Beware! Hartz 2 in 1 Flea & Tick Cat Spray

My neighbor’s cat had kittens over 3 months ago. They were unwanted and living under a porch, being fed scraps of human food. My family adopted one over a month ago. On June 28th another was found dead in the street. I decided to go ask for the others, despite not being able to keep them, to ensure they would find good, safe homes. They were so infested with fleas that we could not bring them into our home. I tried bathing them in dish soap, but that didn’t do any good. They seemed to be suffering so bad that I bought Hartz 2 in 1 Flea & Tick Cat Spray. The bottle says to not spray on cats under 12 weeks. The vet has told me that these cats are definitely over 12 weeks. I did not spray on the full dosage of around 26 sprays. I sprayed 10 or less on each. I then rubbed them off with towels to get any excess off. Then, despite them acting normal, something inside told me this stuff wasn’t good. At that time, I hadn’t heard anything about how bad Hartz is. Our family has always used flea collars and flea shampoo, so we trusted the company. I gave the kittens baths less than an hour after spraying them. I scrubbed them thoroughly, but that didn’t get all of it off. It appeared that one had diarrhea-like symptoms, but it was not bad and I thought it might be due to their change in diet. They acted perfectly normal. On July 1 my sister and I went out to take them for a walk. We took one out and he was slipping on the porch as he walked, as if walking on ice. His legs were falling out from under him. We took him on the grass and the same thing happened. I immediately knew it must have to do with the flea spray. I called the vet and was told I had to get them there asap or they would die, because “that stuff is like poison in a bottle.” We raced there. The cat with the symptoms could not walk very well at all, as if it was on some sort of drug or alcohol. They also believe it might have gone blind. The kittens are still at the vet now. That kitten is still having trouble walking. I am not sure if it has or will regain site. There will likely be long-term effects. I believe the only reason it looks like they are going to pull through is because we were able to get them to the vet before further, more severe symptoms developed. The vet told me that every over-the-counter flea/tick treatment is unsafe and should be banned! This means that HARTZ is not the only evil! Never buy over-the-counter flea products. On top of this, it usually does not kill the bugs. If you have a flea collar on any of your animals, take it off immediately. These products are also unsafe for humans and should not be in our homes.

7 Replies to “Beware! Hartz 2 in 1 Flea & Tick Cat Spray”

  1. I’m so glad that the kittens are expected to survive. What an ordeal for them, and for you. Thank you for getting them to the vet so quickly.

    This is such a sad story — but the real tragedy is that the SAME STORY is playing out all over the place, all the time. Loving pet owners will continue to unknowingly poison and even kill their cats and dogs as long as Hartz and Sergeant’s and and other toxic “treatments” remain on the shelves.

    Remember: Hartz has NUMEROUS accomplices. It is important to put heat on ANYONE who is profiting from the sale of these poisonous products. Web sites like Cute Overload are running advertisements for Hartz. How many people see the ads and are compelled to buy Hartz flea and tick products? Tell Cute Overload what you think of their Hartz ads!

    And what about Petco and PetSmart? They are selling it, too. Safeway, Walgreens, Rite-Aid — all of these companies are selling this poison. What would we do if we saw crack cocaine on the shelves at Safeway? Or anthrax on the shelves at Petco? How is this any different? Complain to these stores, and boycott them whenever possible. Trader Joe’s, for example, is a cruelty-free alternative to the stores mentioned above.

    In order to win this longstanding battle, it is essential that ALL injuries and deaths related to Hartz products (and other dangerous brands) be reported to the EPA. Get the EPA registration number from the box of the product. Make a report, and tell your vet to make a report. People’s lives are being flooded with the pain and misery of harming and losing their pets, so let’s flood the EPA with reports. There are other places to file complaints (look in the “Need Help?” tab for details). Please do not neglect this incredibly crucial part of the campaign to get Hartz (and others) off the shelves.

    I designed anti-Hartz mini-flyers (you can get the PDF under the “Downloads” tab) and have been giving one to everyone I see with a dog, and everyone I know and meet who mentions that they have a dog or cat at home.

    I have also been sneaking them into Hartz flea and tick boxes, and I encourage you all to do the same. Every person who learns the truth becomes a source for someone ELSE to learn the truth. Pass on the message in ANY way you can.

  2. Slipping fliers into Hartz boxes is a great idea! I think I’ll make some and place them on the shelves, right under the Hartz products. That way, when somebody pick a product up, the flier will be exposed in bright letters so they can’t miss it! I’m currently working on a video to spread the word.

  3. My main problem with this story is that a. Vets are not always correct at guessing a cats age. We adopted a kitten from a shelter and the vet told us it was of age to be spayed, it wasn’t. The kitten never made it out of surgery. So they aren’t always right.

