My cat died this morning July 1, 2012

I treated our cat,Gretel, a very active and healthy 1 year old, with Hartz Ultraguard Plus Flea Spray and also treated her with the spot treatment Ultraguard Pro. Within 4 days she was acting lethargic and “stoned” . I took her to the vet the next day. They bathed her, gave her fluids, cortisone, antibiotics and (believe it or not) another dose of Flea control. I picked her up after 3 days there. Within 3 more she could not walk at all. I went back to the vet, they gave her more fluids and I brought her home. Over the next 6 days she got weaker, finally having 2 major seizures yesterday evening. Over night her breathing became more troubled. She died this morning about 8:30. Her weight went from a healthy 11 pounds to 6.6 pounds in 2 weeks. I was feeding her by syringe (water, vitamins, broth) for the last week of her life.
The active ingredients of these treatments are  S-methoprene and an organophospate (Tetrachlorvinphos)  in the same family as Sarin poison. These are both neurotoxins that that are designed to affect the nervous systems of insects and , sadly, any animals or humans that contact them. In fact, organophosphates are the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the world and is suspected of connections to numerous child and adult conditions in humans.
The labeling on the bottle might as well be non-existent. The warning is printed under a flap on the bottle that is virtually impossible to peel back… and the font is so small you can barely see it. Further, they give NO indication as to how lethal their product can be.
This product NEEDS to be in a box with a fully printed instruction sheet with warnings as to the dangerous poison it contains, with FULL disclosure as to the side effects, symptoms of overdose, etc… It also needs to contain information on an antidote.
I think it is criminal for a company to market such a dangerous product without any consideration to the damage it can do to animals, but also to people who may contact it.

It obviously does not take much to cause a severe and irreversible reaction!

TREATMENT AND ANTIDOTE:  I searched high and low to find something I could do to help my friend. If you get your pet to the vet soon enough, a shot of Atropine MAY help (according to the literature). After that the symptoms will progress as outlined above.  In humans it is possible to arrest the onset, but once the damage is done, it is not reversible. In pets I think the treatment is not available. The vets (I went to a second for another opinion) were somewhat stymied. Her reflexes were fine, she looked not too bad and was fairly alert with moments of disorientation. Even on her last day she was fairly aware of things.  Her blood panel was pretty normal, with a low red cell count (we ascribed to the fleas). The damage of this poison is to the nerves. It affects their ability to transmit and eventually the victim dies.

I was unable to find anything more on possible treatments. Please, if someone knows more than me, add it to the website.


24 thoughts on “My cat died this morning July 1, 2012”

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your beloved pet. Please make a difference and do whatever you must to prevent another death from this legal poison! call a lawyer and do whatever it takes to pull this stuff from the shelves. There are alternatives such as an ancient fossilized mineral called diatomaceous earth food grade to treat your home and pet. Make sure it is the codex food grade, look it up online. Please pass this info along!Lets get rid of the toxic animal killers.

  2. This is some funny ass shit,you dumbass you killed your cat. Its better off. Keep up the good work. Cats suck and your animal killing ass sucks too!

  3. If you read up on Hartz you would have seen all the post about there flea control and warning how it was making pets sick and killing them :{ thats why I threw in garbage because I also never read before I bought :{.I am so sorry to hear of your cat,but also Frontline isnt working either for fleas nothing is :{ I even do flea baths on my cats ever 3 days to try to help control them.Best of luck to you.Or next thought is maybe the shot.But heard bad things about that also.

  4. Hey DOG…what a terriblet thing to say. You should be ashamed of yourself. What gives you the right to say anything about someone else’s loss! You are probably someone who doesn’t even take care of your own animals and neglects them. You’re a waste of a human being.

  5. Delana: I am sorry for your loss.
    I have written a letter to WALMART suggesting they insist on HARTZ labeling their product better (since neither of them is likely to stop selling it), I am going to post it here… I suggest we all do the same (appeal to Walmart)!
    Money talks… if we can convince the largest retailer in teh country to help in this, then they will exert the control over the manufacturer.
    Too late for our own cats, but not too late for thousands of others in the future.

  6. July2.12
    Walmart Hartz

    I think Walmart is a reputable company and I know you have a great amount of influence over your suppliers. I hope you will exercise that strength on Hartz.

    2 weeks ago I treated my young adult cat with their flea control. Yesterday she finally died after enduring steadily advancing neurological problems including paralysis, seizures and ultimately respiratory failure. She was a beautiful and loving pet and I will miss her.

    The active ingredients in their products are 100% lethal if not used correctly. In particular, the spray contains an organophosphate in the same family as Sarin nerve toxin. If it is ingested, even in small doses, it will indeed cause permanent nerve damage (ataxia, seizures, etc) if not kill the animal. YET, the package does nothing to advise the consumer of these potential side effects. The label on the back of the spray was virtually impossible to peel back and read. When I finally managed (after the poisoning had occurred) the font was so small as to be illegible and the warning itself was mild to say the least! In short, few if any people will read the instructions, let alone understand the risks enough to take the necessary precautions.

