This happened to my cat yesterday

Yesterday I applied the Hartz Flea and Tick Drops Plus on my 1 yr old Persian cat. A few hours later her pupils were very dilated and she was having seizures. I called poison control and then rushed her to our ER vet. She stayed overnight and was treated for Phenothrin Toxicosis. She is home and doing better although she is having some trouble walking sometimes. I am shocked after all the info I have read on the web today. If I can do anything to help get this off the market please let me know. I lost my mother 3 months ago and I don’t think I could have handled losing Lily last night too! She has been such a comfort to me. By the way, her vet bill was almost $600. They should do something about that too.

Hartz Flea and Cat Killer

Consumer Relations Department
Hartz Mountain Corporation
400 Plaza Drive Secaucus, NJ 07094

Dear Consumer Relations Person,

Re: Complaint via documented phone call regarding Hartz Advance Care Once-a-Month Flea & Tick Drop for Cats and Kittens 10lbs. & under.

My husband and I brought home a seven-month-old kitten on Sunday, December 15, 2002. The kitten (Jade) was playful and affectionate, but because the previous owner had other cats in the house, we bought Hartz Advanced Care Once-a-Month flea & Tick Drops (For Cats and Kittens under 10 pounds) at our local Wal-Mart store located on U.S. 41, Punta Gorda, FL. On the afternoon of December 16, 2002, following package instructions, we applied one dose to Jade (7 months old ? 6.7 pounds.) That evening she began behaving strangely: shaking and twitching and hiding. The advisement to wash the cat was given in regards to skin irritation. There is absolutely no warning on the packaging that mentions, twitching, seizures, convulsions or possible death. At that time we washed her, as directed on the package, and called The Animal Clinic for emergency care at 3300 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL and were advised to bring her right in.

Upon examining Jade the vet stated that she had seen many cases like ours caused by your product (which she advised us never to use again.) She said the cat was suffering from a neurological disturbance brought on by the product ingredient Phenothrin.

As the emergency ward closes on Monday morning, we transported Jade to our Veterinarian, Dr. Beckman, at Burnt Store Animal Hospital, 11002 Nathan Ct. Punta Gorda, FL. He confirmed that the cat was, without question, suffering as a direct result of the Phenothrin. A blood test revealed that there is liver damage (test results included) and future testing is necessary to determine if this damage is permanent. Later that day, when the Burnt Store Animal Hospital was closing, we again transported Jade back to The Animal Clinic for further observation due to seizure activity.

Thereafter we visited with a management employee at Wal-Mart and told him of our complaint. He said that he had received many such complaints about Hartz Flea control and had reported them to his management and asked that they be removed from Wal-Mart shelves. This, he said, had unfortunately not been done.

Two things are clear:
1. Wal-Mart has continued to sell a product which it knows has had reported side effects far beyond those indicated on the packaging, and
2. Hartz has continued to sell a product that is clearly seriously miss-labeled and falsely advertised and promoted. No doubt the product is chemically flawed and needs to be recalled and revised (based upon opinions we have received from three respected veterinary groups as well as confirmation of complaints from Wal-Mart.) We bought your product because of the respected Hartz name and relied upon your advertising and promotion, which assured us of its safety. Nowhere in any documentation was it even faintly suggested that a cat could possibly suffer neurological side effects from its use.

We request:
1. That all Wal-Mart stores remove the product from sale.
2. We respectfully ask Hartz to remove the product from sale.
3. We ask you for an immediate remedy as to the expenses incurred as a direct use of this product.

Attached you will find:
1. The remaining unused product, and the receipt.
2. Copies of the bills from both the Burnt Store Animal Hospital and The Animal Clinic along with documentation from both veterinarians.

We look forward to hearing from you.


cc: Wal-Mart
James A. Konides, Esquire
Faruqi & Faruqi

Much to my horror, I poisioned my own kitties with Hartz Flea & Tick med.

