments on articles on this website, whether or not I agree with them. But before you call anyone’s work “crap” or “worse than useless,” you should do your own research. If you want to see chemical analysis of ingredients, this is not the website for that. Our website provides solid information and facts to readers. If you have useful information or questions to share, they are welcome.

Carol North


Debbie December 6, 2015 at 12:36 am

Please read


Whitney February 24, 2016 at 10:43 am

Well, despite some of the comments below, this would explain my cat’s bloody diarrhea whenever she has either of these products


r March 7, 2016 at 9:48 am

My cat is the one eating the treats and he loves Purina Whisker Lickins Tuna Crunch Lovers Treats


R April 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm

…Fluffy loves these treats the best and I have not found any substitute treats he likes as much. Fluffy is the one eating the treats.


Linda Spadoni May 28, 2016 at 1:15 am

BHA and BHT are carcinogens in animals with fore stomachs–rats and some other rodents. Dogs, cats, and humans don’t have fore stomachs, so don’t suffer the carcinogenic effects. Easy to research if you don’t want to take my word for it.


Linda Spadoni May 28, 2016 at 1:23 am

This is not a reply–it’s a further comment. Now that I know the real ingredients in these, I’m not giving them to my cats anymore, even though they love them. I’m using real bits of chicken, beef, turkey, and fish. And small, infrequent bits of cheese and cooked eggs.


Carol North October 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Linda, I won’t question your expertise on this subject. I just know that many pet nutritionists believe otherwise. I would avoid those two chemicals, just in case.


Cindy Gilsing June 25, 2016 at 6:44 pm

What cat treats are safe to feed my cats? I am sick to find out that I may have been hurting them by feeding them Temptations. I also have fed Stewart Fiber Formula Cat Treats. I purchased this from my vet until I found it for much less money on Amazon. Is it safe? Please let me know your thoughts.


Vickie Emms October 9, 2016 at 5:14 pm

What if we just put their cat food bits in the bag and gave them those instead. I have never had a sick cat in 17 years from giving them Temptations which are their favorites. However, I don’t want a problem now either. When I run out of them I give them cat food and they don’t know the difference. What they do know, Is the Drawer the “candies” are in and when I rustle the bag or do something in the drawer looking for something, they both come running.


Carol North October 9, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Vickie, What you recommend is fine. Cats don’t need treats. We humans like to give them something special, rather like we want treats ourselves. If your cat is happy with you giving him bits of his regular cat food, go for it. Just be sure that food contains healthy ingredients.


Carol North October 9, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Cindy, I apologize for not responding to your comment in a timely manner. Somehow, I just missed it! I did research Stewart Fiber Formula Cat Treats but couldn’t find much information on it. The package was vague about ingredients and didn’t list specifics. I did find on a Sears website a note below the product for sale saying it contained a carcinogen that was banned in California. I have no idea what that could be unless it refers to the “fish” in the ingredients. Usually, when an ingredient uses the generic “fish,” it will contain ethoxyquin, which is known to be a potential carcinogen. Sorry I don’t have more information but if I find any, I’ll be sure to add it here.


Cindy Gilsing October 11, 2016 at 2:47 am

I am not sure how this works. I was trying to reply to Carol for her comments on Stewart Fiber Treats. Thank you for the information.I am still not feeding my cats Temptation Cat treats. They were having problems and after I stopped feeding them these treats they seemed to not throw up or be as lethargic. Given some of the stories about cats dying as a result of feeding them Temptations and some other Whiska’s products, I am feeling very lucky I found out about this before my cats were poisoned or worse. I still have not heard anything about a recall of this product.


Carol North October 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Cindi, I had the same problem. I tried to reply to your earlier comment and it showed up under someone else’s. It’s a Word Press thing and I’ll need help to figure it out. Sometimes, we just have to do what feels right for our pets. We can research forever and not find answers. If your cat is thriving while eating a product, then it probably works for you. I personally think you are wise to avoid the Temptations since you know it caused a problem before. I’ll continue to research various treats and write about them on this site. Best of luck.