    Yes these items are a pesticide, thats what they state they do and what they do. They don’t kill the adult bugs on average, thats not the plan. The plan is to kill the eggs so that anything laid on the dog/cat doesn’t hatch.

    No I don’t work for Hartz or any of those other companies, so don’t go down that road, I’m just a person who while she’s sad to hear of such a tale, doesn’t quite take everything at face value.

  4. If anyone else has an animal that survived being poisoned by a flea product, does your pet have long-term effects?

    The kitten that was really ill seemed fine when we brought him home last Thursday. Now he is walking off-balance, but he can still walk, compared to before we took him to the vet and he continually fell over.

  5. So far so good for your kitties — hooray! I’m no vet, but I’ll bet that there are long-term effects for those fortunate pups and cats who survive the poisoning. What has your vet recommended as far as continuing care?

    A few weeks ago, I made a batch of anti-Hartz stickers (Avery address labels — nothing fancy) and stuck one on the back of each Hartz product at a local Walgreens. But then I got to thinking — maybe having the message visible on the outside of the product will sabotage my effort. My reasoning is that if a customer sees the sticker (or a flyer) before they get home, they may very well take it up to the counter and ask, “What’s this all about?” Or, the sticker may be discovered by the cashier at the counter, or even someone stocking the shelves. Either way, the employees will become aware that someone’s been tampering with the Hartz products — and in all likelihood, they’ll just remove ALL the stickers (or flyers).

    That’s why I started putting the flyers INSIDE the boxes. The small ones I designed can easily be rolled up and slipped into any Hartz box — so that the person will buy the product, take it home, and see the message before they apply the product to their pet. And this way, the employees won’t be alerted to the campaign. (Unless, of course, the person brings the product back for a refund and mentions what they found inside the package.) Unfortunately, it does mean that Hartz makes yet another sale.

    There are Hartz products that don’t come in boxes, though — like the flea and tick shampoos and spray-ons. I’ll keep putting stickers on those.

    Anyway, I’m so glad you’re on board with the mini-flyer campaign.

    Can’t wait to see the video — that’s a fantastic way to spread the word. If I have any say in the matter, it’ll become the most-watched YouTube video EVER.

  6. Riley-The vet did not tell me the kittens’ age before I put the spray on them. The vet never told me it was okay to put this spray on them. He only confirmed what I knew once I took them in. I knew that were over 12 weeks based on when I adopted their sibling several months before. Had they been under 12 weeks, I would have adopted a 1 week old cat and she definitely was not 1 week old when I got her. I put what the vet said in my story to let everyone know I did not mistakenly think they were over 12 weeks when they were actually younger. This way, nobody can say it was my fault for putting it on kittens that were too young to be sprayed. Nowhere in my story did I say that vets were always right. By “bugs” I did not mean just the live ones. The vet and his assistants told me Hartz just is not good at getting rid of fleas or their eggs.

    Camila-The vet cannot be sure about long-term effects. It is not often that they have young cats survive this stuff if cases like this happen. The kitten that was wobbly is no walking fine again. The vet is going to examine the cats again later this month when I take them in for their next shots. He said the occassional wobbles could be a permanent thing. I read that it could cause cancer, but people have no been aware of this for too long and there have not been many studies (at least made public) about it.

    I thought of putting the fliers on the shelf under the products because at my store they had several products that weren’t in boxes. The product I bought was in a spray bottle.

    I was working on the video and my computer crashed! Had that not happened, it would have been up already. I’ll put a comment here when it’s done. I’ll need your help in spreading it.

  7. Part of this is my fault, but if I had used a non neuro-toxic formula such as veterinarians carry,none of this would have happened. i was moving and doing flea prevention on all of the animals including cats and large dogs. I accidentally picked up the flea med for the dogs and gave it to my cats. they went outside, and then I realized what I did. I called the hotline and immediately called the cats in. Only one of the two came. I washed the cat as instructed several times with dawn liquid. I could not find the other cat for two hours and did the same as soon as I got the cat in. It was too late. the neuro-toxic affects kicked in about an hour later with violent shivering. I immediately took the cat to the vet (the other cat was fine) with the cat having seizures on the way. My cat continued to have seizures for days with many meds tried. She pulled through to the vets amazement. We had no idea what long term effects would result. she was normal after about two weeks, but should have not made it. the flea treatment is neurotoxic to fleas and animals alike. the vet said other flea meds even given in large doses would not have ill effects on a healthy cat like mine. the usual outcome is continuing permanent seizures making any quality of life impossible and for an animal to be put down. So, I learned to use safer flea treaments, as I did not want to give any neuro-toxins to my cat. the vet also said that this is not an unusual scenario unfortunately.

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