Hartz Ultraguard almost killed my cat

We put Hartz on our cat because my girlfriend thought that it would be O.K. since she had applied K9 Advantage to her grandmothers cats in the past without incident.  We love our cat dearly and this was an honest mistake that is commonly made.  I just want to tell my story so it may help the next person.  About an hour after applying the treatment my cat started acting weird and then I awoke to her crying in the middle of the night.  She was in a lot of pain and I could see her twitching her ears and shaking her head as her nervous system had been poisoned by the permethrin.  This condition is known as permethrin toxicity and there is no antidote for it.  The best thing to do is to wash your animal with Dawn dishsoap because Hartz is an oil based solution and the Dawn does well to break it down.  After washing my cat with the Dawn I saw an almost immediate improvement.  The muscle spasms stopped within 36 hours.  We are very lucky to still be graced with our cats presence.  These over the counter medicines are really not worth the trouble and you should consult your vet before using any of them.  Most of these flea spot treatments are manufactured in China and other places in the world with a cheap labor pool.  The government is in the process of investigating these products as incidents are on the rise.  See article.


I hope our experience can help someone else.

7 Replies to “Hartz Ultraguard almost killed my cat”

  1. Hartz Mountain Corporation has a deplorable safety record over the years. They aren’t the only manufacturer with an unacceptable safety record, BioSpot and Sergeant’s are also deplorable, but since your problem resulted from Hartz’s products you should know that their appalling history goes back to the late ’80’s and ’90’s when their product, Blockade, was pulled from the market because of a terribly high number of pet injuries and deaths. It was later reintroduced and again had problems. Hartz was cited and fined for not accurately and promptly forwarding consumer reports to the EPA as all manufacturers (and registrants) are required to do. In the early 2000’s they were required to make numberous package labeling and directions revisions on both their cat and dog insecticide ingredient products. In 2005 the EPA, probably the most lax oversight agency in the federal government, forced Hartz to terminate their cat and kitten products, issuing a Cancellation Order against Hartz’s products containing pesticide ingredients. The number of cat and kitten injuries and deaths was stunning and even the EPA could no longer ignore it. Please also report this incident to the National Pesticide Information Center, at 1-800-858-7378. They maintain a database of pesticide-related illnesses for the EPA. The EPA uses this database to determine if dangerous pesticide products require specific action in terms of safety requirements, including up to removal from the market. Don’t let Hartz, Sergeant’s, BioSpot or any other manufacturer get away with the devastation they are causing any longer. These manufacturers count on victims’ owners taking no action or simply complaining for a week or two and then going away. Please take the time to report this terrible tragedy. I’m very sorry this has happened to you and your cat. Thank you for telling your story.

  2. Thank you so much for your post here. I just came home to visit my parents and found them both crying and holding our 16 year old cat. My mom had accidentally mixed up our flea shampoos and put hartz ultraguard for dogs on him. He went lifeless and starting having spasms right after the shampoo hit him. He’s currently being bathed in dawn dishsoap and is already more responsive and coming back around.

    Thank you so much for writing this here because we never would’ve thought to use Dawn to get the product off. I really, really appreciate it.

  3. Hi, I had absolutely no idea about this site or even heard of hartz products and i wish i did before i used it on my 3 month old kitten! We already bathed him in flea shampoo which was sufficient however we decided to use Hartz flea spot treatment for a prevention. My cat experienced some sort of an allergic reaction we thought, twitching, rolling around and scratching like crazy. We had no idea about the Dawn dish soap so we used a mild Ivory soap with lots of water. I am HOPING this will be fine, he seems to be a bit better then earlier.
    Why is this product on the market?!
    Please don’t use any HARTZ products on your pets, this gave me an anxiety attack as i am still trying to cope.
    Dec 3 2010

  4. OMG!! I never knew Hartz product for cats killed so many cats!! i will try dawn shampoo hopefully it works!!. I’ve heard many stories and the were right. I made a HUGE mistake. God bless all of cat owners who had this problem…PLEASE DON’T BE THE NEXT VICTIM!!!!

  5. Here’s a message I sent to Hartz thru both their e-mail and facebbok page. here’s their reply also. I tired to ask them some more questions by the same media, and as you can see, they have me blocked from posting anymore to their facebbok page.
    Robert Antoniniposted toHartz
    19 hours ago ·

