This Product Nearly Killed My Cat!

I was so fed up being bitten by my cat’s fleas, so I went to the local Stop and Shop supermarket at 10pm (the vet’s office being closed for the evening) to pick up some sort of flea remedy. The only brand was Hartz, so I bought the 4 in 1 Flea and Tick Drops +, thinking it would work just like the Frontline flea drops I had used on my cat several months back. I went to bed thinking everything was ok, and when I woke up, my cat was trembling and shaking like she had Parkinson’s disease. She was lethargic, she couldn’t walk straight, she didn’t even have enough energy to walk down 6 steps. I let her outside to get some fresh air, and she was restless, walking crookedly and weakly, pacing around and around. When I called the vet, the first thing they asked was “Is it a Hartz product?”. I took her in and they are giving her a bath with Dawn dish soap, IV fluids, and medicine to help with the neurological problems/tremblings.

I feel like killing myself for putting this product on my cat. I wanted a quick fix and it nearly killed her. They should have a gigantic label on the front of the package that says MAY CAUSE SEVERE REACTIONS, TREMBLING, DEATH, etc. She is over 10 years old, and of average weight, and I cannot imagine the reaction a kitten would have.

I called the Hartz customer service line, they took my information and gave me instructions towards possibly getting reinbursement for my cat’s medical bills. I called the Stop and Shop where I bought it and pleaded with them to take the product off the shelves. This is a toxic pesticide that is not suitable for pets! I am so sick over this!!!

Immediate Action From Use of Drops

I am old military man that was taught immediate action from coming in contact with Nerve Agents. Basically that is what all of these drops are. In one form or another they are all Nerve Agents that attack a fleas nervous system or reproductive system. Once you see the systems that resemble a drunken sailor or a drunk going thru DT’s, this should give you some idea there is something attacking your pet. Immediate Action in the military was to wash the chemical off to prevent further absorbtion thru the skin. Neutralize any residue. Reccomend you fill a tub with 4-5 inches of cool water, not hot, not extreme cold. This is where you need a helping hand, one person hold the animal in the tub, another use a plastic drinking cup filled with water and squirt about 2 tablespoons of Dawn Liquid dish soap. Pour across the animal vigorously rub animal across the area the drops were put around neck,back and butt. Do this about 3 times but each time cover more and more body parts including paws belly and inside ears. Animals scatch this stuff and get the poison everywhere. Rinse Rinse and more rinse throughly between each washing. Do not cut the animal loose it may hurt it self running in a wet and dizzy state. Wrap in a thick towel and get the animal dry and warm. Your not done yet. The animal must be dry. Get a box of Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) and coat the animal heavily, rub it in then shake it off at least twice leaving a good coat of the Baking Soda on the animal, this will absorb and help neutralize any residue still on the animal coat or skin. Hopefully you caught it in time and the animal has a strong enough system to fight it. Usally within 1-2 hours you should see improvement. A good sign is drinking or eating. Keep the animal warm and encourage some activity for 1-3 hours. The circulatory system cleans itself pretty quick as long as the poison has been removed throughly. Any chemical absorbed through the skin can possibly have longer term affects if it is not caught soon enough. I have had with pets before and they all survived. I have 3 cats 4 dogs 3 birds, my advice no chemical that you would not put on a human infant. PREvention!!! Good Luck, An Old Soldier

My 3 cats were all effected by using the Hartz 4 in 1 Flea and tick drops.

First let me say that I have not used this product this season (2005). I have used it the past 3 years and have had the same results each time. They were all lethargic to different degrees. One of my cats was so out of it that he would stumble aroung for a couple of days (and I only used about 1/2 a tube on him). All of them are well over 10 lbs. Closer to 13 lbs. Ages 9, 8, and 7 (as of 2005). I truly believe that they were slowly being poisoned. They are all healthy cats with no ailments what so ever. I can’t believe that these products are even being sold in stores still but they are.

Mature cat with seizures after using Hartz Flea Drops

I have a wonderful 12 year old cat that I have cared for since I found him as a kitten. His name is Tigger and he has been exclusively and indoor cat since I adopted him. He has been the picture of health for 12 years until I applied Hartz Advance Flea Drops for cats. I applied them EXACTLY as the manufacture prescribed, but it was not enough to keep him from becoming poisoned by this product. Cats are quite limber and he was able to scratch the area directly behind his head and get the product on his rear paws. He then sctratched his head and got the insecticide in his blood stream.

The symptoms started slowly. He arched his back and was shaking his rear paws as if they had fallen asleep. He has difficulty standing and walking which has made it nearly impossible for him to use the litter box. Fortunately his appetite has not diminished and he has been drinking a LOT of water. The vet is giving him a thorough bath to get this vile product off his skin and hydrating him with an IV. There is no antidote for this poison and no procedure to remove the toxin from his system. I just pray that he will be able to have sufficient control of his extremeties after a period of time to be able to use his cat box. The EPA is not doing enough to get this poison off the shelves! I have 2 baby girls at home that regularly play with and pet the cats. I shudder to think how they may have been affected by this poison.


