My cat just died because of Hartz

From Staci via email:

I’m desperately trying to get the word out about the dangers of using Harts. Until Friday, I had never heard about how dangerous Hartz flea drops are. Three weeks ago, I applied Hartz Ultraguard to both of my cats. Soon after, my 12 year old, Jackson started having strange leg spasms. It was like something was shocking him, and he would take off running. Then he stopped eating and became lethargic. I thought he had grown tired of his food, so I tried several different brands. He would take a few bites and stop. Then he started drinking a lot of water. The weight loss was rapid. When we took him to the vet on Friday morning, I expected to hear that he was diabetic. Instead we were told that he was in acute renal failure and severely anemic. The vet explained how many animals that she had personally seen die from Hartz flea medicines. I had no clue that buy switching to Hartz to save a buck, would cost me my furbaby. There was no hope of recovery. We took him home so that the kids could say goodbye when they got home from school. A little before 5pm, he took his last breath. Now my spunky 16 year old healthy bobtail is showing some scary symptoms. She had become very vocal tge night after the application, but I didn’t make the connection. Now she’s vomiting everything she eats and is starting to drink a lot of water. I will be taking her to the vet, today, and praying for the best. I’ve filed complaints with the EPA. I’m plastering Hartz Facebook with my story and pictures of my baby. Why isn’t this on the news? Most people are completely unaware that they could be killing their beloved pet. How can we get the word out? How can we make sure that Hartz is held accountable? My heart is broken because I unwittingly killed my baby. I don’t want anyone else to go through this.
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79 thoughts on “My cat just died because of Hartz”

    1. I have used Advantage and Frontline with no problems on cats and dogs. I had heard well
      over 10 years ago not to use Hartz poison products. It’s hard to believe it’s on the market. Another caution: I purchased a flea product from Costco, it was a Kirkland Brand. I trust Costco so I purchased the product and administered to my cats. An oily streak started along the back of my cat from
      The point of application between his shoulder blades, and he was jumping and licking the oily streak that was now accessible and reachable by his tongue. I was terrified it would poison him. I washed it off and thankfully I had no problems. When I returned the product to Costco, I complained.
      The customer service rep acknowledged my concerns and said he knows, and can’t believe they were selling the product. Beware!

    2. if your dog is queensland heeler and i believe there are few other breeds that just tend are more sensitive to heartworm and flea products.
      My queensland had hard time with any kind of drug to treat fleas and ticks as well as heartworm so we lowered dose to about half what was recommended to protect him from heartworm. I use other natural ways for ticks. Where i live fleas do not! but i did use natural products again when i did live where they were.
      If you even go on some of the products web sites they use to list what dogs can be more sensitive so use with caution.
      i hope your dog is going to be well. our did recover but we did take him to vet as soon as we realized he was having a reaction which was within few hours at most.
      hope all kitties are okay too.

      1. You may be speaking about breeds with the MDR1 gene mutation. Most are herding breeds like collies, border collies, etc. Some dogs of these breeds have the mutation and are more sensitive to certain drugs, including the ivermectin that is in most heartworm preventatives. However, the very small dose that is in heartworm preventative is safe even for dogs with the mutation. The dose of ivermectin for heartworm prevention is 6 micrograms per kilogram. Even dogs with the mutation don’t start showing symptoms unless they receive at least 100 mcg/kg (non-sensitive dogs don’t show signs until >2000 mcg/kg). In other words, there is no way your dog was toxic from a normal dose of heartworm preventative.

        Doesn’t surprise me that he reacted to Hartz, though–I’ve seen plenty of reactions even in dogs without the mutation.

    3. Hartz is an awful product I made a complaint to them about the liquid that goes on the back of their necks ,as soon ad I put it on my cat Goldie it smelled just like fingernail polish remover and her eyes turned red and she jumped up and ran I finally caught her and washed her I mean I gave her a bubble bath I shampooed her neck hair and body in the tub like 4 times until I didn’t smell that crap on her anymore I made a complaint to hartz the lady was very worried but do you think hartz called me back no he.. They didn’t .the don’t care about our animals all they care about is the money they pull in its a big company and people like us and our animals don’t matter to them ,but if they got a phonecall from a lawyer I mean a good animal rights lawyer then I believe they will listen and I’ll patisapate in this if someone will do this!!!!!!!!

  1. I know what you are feeling. We just had to put our dog down due to kidney failure a few hours ago from this product.. I am truly sorry for ur loss.

  2. Staci, the exact same thing happened to me. Our government won’t do a damn thing to stop this company and it makes me sick. I hope now that they’re letting terrorists into our country that Hartz is their first stop. I completely understand the guilt you are feeling all too well. Just know it’s definitely not your not fault. I wish you comfort in this difficult time.

  3. TAKE THIS OFF MARKET NOW!!!!
    I wish i had seen this shit 4 days ago when i bought and applied it to my cat who was a year old skuttelbutt died. 2 days after putting these drops on him. i notice he wasnt moving much or eating. He also was twitching . I held him in my arms for 4 hours untill he passed!!!! I thought he got into something. I put these drops on my other cats but not the whole amount only used whole tube on skuttlebutt, go figure fleas didnt die but my baby did!
    Kathy Y Hale’s photo.