    This product should be sold in a box, wherein a decent warning sheet with expressed directions and contraindications is made very clear and obvious. This may add at most .10-.20 to the unit cost (.40-.75 at retail) but the lives and heartaches it would save would be well worth it.

    The small amount I put on my cat killed it and she was 10 pounds. If a toddler were to simply pet a treated animal he/she would certainly be affected.

    There is no cure for the nerve damage that occurs. If the organophosphate is ingested or absorbed through the skin the effects are certain and irreversible. My cat’s death was virtually assured 2-3 days after treatment, before she showed any signs of poisoning. If I had ANY idea of the potential health effects I would have been much more careful and/or would not have used the product in the first place. I think it is poor corporate responsibility for Hartz to market such a product without expressing the dangers.

    I doubt that any government regulatory agency will affect their behavior …. I am hoping you will hit them where it hurts and deny them any distribution until they re-label and/or repackage their product. No doubt you are their largest retailer, PLEASE do pet owners all over the US and Canada a favor and make this a priority!!!

    This is a chance for Walmart to do some real good on behalf of animals and their owners everywhere. Please feel free to contact me for more information.

  7. So sorry for you loss. Just know that it was not your fault, it is the fault of the companies that continue to sell this poison, knowing that it is harmful to our pets and to people. Our prayers are with you.

  8. Send an email to Hartz they have to report it to the EPA. They will probably say you overdosed the cat because you used two products. That’s what they told me when our cat died. Also sign the petitions on We have to get the word out. Also see and

  9. I used this product on our six cats a month ago and they are just fine. It did the job and they did not have any adverse effects. The information on the box warns you that some cats will be affected negatively. I wonder why you would saturate a cat with the spray product, and then use the spot treatment on top of that? Seems to me that you overdosed your cat on their product. No wonder the Hartz people told you this, as it was my first thought too. READ the warnings! Heed the instructions. Sorry for the loss of your poor cat.

  10. First of all I am so sorry for your loss and those who have commented as well. I do not believe in putting pesticides on animals at all. I refuse to treat my labrador with any kind of monthy flea and tick products even from our vet. Thankfully he is white and I can see any ticks that may get on his fur. He is checked over daily as well for any pests. I have heard too many stories about Top Spot and others that are not for the positive for animals. The scary part is they tell you to wear gloves while applying it… hmmmmmm. Duh! Forget that! They push and peddle all kinds of crap for your pets and guilt you into spending all kinds of ridiculous money for their products which I am sure they pad price wise.
    Again, this is all very sad news. It does not bring your pet back and also makes you feel very guilty about doing something that you felt was the right thing for your pet. Ban these products, sign any and all petitions you can to protect our pets.

  11. Why the hell would someone even be on this site if they didn’t care for animals? You really gota have absolutely not one frking thing to do at all!! There is like noone that wouldn’t have something better to do Dog sothat should really be telling you to go find some psych help asap!!! Mo frln joke!! You may not think so but seriously it is not one bit normal. Especially that u wish suffering to others that did not one damn thing mean to you!! If u r unhappy in life find out wuts wrong and fix it!! Wishing suffering of others that did nothing to you and not having any compassion is signs of being psycopathic or sociopathic and means u truly need serious help or later u will not only hurt innocent people that eanted never to hurt you but also means that your life will be shortened by ending up the rest of your years locked up with others like u that couldn’t give a frkn rats ass anout you or u will end up dead. If u r an adult that means noone can help u but yourself! Its yur responsibility and gift to yursrlf to make yurself better. Everyone has bad problems. I know a cool ass guy right now that has bad health at a young ahe and may not rven make it thru the night so see a lot of. People have problems too. Yours are just the worst to you cuz they’re yurs!! SO YOU SHOULD TRY AND MAKE YURSELF FEEL HAPPIER AND START TO ENJOY MOST OF BEING ALIVE GO GET YURSELF HELP AND TRUST ME U DONT WANT THE KIND OF HELP WHERE ITS GOV FUNDED AND ITS NOT VOLUNTARY!! GO FIND HELP THAT WORKS FOR YOU. YOU MAY HAVE TO GO THRU A HELL OF ALOT TO FIND THE RIGHT DOC BUT IN THE END IT WILL HAVE BEEN WORTH IT CUZ LOOK AT THE CONSEQUENCES IF YOU DONT!

  12. That horrible poison caused anaphylactic shock to my kitty Alfie. Killed him. Vet told me they see pets a few times a week killed from this very crap. How can it still be on the market?

