My boyfriend and I joke about having our own cat sanctuary. We have taken in four homeless cats over the last three years. We also have two that were kittens we’d wanted.
We brought home two adult males from a shelter. They both had fleas and one had developed a tapeworm. The vet advised us to spray each of our cats with a flea spray we purchased from them. The vet’s spray was expensive and we combed through our other cats fur and were fairly certain they didn’t have fleas. We decided to use the Hartz flea spray we found at Walmart because we thought it wouldn’t be as harsh and we didn’t want to use up the expensive stuff.
After spraying our 18 month old 1/2 siamese, Tayter, he fell ill almost immediately. He was sneezing and appeared to be very sleepy. We had also sprayed our 3 year old DSH, Yuki, who seemed “mopey”. We followed the directions on the back of the bottle.
We decided to bathe both of them after Tayter seemed to be getting worse. Yuki started to come out of it after the bath, but not Tayter. The spray didn’t seem to wash off. Tayter’s fur remained greasy, smelly, and just had a wet look. The following day my boyfriend’s father and his wife came over. They have cats of their own and thought his behavior was extremely odd. Tayter is normally very playful and loving, but instead he just remained curled in a ball, like he was cold. When my boyfriend’s stepmom went to lift him off of her so she could stand up he fell into a sitting position and allowed his body to just fall over. No one had seen anything like it.
My boyfriend was home the next day and I had to work. He told me that Tayter had remained in the same exact position the entire day, curled in a tight ball on the couch. He refused to eat and vommitted. We were concerned about the cost of bringing him to the vet and decided to see if he would get better.
The next day I decided to see what information I could find on Hartz products and googled it at work. I came across this site, Hartz Victims. After reading some of the horror stories I panicked. I left work early. The drive home I thought I might be going home to a dead cat. I felt awful, that it was my fault. I wished we would have just used the spray the vet had given us. I had phoned our vet who told me as soon as I got home to see if Tayter would eat some Tuna for me. When I opened the can of course the five other cats were swarming around me, Tayter just sat a distance away. When I put the Tuna in front of him he sniffed it timidly and turned away. The vet told me to bring him in right away.
Tayter stood and walked around a little at the Vet’s office, being in a new environment seemed to wake him. He was very timid, which is not normal for him. I brought the bottle of Hartz Flea Spray with us and after reading the label the vet concluded Tayter was most likely having a reaction from a toxin that started with a p, listed as an ingredient. He said Tayter would have to be put on an IV over night, they’d be giving him an antidote to the Toxin. They also gave him vitamin drops for nourishment since Tayter refused to eat.
I called the vet at ten this morning to see how he was doing. The vet said he is okay, but still won’t eat. I have to call at 2 this afternoon to see if I can bring him home.
I work for a law firm and after telling my boss about this ordeal he is going to speak with a couple of the lawyers here to see if they can refer me or if they’d be interested in making a case out of this. I’d like to know what actions if any are pending and how I can get in contact with those involved. I don’t understand how this is being allowed. I see these Hartz flea products on the shelves of many stores, I purchased ours at Walmart. I’ve seen them at Target, Pet’s Mart, and Petco. How can this company be profiting off of harming people’s pets? Something needs to be done.