    I recently had two of my family pet cats die from Sergeant’s Sentry Purrscriptions Plus flea treatment for cats. They were both poisoned by the product which I followed all of the directions. The product killed our family pets and I reported it to Tractor Supply where I purchased the products and to Sergeant’s. Both told me that if I had the original purchase receipt they would consider reimbursing me for the product. Both were not interested in the loss of the animals. There is no recourse for the consumer who is basically their test facility and R&D department, for these pet products. They sell the product which is basically not regulated because it is for animals and not humans (the FDA told me they were not interested either) and to contact the EPA because it is a pesticide. The EPA keeps stats about cases where the animal dies or is harmed so they can go back to the manufacturer and have them change the formulas, but in no way supports the loss of the animals. I’ve called the PA Dept. Of Ag, who basically also just wants stats on what pesticides are harmful to the animals. But this is all done after the fact, if an animal is harmed or killed by the product. Look at the labeling on these things—it is not even appropriately labeled for children poisoning, yet, no one will do anything about it—because it’s basically the EPA’s problem, who is flooded with other matters, and is only for animals and therefore not regulated. The consumer, you and me, are killing our own animals in the process, to do the testing on this stuff because the manufacturers do not want the blame for animal testing, so that the OEM and the EPA can keep stats on what is effective and what is not. Frontline, Hartz, etc, have all changed their formulas etc, because of these catastrophic results. Even the vet association’s do not care—they make money off of animals being poisoned, ASPCA, SPCA, ANIMAL PLANET, ANIMAL RADIO, etc, all know that these products are harmful—yet nothing is really being done about it, except to tell people over the radio, etc., to consult a veterinarian first before using these products. No one will give you any info about it, or regulatory info. Sergeant’s will not talk about it, nor the EPA. Everyone I talked to said these companies are too large to do anything to them. Sergeant’s sent me a sympathy card for killing my two cats—I wonder if the Son-of –Sam, or John Wayne Gacy sent out sympathy cards to their victim’s families after they murdered people—It’s a nice way of saying” I murdered your family members—oh, I’m sorry”. This stuff could also be fatal to children and there is really no product packaging or control to that effect.
    I need some legislative help, –I have one of the cats frozen at vet’s waiting for a toxicology test—the problem is they want about $400.00 on up to do it—I don’t have those kinds of funds—but a good vet, lawyer, etc can get involved and find out what’s going on with this stuff. I want the PA dept. of Ag to test the dead cat, but have not gotten a response as of yet. Check out: “ Lawsuit against Senrty Pet Care”, facebook page, and also” Hartz products are killing our pets”, facebook page to see some horror stories. How bout some help to put an end to this murdering of our pets?
    Are these companies not ashamed of the products which they are selling for our pets?
    Like ·
    Hi Robert. We appreciate the time you have taken to share this important story with us. We are sorry to learn of your cats’ experience. However, Sergeant’s Sentry Purrscriptions Plus is not a product manufactured by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Hartz does not have, and never has had, any affiliation with the Sergeant’s company.

    All flea and tick control products applied topically, whether sold over the counter or through a veterinarian, must be tested for safety and efficacy prior to registration with the EPA for marketability. Since Hartz Mountain is in the pet-product industry, the safety and well being of your pet is of extreme importance to us and each product is marketed with this in mind.

    The safety of Hartz flea and tick products is a top priority for Hartz, and our commitment to pet protection is supported by a wealth of facts and information, including the proven low toxicity of Hartz UltraGuard® products in the U.S. Looking to the future, we will continue to partner with the EPA on both a federal and state level to provide better products that are not only safe and effective for our pets, but are also friendly to our environment.

    We stand behind all of our products and appreciate the time you have taken to contact us. For more information on Hartz Brand Flea & Tick products, please refer to http://www.HartzUltraGuard.com.
    Hartz Flea and Tick Control | Flea Treatment for Dogs and Cats | Hartz UltraGuard
    Wondering how to get rid of fleas? Hartz UltraGuard provides flea and tick treat…See More
    16 hours ago · Like
    Robert Antonini Interesting. By the way, have you checked out, HARTZVICTIMS.ORG, about the number of pets your products have already killed. If your products, thanks to you and the EPA is so safe, why is the internet filled with heartbreaking stories of how you products killed “our” family pets? By the way, I’ve had a Hartz flea collar on one of the pets first, until I seen where it was burning his skin.
    Unable to post comment. Try Again

  6. You saved 2 of my cats lives!!! Thank you soooo much!! That was a close call!! I’m definitely not impressed with this flea stuff and intend on yelling at the company! Thank you thabk you thank you for posting your story!!

  7. I was just reading about Bio Spot, which should be called Toxic Spot. When I was younger, 2005, I accidently put our dogs bio spot on my cat, Saber. It killed the cat, unfortunately. The cat ran off after I applied it. When we found Saber, she was dead. Saber was a super nice cat. Saber used to greet you in the driveway. Sounds like I am not the only one who did that. Lots of online stories. Just feeling guilty about it. Bio Spot smells like flowers and I did not realize how toxic it is. I think bio spot contributed to our dog getting seizures late in her life. I will never put Bio Spot (Toxic Spot) on another animal. The packets it is in where just white. They should have warnings on those packets. I would never have put it on the cat if I realized how toxic it was.

    Just posting this to warn others of the dangers of Bio Spot.

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