We Were Lucky!

I have had first-hand experience with this but didn’t know until now what had happened.

I had noticed some fleas on my cat, Callie. I went to Walmart and got the Hartz UltraGuard Plus flea & tick house spray.  Following the instructions, I applied it to our floors, carpet and let it dry. The next day I called our vet and set up an appt. for Callie to be bathed and dipped for fleas, and figured the spray would work its magic on fleas already in the house.

When I picked her up from the vet, she was shivering and we thought it was from her being damp from the bath plus scared from being left alone all day.  I took her home, and a few hours later she began coughing and sneezing, laying huddled in a corner away from everyone and wouldn’t respond to petting, etc.
Her coughing and sneezing got worse, even to the point of waking us up at night. I thought it might be a cold, or allergies. She would barely eat and didn’t even ask for her treats.
By that time, Callie had taken to practically living on the top of my printer which was sitting right next to my chair. She did get better about coughing and sneezing, so I didn’t take her to the vet.
But, she refused to set foot on the carpet! She lay on my printer top until she had to go to the bathroom and she would mewl until I picked her up and carried her to the litter box and then carry her back to the printer. I had to put her food and water beside the printer so she would eat. She absolutely WOULD NOT SET a paw on the carpet and would jump as far as she could to get on furniture and off the floor.
She did this for over a month. Finally, she began venturing little at a time onto the carpet, hopping over the carpet as quickly as possible to get onto non-carpted areas. After about 6 weeks, she finally deemed the carpet safe to walk on, and has been fine ever since.
I wondered at the time if the spray had changed the texture of the carpet, etc. that would have made her react this way. I realize now, after the fact, that apparently the Hartz UltraGuard Plus ‘home’ spray for carpets and floors had been the culprit all along.
And I had just sprayed the carpet ONCE. I shudder to think of what might have happened had I followed up with another spraying a week after the first, as suggested on the bottle.
Callie seems fine, no apparent lingering after effects of this poison, and I believe it’s because SHE had the good sense to stay off the carpet. But it did cause her some awful discomfort with nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing and sneezing.
I’m not saying positively this was what caused her sickness, more like poisoning, but it’s the ONLY thing I had done differently. I’m so glad I saw this post or I would have used this poison again, trying to keep her comfortable and healthy, when in truth, I was poisoning her.
Please warn Pet Parents not to use Sargents or Hartz Flea & Tick- it can cause serious issues and even death.

One thought on “We Were Lucky!”

  1. “I’m not saying positively this was what caused her sickness, more like poisoning” … it doesn’t sound like poisoning, it sounds like an allergic reaction. It’s a bit of a nitpick, but an allergic reaction can happen to even innocuous non-toxic substances. (There are some people who are allergic to corn. Yes, corn. My mother can’t take generic versions of some medications because they use a corn-based filler because it’s cheaper.)

    I don’t want to minimize what happened to your cat, sounds like a horrible situation, and I’d certainly hate to be the cat in that situation. But that doesn’t mean that the spray will cause a reaction to other animals, just because yours had a reaction.

    Now that I’ve said all of the above, the active ingredient in the home spray is permethrin, which is highly toxic to cats. v_v But if the cat had a toxicosis reaction, then there should have been seizures and tremors, etc. The symptoms sound like, and suggest an allergic reaction (sneezing, and coughing? … *check*) Also, pyrethroids have been known to cause anaphylaxis. So, your initial thoughts were probably right: allergies, only VERY SEVERE due to excessive exposure.

    You did the right thing by not reapplying it in your house, when you had a cat that was allergic to it.

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