Much to my horror, I just read your article on Hartz Flea & Tick Control. How I wish I had been made aware of this poision BEFORE I put it on my kitties last night! This a.m., I woke up to a kitty that was shivering, vomiting & convulsing. He could hardly stand and could not walk, because he was so disoriented. We immediately called the poision control number found on the pack of the Hartz package but guess what?? THEY ARE CLOSED ON THE WEEKENDS! We then rushed the kitty to the vet, where we found out that I HAD POISIONED MY OWN KITTY. A few hours later, and several dollars later, our kitty is doing somewhat better. We were told to watch him (& the other kitty as well) to make sure the symptoms do not return….if so, then we will have to spend more money at the emergency room to prevent permanent neurological dammage. Can you please tell us where to turn or offer some advice? I should hope there is something we can do to prevent this from happening again! Thank you for your time & Best of luck!

I spoke with a Hartz Consumer relations person today :(

Good afternoon,

I am very thankful to have found your site. For one, I simply disagree with the over the counter sales of pesticides, especially ones directed at pets. I do not purchase the product, but as a cat and dog parent and advocate, I want to see the right and safe methode of care taken place and believe it is the companies responsiblilty to properly educate consumers and Remove unsafe products.

Anyway, I noticed that my local Walmart still had the product in question on the shelf so I questioned why. I was given a number to Harts Mountain and spoke breifly with a relations agent.

She told me that Hartz is in the process of disseminating the incorrect information which has been published. “Incorrect”? I advised her the information I had came from the EPA and she was unconcerned and again stated they are in the process of disseminating that information. I questioned the “recovery process” which she told me was only to be shipment of relabled product after the current inventory was sold. She made it clear that Hartz’ stance on this is very different than the EPA’s. This seems to me a complete disconcern for the law or for the pets that may be exposed to this.

Seems odd to me, a person can not go into a pet store and purchase a low protein food without a prescription, but you can walk out of that same store with a load of pesticides to douse your pet without question.

The EPA assured me they have the authority to enforce their rulings, I just hope they do.

Thank you for the opportunity to rant. And if you get a chance could you perhaps let me know of others experiences with talking to Hartz directly?

Thank you again,
[email protected]

Today’s correspondence with News 8 Austin

The following is an e-mail cohrrespondence I had with the news director at News 8 Austin today.
I figured I’d tell them about my eBay auction to raise money for

A reporter called me tonight but said she wouldn’t be able to make it to
Temple (60 miles north of Austin) tonight or tomorrow. They sound really
excited about following up on the Hartz story. The news director said they
would like to air an update tomorrow. The reporter said they might try to
wait until I’m free next week so they can come up and do an interview.

—–Original Message—–
From: Josh Janicek
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 1:15 PM
To: newsdesk; News 8 Contact
Subject: News 8 Story Idea Received – Hartz flea and tick update

NAME: Josh Janicek

Hartz flea and tick update
Hello –

In June of 2001, Doug Shupe (a News 8 reporter) interviewed my wife and me regarding a harmful affect that Hartz Advanced Care Plus Flea
and Tick drops had on our cat, Riley. This was our story:

Since then, I have created which currently resides at

I recently found an eBay auction where an eBayer is selling a picture of his cat looking at a computer moniter where Eminem’s house is up
for sale on eBay. The price of this auction (for a photograph) as of today is $2,147.00.

I’m selling a picture of our cat, Riley looking at our computer monitor. He is looking at the auction for the picture of the cat who is
looking at the auction for Eminem’s house.

It is my goal to make more money than the guy who is selling a picture of his cat. There are no bids as of yet. I have set this
particular auction to run for ten days.

Should I actually receive money from this auction, I want to hold a lottery via to donate money to people who have been
victims of Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick drops and/or have lost a pet.

I thought I would let News 8 know about this (as stupid as it may seem) as you guys helped Elise and me in telling our story.


