Saturday, December 4, 2010

No Particular Preference, My Cats Still Eat The Tempting Tidbits Chicken And Liver Cat Treats.

The Good: Inexpensive, My cats like it, It has improved/maintained my cats' dental health
The Bad: My cats show no particular preference for them, Small package
The Basics: Worth recommending for the dental health benefits of using Chicken and Liver flavored Tempting Tidbits, my cats are still not excited by these.

Given that I am now quite happily surrounded by cats and a dog and my wife was working at a pet store to keep us all for a while last year, my boys (the two cats) have been trying a number of new things. The pet store my partner works at is a locally-owned shop and she has a discount for buying there, so we look at it much like "dividend reinvestment" for her to shop for our animals' treats there. As a result, to promote good dental health in our cats - Brillo and Gollum - we have given up spending more money on Pounce Tarter Control cat treats (click here for that review) and we've gotten in a bevy of Tempting Tidbits.

Tempting Tidbits come in a variety of flavors and we picked up the Crunchy Chicken and Liver flavor because these "superpremium" cat treats are advertised as helping to control tartar and possessing a taste cats love. The environmentally protective person within me also likes the fact that these are naturally preserved, but that is more for me than the cats. And in comparison to the Pounce treats, the Chicken and Liver Tempting Tidbits are good, but they do not bring my boys running the way Pounce does.

In the past, my cat, Brillo, had bad breath and I solved the problem by getting tartar control treats for him. Because I started Gollum young on tartar control treats, he never developed bad breath and the only treats my boys get are ones that have the health benefit of being tartar control. For that purpose, Tempting Tidbits Chicken and Liver cat treats are more than adequate. For roughly $1.00, being able to avoid a teeth cleaning for my cats that would cost hundreds of dollars seemed like a good idea to me!

After a few pouches of Tempting Tidbits, I can say with some authority that the Tempting Tidbits treats seem to be working well as a preventative measure by effectively keeping tartar from building up on my cats' teeth. Tempting Tidbits cat treats are crunchy little treats that come in various flavors, including chicken, salmon and tuna. The Chicken and Liver flavored treats are shaped like tiny chicken legs (drumsticks) and are a half inch wide. Each of these treats is brown and textured, actually having a more mealy texture than the usual treats which are smooth and more manufactured-looking. Only about 1/8" thick, these treats resemble Cracklin' Oat Bran in color and texture more than cat food.

Tempting Tidbits treats have become a cat treat I am happy to give Brillo and Gollum because they work. They are generally affordable, though proportionally they are much more expensive than dry catfood. For the price of a small bag (4.2 lbs.) of cat food ($2.99), I can get three packages of Tempting Tidbits treats when they are on sale (approximately 3 oz. of treats). This is not an extraordinary value. Still, for preventing bad breath and tooth decay, it is worth it.

Because my older cat is finicky about his food - he needs urinary tract health formula food - the Tempting Tidbits treats offer my cats an option for keeping their teeth healthy that I would not otherwise have (there are tartar control cat foods, but not yet one that is both urinary tract and tartar control that I've found). Pounce marketed itself as a champion of classic conditioning, urging pet owners who use Pounce to shake the container to bring cats to the owner for their treats, so my cats know to come whenever I open a bag of the Tempting Tidbits. They recognize the sound of the stiff plastic crinkle bag, but it did not take long before I noticed the cats do not come running for the Chicken and Liver flavor they did for any of Pounce's tartar control treats.

Tempting Tidbits treats are available only in the stiff-plastic pouches which make it easy to tell if they have been tampered with. Each plastic pouch is vacuum sealed and has a holographic bag which is very recognizable and protects the treats inside well. The stiff plastic creates a loud, recognizable crinkling sound that brings cats to it right away (I still call out to my cats with the question "Who wants treats?" whenever dispensing this as a treat). Sadly, there are other food products (like vacuum-sealed dinners) that come in similar pouches and when opening them, one's cats are likely to descend, eager for a treat. Pro Pac took a lesson from the makers of Pounce when making the Tempting Tidbits.

The truth is, though, I'm a somewhat lazy cat owner. My cats keep me moving around to play fetch and keep the litter box immaculately cleaned, I'm often too busy (or forgetful) to give them treats every day like they insist they deserve. What I've begun to do is mix the treats in with the catfood, so the cats get the treats like Lucky Charms marshmallows in their dinner. The package makes no recommendations for how many treats a cat gets each day, though it does warn that Tasty Tidbits are intended as supplemental food, as opposed to actual meals for cats. So, my mixing them into the regular cat food seems like a good idea and my boys get five to ten treats that way each day.

Mixing the treats into the food makes a package last about two weeks with my cats. I tend to keep one pouch for use as treats (they get treat time an average of once every other day) and I mix the rest into their food when I jar it up. I jar all of my cat food up to keep the potential mouse population at bay (mice like Tempting Tidbits treats as well, I've discovered, and they can easily chew through the stiff plastic pouch). These treats have a very limited shelf life in comparison to other cat treats. The package which my partner picked up in early June has a September 19, 2009 expiration date, which seems to make sense given the advertised lack of extensive preservatives.

I refuse to taste sample this treat myself to determine whether or not they taste like what they are supposed to (then again, it has been years since I've seen a dentist . . .). My cats like them, they keep coming back for them (and the big one is usually quite lazy) and they have lived up to the promise to maintain (or restore) my cat's dental health, but they illustrate no preference for the Chicken and Liver flavor versus other cat treats or other Tempting Tidbits. In fact, when forced to choose between Pounce and the Chicken and Liver Tempting Tidbits, both cats ate the Pounce first.

The Chicken and Liver flavored Tempting Tidbits are made up primarily of chicken meal, ground whole corn and fish meal before the ingredient list turns into odd things like dried apples, blueberries and peas. My cats seem not to mind getting vegetables and they have not shown any health changes since we started using the Tempting Tidbits. The Chicken And Liver flavored treats contain at least 35% crude protein, 16% crude fat and less than 3.5% crude fiber and 6.0% ash. These are not a bad food for my cats.

All in all, the Chicken and Liver flavored tartar managing cat treats from Tempting Tidbits are a fair staple treat excellent for keeping up the dental health of cats, but they seem to do less amazing things for my cats as far as making them feel treated. Very average.

For other cat treats, please check out my reviews of:
Zukes Natural Purrz Tender Chicken
Feline Greenies Oven Roasted Chicken
Lipiderm Liquid Catnip


For other animal product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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