Diann showers October 15, 2016 at 4:20 pm

The biggest question everyone wants to know is WHY are cats obsessed with temptations treats? Everyone I know including me have cats that ate fine until we gave them temptation treats. They will not eat any other treats and they really won’t eat their regular food anymore. There is more to these ingredients then what is listed. Everyone has told me that it’s like their cats are addicted to the temptations treats and won’t eat anything else. I’m struggling with this same problem once again. I’d love be to have these things analyzed to see what’s really in them. It’s exactly like an addiction for the cat and I have no choice but to buy them cause my cats stop eating everything except those treats. I don’t think we are being told everything. Most foods and treats have the 4D’s in them. Yet temptations seem to be an addiction for cats.


Carol North October 15, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Good question, Diane. I like to use the analogy of the way people eat junk food. You can’t eat just one potato chip. If you toddler insists on eating candy and not his vegetables, will you allow him to fill up on the candy? It’s similar to that. You have to decide who is in charge. Treats should only be given occasionally – never as a meal or very often during the day. Some people use treats as a behavior incentive and that may work. Others give treats at a certain time each day. As for what really is in cat food, I agree with you that in some cases, you’d think there is more than is listed on the package. Blue Buffalo proved that point when Purina had the BB chicken meal tested and found it contained by-products. I’ve grown leary of who to trust. Several years ago when I was trying to break my cats of their seeming addiction to Temptations, I bought numerous healthier treats and they ignored them. But I did find a couple that worked One was a Zuke’s seafood treat and the other was a different brand (can’t remember the name). You may want to look around and see what you can try that is different. Today, I cook whole chickens and debone them. I use some of the breast meat to make chicken salad for us and the rest of the meat is saved as a topper for dog food. I use some of it as treats for the cats and they love it, especially when they are hand fed with it. Just don’t give it to them cold.


Elaine Sexton January 9, 2017 at 7:47 pm

This is scary. My cats love Temptations. SMH


kat z January 16, 2017 at 12:51 pm

My cats love Temptations – unfortunately. 🙁 We fully believe that is what almost killed my 9 year-old Siamese a couple of weeks ago. I have had Tem since I found him, and his brother, abandoned near the freeway at 3 weeks old – they weren’t even weaned yet. I feed them expensive good premium food, but the only treats they seemed to like was Temptations. So I was giving them about 12 Temptations per day at various times pretty much for 9 years. A few weeks ago Tem started yowling (if you’ve ever heard a ‘meezer’ you know what I mean) and frantically running from litter box to litter box, fake spraying on the walls, and obviously in serious distress. When we felt his stomach he growled – first time I’ve ever heard him growl – he’s very sweet generally. His bladder was as hard as a baseball. We knew he was blocked and took him to our vet immediately. It was so bad the vet had a difficult time getting the instrument in to clear the canal. When they flushed his stomach they found it full of crystals. During the operation he had a seizure and we almost lost him – fortunately we didn’t and he is back home now on medication. In addition to almost losing him the vet fees were almost $2,000. So far his brother is fine, but his brother is also a much larger cat – Tem is the typical long slender Siamese type. The worst of this is I had read reports of other people having the same problem with cats being fed Temptations but I ignored them thinking people were overreacting, partly because my cats love them so much. SO PLEASE! If you love your cats don’t take the chance – THROW OUT THE TEMPTATIONS if you have them! Since the Temptations are gone I’ve managed to transition over to Hill’s Science Diet Crunchy Creations. This isn’t an ad for them, however, I do believe with the ‘bad’ cookies out of the picture they were willing to accept a better choice for them. I’d love to find something they like that’s less expensive than the Hills. So if anyone knows of safe healthy crunchy cat treats we can try would appreciate suggestions.


Carol North January 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad that Tem survived. I assume you have checked the ingredients of the Hill’s product you are now giving him. Have you considered making your own cat treats? I believe there are a couple of recipes on this site you may want to try. Otherwise, remember that giving cats treats is as much for you as for the kitty. He doesn’t really need them. Keep a supply of fresh chicken (or fish) in the refrigerator and feed him a small piece a couple of times a day. Don’t feed it cold, though. That would be cheaper that commercial treats. Treats don’t have to be well-balanced. Just be sure the ingredients are healthy.


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