Josh Janicek


Thanks for the tip. I’m not sure we’ll be able to do the ebay auction, but the web site is interesting. It also reminds me to
follow up on the Hartz story. Have you heard anything new from the company regarding your complaint?

Thanks for watching News 8 Austin.

{ name withheld }
News Director
News 8 Austin


—–Original Message—–
From: Josh Janicek
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 1:37 PM
To: { name withheld }
Subject: RE: News 8 Story Idea Received – Hartz flea and tick update

{ name withheld }-

The last I heard from Hartz, they denied my “allegations” that their product almost killed our cat. Since then I have spoken with our
lawyer, Anthony Vozzolo and am waiting hear back on the class action suit that many of us are in on.

In the meantime, Hartz has decided to repackage the same junk…


I had NOT seen that recall. Thanks a lot for filling me in. We’ll be doing that story today or tomorrow! Would you be available to talk to

{ name withheld }


—–Original Message—–
From: Josh Janicek
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 1:59 PM
To: { name withheld }
Subject: RE: News 8 Story Idea Received – Hartz flea and tick update

{ name withheld } –

I would not be available to talk via phone (I’m in Temple) until 6:00 p.m.

My phone number is 000-000-0000



How about tomorrow (Friday)?

{ name withheld }


—–Original Message—–
From: Josh Janicek
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2002 3:41 PM
To: { name withheld }
Subject: RE: News 8 Story Idea Received – Hartz flea and tick update

The only good time for me tomorrow would also be at 6:00 p.m.


How about tonight?
{ name withheld }


Picture of Riley for sale on eBay

On Friday, December 6, 2002, eBay removed my auction (item # 927873731). 
I tried.

I have put a picture of Riley up
for auction
on eBay. This auction was inspired by an individual who is
selling a picture of his cat looking at an eBay auction of Eminem’s house on a
computer monitor.

Last night, Elise and I took a picture of Riley looking at the auction of the
picture of the cat looking at the auction of Eminem’s house. Whew.

The auction for the picture of the cat looking at Eminem’s auction is at $2,147.00
with 29 bids. I want to beat that amount.

If I raise any money from this eBay sale, I will donate it to worthy victims
of Hartz Advanced Care Plus Flea and Tick drops.

Pesticides Recalled After Killing Cats

I don’t understand why they don’t just take the stuff off of the shelves. Repackaging it isn’t going to do anything.

Maybe Hartz will learn after their sales plummet and continue to receive complaints.

WASHINGTON, DC, December 2, 2002 (ENS)

Thousands of illnesses and deaths in cats and kittens have led to a recall of some flea and tick products,
along with new warning labels and other protective measures.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said last week that safety concerns stemming from use of two flea and tick control products for cats
and kittens, led the agency to persuade the Hartz Mountain Corp. to enact measures to reduce potential risks to pets from using these products.

Under an agreement with the EPA, Hartz has ceased the sale and distribution of Hartz Advanced Care Brand Flea and Tick Drops Plus for Cats and Kittens
and Hartz Advanced Care Brand Once-a-Month Flea and Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens. The company will recall these products, and repackage and re-label
its existing stock of the pesticides to educate consumers about their risks.

To continue to evaluate safety concerns for cats, the EPA is also requiring Hartz to submit an additional animal safety study conducted by an
independent laboratory, and to submit additional quarterly reports specificto cats, summarizing any incidents of toxic effects from
Hartz products.

The EPA sought the agreement after investigating thousands of incidents where pets suffered adverse effects from the products. Complaints included
minor problems such as skin irritation or hair loss at the application site to more serious effects on the nervous system, such as tremors, convulsions
and sometimes death.

The relabeled products, which will start appearing on store shelves over the next several months, will include stronger precautionary statements and
use directions. Under the revised use directions, application of the products will be limited to a single spot applied on the back of the
animal’s head, reducing the likelihood that the cat will lick and ingest the chemical.

