Reading the warnings on packaging is an indication not to use.


This is not a horror story but instead one of avoidance and enlightenment. I found some fleas on my long-hair cat and went to Rite-Aid pharmacy and purchased approximately $30.00 US worth of Hartz flea products, including the Carpet dust, the advanced flea and tick collar, and the cat shampoo.

I got home, put the Hartz advanced flea and tick collar on my cat, and put him in a safe place so that I could clean the carpet. I then administered the Hartz carpet dust, waited only a few minutes then quickly vacuumed it up after reading the warnings on the box about not letting near children, near skin, etc.. Ok, so I figure I just won’t use the carpet dust, but the other products can’t be that bad. About an hour went by while the cat continued wearing the Hartz collar, then I take the collar off so that I can bathe my cat. So then I go and give my cat a bath using only a very SMALL amount of the hartz flea shampoo for cats. I used only a tiny amount, much less than the recommended amount, just because my cat doesn’t like baths and it’s usually a struggle to wash him so there is no time to really lather him up.

Ok, cat was dried, and I put the collar back on him and then sat down to fully read the warnings on the Hartz product box. Interesting, I thought to myself as I read, the box has multiple warnings not to let near children or skin! Now, how could a product intended for a tiny animal, have warnings and even a listed antidote in case shock is induced in humans… Being a physicist with a good understanding of chemistry, immediately it was obvioius that if the active chemicals can injure or kill humans, it’s going to hurt my cat. So I walk over and remove the collar from the cat, and apologize to him for not at first realizing the numbing feeling in my fingers simply from handling the collar.. Overall, the collar had contact against his super long hair for about 2 hours maximum. I put the collar back in its Hartz box, take the shampoo and carpet powder and throw it all away in a plastic bag and seal it, never to be used again. I did not notice any clear signs of Cat agitation since the product was only around him for a short time period. Currently however, he is itching a lot more than usual around his neck, the area that was shampooed the most, but that could still be due to remnants of fleas. I shaved his entire neck area today and everything seemed fine skin wise.

So the moral is, if something is going to kill you or your children, don’t use it on your animals! My cat might still have fleas but at least he was not totally poisoned by Hartz, but only because I quickly stopped using the products after reading the severe warnings against human contact.

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