I recently moved into a mobile home that used to belong to my sister-in-law. She didn’t have her dogs on any structured flea treatment and when they moved out the fleas stayed behind. The trailer was completely infested when we moved in and I refused to move our 2 cats in until the place had been bombed. After it seemed like the problem had been resolved, I brought the cats in. I noticed that they were beginning to scratch a little more often than usual, and within the last two months the problem has gotten completely out of hand. I believe it was partially due to a litter of orphan kittens we found outside and kept in the house until they were big enough to find homes. The runt of the litter had fleas so bad that ultimately I think they were a big factor in her death. I went to Target and bought cheap flea drops for both of them, I’m now ashamed to say. I’m pretty sure they were Hartz brand, but I’m not 100% positive. I remember they came in a white and purple box. I applied the medicine to my 3 year old tabby Geneva first, and may have missed the center of her shoulder blades by a centimeter or less but it still seemed like it was out of her reach. Next I applied it to our 2 year old orange tabby Kiki. I went to check on Geneva and she made a disgusted face and ran from me and I could tell that she must have somehow ingested some. I chased her around my son’s bedroom and finally she stopped and crawled under the covers on his bed. I approached her and pulled the covers back to find she was foaming at the mouth and there was a pile of foam on the sheets. I freaked and rushed her to the 24 hour animal emergency room where they determined she was fine except for a strange fever and gave her a bath to wash off any remnants of the flea drops. The vet told me that when they bathed her she was covered in fleas, especially around her face. Our other cat Kiki had no problem with the medication. It has been about a month since their treatment and I have noticed that Geneva is beginning to look unhealthy. She scratches furiously all the time, she’s losing weight and the fur around her neck has become short, thin and coarse. I couldn’t take seeing her in such misery any longer and about an hour ago I bathed her in Sergeant’s Gold Flea & Tick Shampoo for Cats and Kittens. I’ve never bathed a full grown cat before and doing it by myself I found to be extremely difficult. I’m not even sure I used the best method, I just did the best I could. As was rinsing the shampoo out of her fur I was shocked by just how bad her flea infestation was. They were crawling into her eyes nose and mouth and I tried to pick off as many as I could, crying as she looked up at me soaking wet and completely pathetic. I dried her as much as she would allow before she finally escaped from me and hid but she was still a little damp and won’t stop licking herself. Her demeanor seems to have improved actually, but I looked around online to make sure her licking herself wouldn’t harm her. I was alarmed and disgusted when I discovered just how dangerous the Hartz and Sergeant’s products are. Several people talked about waking up the next day after bathing their cats with the product to find them vomiting blood and other horrible things. Now I am absolutely terrified that I may not have rinsed it all out and that she is going to get hurt. This cat is my angel! Should I wash it off or take her to the vet? She seems happier and is itching less but I don’t want to take a chance. What should I do???

5 Replies to “Help!”

  1. If you don’t know what to do, it’s best to always go to the vet for advice. It may cost money, but it’s better to lose money than a family member. I’m not sure if they make cones for cats (what they use to keep dogs from scratching), but it’s an idea to avoid licking issues until you are sure her coat is clean (but I’m not a vet, so I’d ask them).

  2. I am going to tell you exactly what to do.

    First step: never use Hartz again!

    Second step: Go to a store and get a bottle of baby shampoo. I want you to bathe this cat in lukewarm water using the baby shampoo. Rinse thouroughly. The baby shampoo is safe and will wash away any of the remaining Sergeants.

    Third step:
    Next, go to the pet store and buy a box of Capstar. Mix one pill in a little bit of wet cat food. Make sure the pill is swallowed.

    Fourth step… Buy a box of Advantage for cats. Apply in 2-3 weeks and reapply on the same exact day of the month, every single month without fail until the fleas are eradicated. Do not apply this if your cat is experiencing health problems from the Hartz.

    Fifth step: wash all surfaces where your cat sleeps. Vacuum the house everyday until the fleas are gone. You may need an exterminator. If you continue to see fleas, your home is infested.

    Sixth step: since fleas occur in stages, give your cat another Capstar every five days until fleas are completely eradicated.

    DO NOT hesitate to bring you cat to a vet immediately if she shows any signs of illness. Cats are great at hiding their sickness.

    Good luck. Start doing what I told you to do tonight.

  3. I had this problem a couple years ago, I went online searching for ideas to nip this tiny {HUGE} problem, I dont remember sites, but several said to use salt, and or baking soda, if you have carpet sprinkle on floors and sweep in, ALSO do any furniture, pets favorite spots to lounge… Instructions I had were to leave set for 3 days and vacuum, I ended up vacuuming everyday, so when I was done I would reaply the salt / baking soda ( which I mixed 50/50 and put in a shaker bottle).
    What the salt and baking soda do is dry out the fleas you have as well as the larve, of course do not forget any nooks and crannies, these boogers are tiny and lay eggs each time shortly after they feast on your pets and you. so be very thorough, If you have hard wood floors, I would do the same thing daily for at least 2 weeks, although since you cant sweep into the floor I would at least leave some of the mixture up by base boards, areas not walked in, this way where they can hide will not be as pleasant thus will dry them up and kill them. GOOD LUCK!

  4. Please don’t bathe your cat with baby shampoo. It can be harmful. Capstar starts killing fleas within 30 minutes, but only works for about 24 hours. Your kitty needs to go to the vet!!!! Tell them every product you have used and in what order. Next you need to call an exterminator or get some Knock-Out from your vet or a pet store. It treats about 2000 square feet. Your vet will help you decide on the best course of treatment for your cat and your home. With such a bad flea infestation you probably should have your cats tested for intestinal parasites, particularly tape worms. Good luck and God bless.

  5. We were told by our vet to NOT use baby shampoo on our dog. It dries out their skin. As far as the fleas in your home. We had the same problem with fleas in our trailer when we moved in. We were told to use salt. When the Flea jumps across it the salt will get stuck under their legs and cut them. They will bleed to death. Vacuum every other day to get rid of the dead ones and new hatch lings. We pulled up our carpet and pad.. threw down a layer of salt, put the pad back down, added another layer of salt, and put the carpet back down again adding a layer of salt. Vacuumed two days later and repeated the process all over again. We noticed after the 1st treatment there were a lot of dead fleas. After the 2cd treatment almost none. We only had to treat our home three times. We also put salt around the edge of our home. I hope this works for you. This is a nice alternative to poisons and pesticides.
    Good luck 🙂

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