My young Bengal cat was poisoned by Hartz

At lunchtime on September 18, 2003 I noticed my 1 year old purebred Bengal, Jessie, had not eaten her food from the morning. And she did not come to the door to greet me, which was very unusual. I found her huddled under my bed. She was her usual affectionate self, but was not interested in playing or anything else, besides drinking lots of water.

She was still listless in the afternoon, and I made an appointment with the vet’s office for the next morning. I mentioned to the vet that I had applied flea treatment late in the evening of Wednesday, September 17th, but she didn’t think that had anything to do with the cat’s illness. I failed to mention that I used Hartz Advanced Flea treatment from Wal-Mart after running out of Advantage Flea treatment I’d bought from the vet’s office 6 months before.

All the lab work came back normal except for 1 biggie: Jessie had Feline Leukemia. The doctor said that since she wasn’t in contact with other cats at my home, she could be treated for symptoms and would live another 1 to 5 years. She believed Jessie had a virus that was kicking her butt because her immune system was impaired.

The vet gave her a shot that she said would perk Jessie up and she’d be OK.

We went home and Jessie did seem a bit better for a day, then became listless again. By Wednesday night she was obviously getting sicker, and I decided I’d have to get her to the vet’s office 1st thing in the morning.

Jessie died during the night. While I had suspected the Hartz flea treatment all along, I did not have any more evidence until I saw a program on a local TV station this week.

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