  13. If I can’t put it on me, I won’t put it on a creature much smaller then me and with a dilicate system.

  14. I’m so sorry to hear about your cat! I just found out my cat has fleas as well, and we also bought Hartz. We got the spot on treatment and the flea collar, and after reading all these negative comments, we took that collar right off. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about the spot on treatment except throw our other tubes away. It is such a sad thing, this needs to be taken off the shelves IMMEDIATELY. I dont want to see this happen to more beloved pets. So sorry for your loss!

  15. I am truly sorry for your loss. You and I both trusted the product on the shelf to be safe for your loved pet. My story is posted here also after using the same product in April 2012. Wal-Mart is still carrying the product on the shelf as they have a contract with the Hartz Corporation. Apparently to remove it from the shelf it has to come from Hartz. So as long as Hartz can keep the registration on the product and they are making money, they will keep the product on the shelf.
    Really, really sad!

    Have you contacted National Pesticide Information Center and filled out an adverse effects report? Feel free if you have not already done so to contact Better Business Bureau, state’s attorney general, senator, etc. Hopefully together we can make a difference to help someone else.

  16. MOLLY:
    The vet washed my cat immediately after I brought her in.
    I am a bit of an expert on this stuff now (albeit too late)
    The spot treatment lingers where you apply it and spreads over the body over a several day period and is absorbed in to the sebaceous glands, from where it is released over the course of roughly 30 days. It is a neurotoxin, so affects the nerves of the insects (also, evidently, the pet and any humans that might absorb it). Depending on the chemical you bought the effects can be more or less severe than what we experienced.

    I suggest you bathe your cat immeidately. Concentrate where you applied the poison, but dont negelect the body. Do NOT use the spray EVER!! it is an organophosphate.

    A friend of mine swears by SHOOtag (google it) it is electronic. I have not used it, but anything would be better than killing your own cat. Believe me.


  17. You mentioned you used two different products. On many flea treatment packages it clearly states to use just the one treatment and no other at the same time. If you use Frontline, do NOT add a flea collar and/or don’t use flea powder, spray or any other product.

    The use of just one product on your cat may have been ok. The spot-on is a dose good for a month. Adding the spray too would be like double-dosing with the spot-on.

  18. I am sorry to hear about your loss. It is very important to read all labels before applying anything to your cat or dog. The labels, warnings, directions are there for a reason and yes there are warnings that this could happen and what to do if your dog or cat has a reaction on the labels of these products but you have to read them before using them. Would you take medicine before reading the directions? Then why would you treat your precious animal with anything before reading the directions. These products are a medication and should be treated that way. Mixing medications can and will lead to an over dose.

  19. Thanks Jessica.
    That is just it!! The labeling is woefully inadequate and vague. It does NOT say anything about the danger of overdosing. It does NOT say anything about mixing the various treatments. It does not say “MAY RESULT IN DEATH”. It does not have a skull and cross bones on it.
    In fact, the labeling on the spray, was virtually impossible to read (the warnings, as limited as they were, are laminated UNDER the back label, which took me 15 minutes to peel back AFTER my cat was already sick and dying).
    I blame myself for many things related to this cat’s death…. and believe me I am still mourning her death and will beat myself up about it for a very long time. HOWEVER, as a business owner myself, I think HARTZ should be ashamed that they are not more forthcoming with the dangers of their flea treatments.
    It is completely obvious to me that they feel that explicit warnings as to the dangers would cut into their sales (who would want to put a potentially lethal product on their pet, if they knew about it?).
    This, to me, is shocking. Given the vast numbers of pets that are being harmed every year by the exact same treatments and usage, this company (and others like them) should be compelled by government and/or consumers to do the ethical, if not the legal, thing!!

  20. My beautiful Abbey Road died several weeks, within minutes of spraying her with Hartz dog and cat flea spray. I was devistated, I no longer use anything on my remaining 5 cats, and 4 dogs. They get baths regularly now, and I don’t trust any flea spray.

  21. I also used Hartz, but nothing else. Used it before on all 6 cats, with no problems. I purchased it at Wal-Mart, also. Also used it on all 4 dogs, with no problems. It took my Abbey less then 5 minutes to start screaming, threw her into the tub, but that quickly, she was gone. She was 12 years old and had never been sick before. I will never use flea spray again. If it can’t be put on me, then I won’t use it for my “kids.”

  22. My cat died 1 day after giving him a flea bath with Hartz shampoo.As I was shampooing him in sink he fell over and could not move.I rinsed him off really good ,dryed him off with hair dryer,and hoped he would snap out of it.By next day in morning he was crying,kept him as comfortable as possible,but he died later that afternoonThe fleas were bad on him ,but not as bad a s this poisen I put on him.Yes he was 15 years old,but healthy otherwise.Playful just 2 days before his death.I am heartbroke to think I caused his death.After 15 years I miss him alot..I will never use flea products again that are not natural.

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