Two days ago, when we discovered fleas on my 11 month old kitten, Persephone, we cringed. The idea of washing all four of our cats to treat the infestation was not pleasant, especially given the disposition of our two adults. Imagine our excitement when we found Hartz Flea & Tick drops at our local pet store yesterday afternoon.
We came home last night and treated three of the four cats, opting to wash the adult male as he was far too large for the drops to be effective. The three cats immediately started shaking their heads and scratching, but we thought that type of behavior would be normal considering they had something cold and wet on the back of their heads. Two hours later, though, we noticed something was wrong with Persephone.
Persephone was hiding under my fiance’s desk, trembling and squeezing her eyes shut. I tried to get her attention, but she didn’t respond. I picked her up and she went completely limp and continued to tremble. This cat is typically very alert, even when you wake her up from a deep sleep, and when picked up either complains or plays. To put it not-so-nicely, she’s usually a hyperactive pain in the butt. I knew something was very very wrong.
We washed the drops off and took her to the emergency vet. After a little while, the vet came out and told us that Persephone was having a toxic reaction to the drops, but that she would be fine. She told us to never use Hartz products on our cats ever again, and to wash the drops off of the other two cats when we got home and to keep an eye on them as well. She told us that it is very common for cats to have severe, sometimes deadly reactions to the Hartz drops.
I can’t believe that this product is still on the market, and that the EPA and other government agencies have been so relaxed about leaving it on pet store shelves after all the complaints they’ve recieved. Furthermore, I can’t believe Hartz is being so irresponsible in continuing to produce such an obviously harmful product.