My cat is wild about "cat treats" like Temptations.

What is in that stuff that makes it so attractive?

  • 2
    There is something suspicious about cat's attraction to Temptations. All my 3 cats may seriously bite my fingers when I give them this treat. Draw blood, that's how seriously. They are otherwise affectionate cats who would never do this under any other circumstance. Cats are attracted by smell of it, not by taste. They become obsessive if you hide a treat so that they can smell it but cannot get to it. And, no, it is not catnip, reaction of my cats to catnip is totally different. I stopped giving Temptations to my cats. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 23:23

3 Answers 3


I would guess that it's some combination of being high in protein, high in fats (cats are as tuned to seek high-energy-source foods as we are, but it's claimed that they don't much notice sugar), having an interesting texture (consider potato chips as an equivalent), having a smell thst they can recognize and anticipate from a greater distance... My previous cat's favorite treat was dried anchovies, which would hit several of those points.

  • Are dried anchovies better than store-bought treats? I'll have to remember this if/when I get another kitty. I lost mine in April to cancer and I'm not ready yet, but this is good information to keep in mind for a future owner of me.
    – pixelmeow
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 18:39
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    Better in what sense? Cats have their own likes and dislikes. And allergies; one of mine seems to get itchy after eating fish so I don't let her have much more than an occasional share of tuna water.
    – keshlam
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 19:09
  • I see. I was thinking better as in more healthful than canned or bagged treats. I liked giving my kitty the no-grain foods, thinking that was more healthful.
    – pixelmeow
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 19:30

It's a well covered secret. Only those reading the Ingredients section of a product are asked to know. :)

Fun aside, it's really hard or impossible to tell, since it really depends on the actual product. Some might use catnip, buy it could really be as simple as being the overall composition (like kind of meat).

Just think of yourself: You might enjoy something as simple as vanilla pudding, even though there's no special ingredient in there. At the same time you could hate some cake with vanilla creme.


Well most products for humans are already "enhanced" with all sorts of questionable artificial additives, there's obviously even less regulation for pet food. Don't be fooled by the engredient section as another poster suggested, many additives do not have to be declared, e.g. flavor/appetite enhancing enzymes like "Protamex" or "Novo Pro D".

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