I just want to thanks the EPA, and all who sent info about the latest from the EPA. This will go a long way in helping get this poison off the market.

I wish, also, to request that those who write in to scold people for not reading labels, not knowing what they’re talking about, etc., etc. etc., ad nauseum, would have a little more compassion for folks who aren’t in the field of animal medicine.

I am in this field, and although some of what was submitted is true, the fact still remains that Hartz products are inferior and have killed more animals than they have helped. While it is always good to “do your homework”, it is also good to realize that, as said before, this many people cannot be wrong. The product is a PESTICIDE – it is NOT healthy to use on ANY PET, regardless of age, size or how healthy it is (or is not).

I would also like to suggest that, rather than admonish folks for their choice of veterinarians, that he or she use their intelligence to research ways to get this stuff off the market for GOOD, and IMMEDIATELY, instead of phasing out. Anyone who is as knowledgeable about medicine and animals as he or she certainly claims to be should be able to use their input for good, rather than condescend to people already brought to their knees by their animals’ illnesses and deaths.

I can document, in my own workplace, that for every 10 animals brought in with signs of poisoning, at least nine of them have had Hartz, BioSpot, or some other over-the-counter brand of flea preventative applied to them within a week of presenting with all the signs mentioned in these letters, and some symptoms not yet covered in this site.

Bottom line: HARTZ KILLS!!!

Hartz Flea & Tick Repellent (Spray) for Cats 8 oz.

My kittens have reached 8 weeks, but for the last 2- days were suffering miserably from too many fleas. I couldn’t afford a vet appointment right away, and I am also relinquishing these kittens to our local SPCA in 3 days. (I took them to the SPCA in Richmond, VA 2 weeks ago, where part of their treatment and pre-relinquishing was to have Frontline administered. It appears this was overlooked–ALWAYS FOLLOW-UP WITH PROFESSIONALS–NEVER ASSUME AS I DID!)

So, I rushed to Walmart last night–the only place opened after 9PM, and purchased Hartz Flea & Tick Repellent–spray. To begin with, the front label does say for Cats, but on the back of the bottle, the only label I saw was one face label, and it didn’t mention anything such as “do not use on kittens 12 weeks or under”. But I wanted to be cautious, anyway, so I already planned to bath the kittens 10-minutes after applying it, because the back label does state that it begins to kill fleas after 10 minutes. HOWEVER, after 7 minutes, I noticed the smallest of our kittens foaming at the mouth. I rushed her to the sink and rinsed her off in luke-warm water with milk bath (grasping for something mild.) This probably saved her, but she continued to salivate heavily in a lethargic state for over the next few hours. I stayed up until 4 AM, being able to force only a small amount of chicken broth with sugar added, and then a little water (with a small dropper) to try to avoid her dehydrating to death.

The second-smallest kitten stayed in a complete “dumb-looking” lethargic state the entire night until morning. It is now 12:15 Noon the next day, and he still isn’t out of the state completely. Same goes for the first, kitten mentioned above–she is still intermittantly salivating just a little, and very tired, but finally over the worst.

The largest of the 3 kittens did not seem effected at all, but I did wash them all immediately after the realization of the first kitten foaming at the mouth.

THEN, because the Hartz product did not kill most of the fleas, the remaining fleas accumulated on all of the kittens faces (where I knew not to use any flea-control product on a small animal), and I had to take them all back to the sink and dilute Blue Dawn Dish Detergent with water and aggressively rub it around their faces for 5-10 minutes each to kill most of these fleas.

When my fiance asked me this morning to retrieve the Hartz spray out of the garbage so he could read everything on the bottle, he noticed in fine, red print at the bottom of the back label, “for full precautions and directions for use, peel back here”. I didn’t even see this on the label when I bought it. The inner labels and cautions do state not to use on kittens under 12 weeks, but this should have been a clear, obvious statement on the back-face label as other products that I perused, had. Even, still, after the traumatic event we all went through all night, I will never use this product–or any other over-the-counter pet-aid product, again, for ANY pet.

I also kicked myself because during this problem, I remembered it was Hartz that caused this same problem for a litter of kittens that I had over 10-years ago. I should have known. They had all survived, but probably had Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome–

Kittens come too close to death, or die, if this product is used. And I can see why the same results would come from any given “over the counter” product.

If I had only just used the BLUE Dawn Dish Detergent already on hand, instead of the Hartz, the fleas would have been dead in 5 minutes with no negative effects to the kittens. This had been a cheap and very successful flea treatment that I was told about and used 15 years ago. (I have tried the other DAWN COLORS of Dish Detergent, but THEY DID NOT WORK LIKE THE BLUE-COLORED DAWN DISH DETERGENT.)