The new labels will also direct users to consult with a veterinarian before use of these products on debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant or nursing
animals, or animals known to be sensitive to pesticides. The labels will advise that cats should be monitored after application of the product and
if any adverse symptoms are observed, the animal should be washed with mild soap and rinsed with water and evaluated by a veterinarian.

The EPA is also requiring Hartz to conduct a consumer education program, which will include a web site, direct mail campaign to pet owners, pet
stores and veterinarians on the new safety improvements. If consumers choose to return either of the two Hartz products, the company is expected
to exchange it for the relabeled product or refund the purchase price.

The company is also required to improve labeling on individual tubes of the affected products to help ensure consumers are using them correctly.

For more information on the EPA’s action, visit:

For information regarding the product recovery and label improvements consumers may contact Hartz by phone at: 800- 275-1414.

2 Kitties, Same bad drops …

Yesterday afternoon we treated 2 of our cats with Hartz Advanced Care for Cats and Kittens under 10 lbs. Before treating, I read the back thoroughly as I was skeptical as to putting something on the cats that they could lick. I was relieved to find no text regarding illness to the cats except for the line: “Sensitivity, such as slight transitory redness of the skin…” . We left for the day and upon arriving back, I found Osiris, an 8 mo old Aby, having unbelievable tremors. I immediately grabbed the packaging to look over a second time only to find nothing of help. I attempted to call the number on the packaging but they were closed. I also looked online at but was unable to find anything of use. I grabbed my vet’s number and gave them a call. They were also closed but referred me to a 24 hour vet clinic. I called them and they seemed to immediately know what it was without me going into detail. All I had to say was Fleas & Hartz and they knew. They told me to bring him in right away. So we rushed Osiris to the clinic and they took him right away. We waited for about 15 minutes while they gave him some medication to stop the trembling. After that time we were able to talk to the Doctor. She had stated that she knew what it was before she even saw the packaging. She says she has treated over 30 of these over the past year and she’s surprised that this stuff was still in the stores. Well after receiving the estimate for the bill of $980 and an unclear prognosis, we went home. Upon arriving home we realized we forgot to check Cleo, a 26 month old Siamese Mix. We checked her immediately and found that she was extremely scared and that her eyes were twitching. We immediately rushed her to the vet where they began work on her. Again, another estimate of $900+.

We were unable to sleep all night and have continually called for updates on the two cats. During one of these calls we were told that Osiris’s condition was so severe that the Doctor had to use 3 times the medication to stop the tremors & seizures.

This morning we were able to visit them both. Cleo was awake and alert, though still a bit out of it from the medication. Osiris was still out from the massive amount of medication and was still having minor tremors. The doctor believes that both should be fine, but Osirus will have to stay at least another 2 days before they’re totally sure he’s okay.

We were both devastated by this and were just so unsure of what to do next. We found your page last night in between checkup calls to the vet. Thank you for creating this site, as we have found so much useful information and many links to help us in our next step.

-Joey & Courtney

Working at a vet clinic shows many Hartz Victims

I work at a vet clinic. One week in particular, our local K-Mart had Hartz flea/tick drops on sale and advertised in their local ad with the Sunday paper. Only $7.00 for a 3 dose package. Well, compare that to Frontline or Revolution and boy, those darn vets are sure making a killing on flea products, huh?

Only, it is the Hartz that is killing. That week we had more cases of Hartz overdosing than ever. 3 young kittens had seizures, luckily all recovered but one still has “twitters” in her muscles and will permanently have that problem because of this product. One cat died. Hartz called our office when this was reported, they wanted to know why we told the owners that, because it wasn’t true but they would have the owner deliver the cats body for examination and would make their own determinations. How insensitive?!

I am against any products made by this company. My cat had a Hartz flea collar once and it left open sores and wounds where the collar was. That was before I knew what responsible pet care was. Now I know that you get what you pay for. My pets are important and I will pay more. It is after all, their lives.

Thank you,