Flea and tick treatments containing Permethrin are poisonous to cats. Although labeled as dog-only products and labeled as toxic to cats, spot-on permethrins have caused 166 reported deaths in cats in the last 2 years in Australia.
Brands of dog spot-ons that caused cat fatalities include Bayer Advantix, Exelpet Fea (and Tick) Liquidator, Troy Ease-on, Purina Total care Flea Eliminator Line-On and Duogard Line-On. These are safe to use on dogs but even the smallest amount can be fatal to cats.
Cats have become very ill after grooming their canine housemates. Even rubbing up against a dog who has had a recent permethrin application has made cats ill. One cat was intoxicated by a brush shared with the recently treated family dog.
In a recent Australian survey owners reported that they did not notice the warning on the permethrin spot-on packet or that the vendor of the product did not draw it to their attention. Some had lost the packet with the warning on it or mixed up the dog and cat pipettes. Others used one dog pipette to treat many cats or used the end of the dog’s pipette in an attempt to save money.
Protect your cat from permethrin poisoning by only buying cat products for your cat, always reading the label, and keeping dogs and cats separated for 24 hours after the dogs have been treated with a permethrin product.