***So if you, like I was, are looking for an immediate flea treatment that you can find quickly for 100% FLEA-KILLING RELIEF for Dogs or Cats (I haven’t used this on any other animals, yet…) until you can get to your veterinarian, use BLUE DAWN DISH DETERGENT diluted with water–it works in 5 MINUTES. DO NOT BUY HARTZ. DO NOT USE DIPS–Just don’t use anything with these POISONOUS INGREDIANTS.

Warning – Seargeants brand also dangerous!

I want to let everyone know that Sergeants brand flea drops are also dangerous. I applied the drops to my cat this morning. By late afternoon he was foaming at the mouth. I phoned an emergency vet in my area who instructed me to wash it off him immediately. It is now six hours since I washed it off him and he is still suffering, acting agitated and foaming at the mouth. We are watching him carefully to see if seisures develope. The emergency vet told me to never use any over-the-counter flea treatments.

absolutely disgusted

Recently started using the Hartz drops for fleas and tick control….one of my cats had a terrible breakout on the back of her neck……the other cat a couple of hours after administering the drops began to go crazy…..aggitated….running around the house, desperately trying to lick at the back of her neck……crying…….and now I’ve just found out what this product is capable of doing, and has done to other animals….i am absolutely disgusted and shocked that such a product can still be made available for people to purchase….even if the product contains new labelling… should be eliminated!!! And should not even be made available for purchase………the public needs to be made more aware of the hazards involved with the use of this product……….these products should be banned!!!

Twitches and Spazams

I applied the Hatz medication to my cat as directed and within 24 hours she was having the oddest behaviors. She was trembling, twitching and having siezure-like activity. As a nurse, I knew this was a sign of neurological damage and instantly called my vet. The vet asked me about any flea products I had used, particularly Hartz products. Yes, I had just applied some last night. The vet told me to get off the phone and get my cat in the tub and wash her off with soap and water. Apparently, this has been a problem for many many pets in the area. Why is this stuff still on the shelves? So far, my cat is okay. She is still a bit out of sorts, but she isn’t having the spasms like she was.

2006 too late for us… verdict still out for Nelton

I was at PetSmart about 2 weeks ago… I have to buy a wireless fence for my dog. My cats are due for flea drops also. Always Always used Frontline. I just spent $280 on the fence Ill save some money and try this bio-spot. I just heard a commercial on the radio how great it was and works just as well and is so much cheaper! (I dont think so… waaayyyy more expensive buy the end of this story.)
I came home about 5pm put the drops on Nelton our very chubby (approx 18-20 pounds) but very healthy, happy, affectionate, loving yellow tabby. Just like always with Frontline went on about my business.
About 9pm he started acting “funky” he would lie down for a few like he was really asleep and then all the sudden jump and run. (my husband thought he was having diarrhea the way he would bolt to the back of the house) He did this several times. I thought could it be a reaction to the drops? Naaaaa surely not from simple flea drops I have never heard of that. My husband said “he’s not right” We decided to watch. About 3am I heard 2 odd weak faint meows. I got up went into the living room and there he was… I dont know how in the world he even got those meows out. He was tremmoring, panting could not move. I called the vet he had me read the active ingredient in the flea drops. Stated he know exactly what it was and that he would start to drool, eyes water urinate and loose bowel control and die on my floor it I did not meet him at the office. He said he would meet me there in 20 mins.
There we were in the vet. The vet had me help him start Neltons IV because he was tremmoring so hard. And on top of this he would have intermittent violent seizures. During one seizure on the drive to the vet, I watched him draw his paw up to his mouth and bite on it. This really sucks to watch your truely affectionate loving cat go through this. And I am feeling so guilty. This was all around 3 in the morning. It is 2pm and we just got an update that Nelton is not doing very well. They typically see a reversal quicker than he is responding. His violent siezures are gone but he is still tremmoring and not standing, eating or drinking. I wonder if he does pull through will there be any lasting effects/damage? This is going on almost 12 straight hours of this crap. (since I found him) Has anyone had a cat go on this long in the treatment phase?
Needless to say, I called PetSmart and told the manager to pull it off the selves. (Like thats gonna happen) He took a report…. She was not suprised at all he said he almost lost a puppy to biospot. Now I know why. Im sure they get calls like this all the time. But it is still on their shelves? That really upsets me.
What upsets me even more is that this stuff is supposed to be pulled off the selves in 2006? And they knew this? Nelton may loose his life. And the amount of money they cost people.
Well doesnt pay to save money here…. Vet bills, tears, two little boys anxious if Nelton is going to get to come home? He truely is my boys buddy…. they play legos and Nelton comes and gets one to bat around the kitchen floor until it goes under the stove then sits between the boys watches for a few and with his paw reaches in the bucket pulls out another one puts it in his mouth and off to the kitchen again. If we ever move we will have lots of memories of Nelton under our stove and fridge!
Thankfully our other yellow tabby was outside and was spared an application. I went out today and bought the life sparing “Frontline”
Anyhow still awaiting word if those two little meows Nelton managed to get out are enough to save his life.