  4. I am so sorry to hear this. I lost my beloved cat last year right after Christmas. I thought I was doing the right thing and my darling cat died. Hartz should be held accountable for what’s happening to our pets.

  5. Same happened to my cat, luckily we got him to the ER in time and we had washed off the spot we had applied the treatment. Hartz did nothing to help the situation or to help him get better.

  6. I’m so sorry, I cried when I read this. He was a beautiful kitty. Take some comfort he died with his loved ones and you have saved countless other families from going through this. I will pray for your other kitty.

      1. There aren’t really any good home remedies. Garlic, diatomaceous earth, essential oils, etc. don’t work (or at least don’t work well) despite what you may read on the internet, and some of them may be potentially toxic. Baths (whether with regular shampoo, dish soap, or flea shampoo, which I DEFINITELY don’t recommend) don’t help either because they only get rid of the adult fleas on the pet. 95% of the fleas are in the form of eggs, larvae, and pupae which are NOT on the pet but rather in the house and yard. As soon as you are done bathing, fleas can jump right back on.

        Your best bet by far is to use a reputable product directly from a veterinarian, or recommended by a veterinarian. They work very well and reactions are EXTREMELY rare. Also keep in mind that you don’t just need to treat once–continue treatment or else the fleas will likely come back with a vengeance.

  7. I’m so.concerned now. My less than.four years old car just died yesterday in.my arms from what the vet said was kidney failure. But I used Advantage flea formula on.her up until a few days b4 she died. She had the same symptoms as you describe your cat to have had. Has anyone heard about Advantage having this effect?

    1. Cats are extremely sensitive to the drugs in all flea medications, so the toxicity can be seen with any brand. However the brands that you buy from a veterinarian are the safest choice because the companies spend money to make sure the concentrations of the drugs are within strict limits. That’s why the drugs are more expensive. So NEVER buy over the counter flea medications for cats and NEVER use dog medications on cats either. When in doubt just give your vet a call, even if you don’t buy the product from them they cam give you valuable information that could save the life of your pet.

      That being said some cats have reactions to even the best flea medication. If your cat starts twitching, becomes lethargic or has vomiting or diarrhea after application of flea medication wash them immediately and thourghly with DAWN or a similar dish soap, then contact your veterinarian for emergency care.

      From a Vet Tech

    2. It depends on what kind, please consult your vet. It is possible you used the wrong formula. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  8. Hartz flea collar almost killed my cat. Same symptoms you had. We put 2&2 together early enough and when we took collar off she made a full recovery. We only use Revolution now. I dont care how much it costs. I will go without food, so long none of my other 4 cats go though what Emmie did.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about the losses. I hope that all of yall will sue the makers and hopefully get the company put out of business. I appreciate the warning and I definitely will not be using that product

  10. I’m so sorry to hear of your losses. I used Hartz flea liquid on my cat 14 years ago and it burned a quarter sized section of her skin right between her shoulder blades. She’s never grown hair back in that spot since. It was then that I too learned that the products we put on our pets aren’t scrutinized & don’t have to be tested for safety. In fact, I learned many of the flea products are pesticides that we wouldn’t even allow to sit on our hands for a minute without washing it off. I cringe everytime I see Hartz on shelves and wish you the best of luck giving them hell.

  11. How devastating for all of you. My heart goes out to all of you:( I am so sorry to hear that they are getting away with selling this product! As it is, it is so painful to lose our cats/dogs.but to lose a pet by unknowingly poisoning them is so horrendous!! So many pet owners are on a budget & I totally understand trying to save money. I am using Frontline Plus & have never had any problems & have used it on 5 different cats. When I was using Revolution one of my vets said that might be a little too strong so I went back to using Frontline. I will share this post. So sorry for your losses.

  12. I have been a veterinary technician for 20 years and have seen first hand what Hertz products have done to people’s furbabies. We call their products ” HARTZ 2IN1 CAT KILLER”. I am so sorry for all of your losses. Please remember that flea products sold by your vets are going to be the safest. Vets that own or work in privately owned practices have a choice of products they carry and generally they will only carry products they trust. Again my heartfelt condolences for all of your losses.

  13. My sympathies..i lost my mysty in 2013 because of a hartz flea collar :'( my other cat lost all his fur around his neck also..i hate hartz and everytime im at a store that carries hartz products i hide them.if someone is looking at hartz stuff i tell them my story and hope they listen…i miss my girl 🙁

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss. Years ago this happened to my cat. As soon as we applied within minutes he was foaming at the mouth and right away I put him in the bath a scrubbed it off and rushed him to the vets. The vet said it was a good thing we bathed him and they were able to safe him. Since then we’ve never boughten any hartz product. They need to take these products of the shelf and make the flea meds at the vets more affordable.

  15. Look how many years this website has been online and all the countless tragic stories of beloved pets has died or has been critically harmed due to this product and yet, it’s still available for purchase. The government hasn’t done anything nor appears it will to remove it or similar products containing similar ingredients.

  16. Hartz does not care. I called them after my cat almost died from Hartz Ultraguard Flea and Tick Prevention. This was in July 2014. My cat almost died. He lived but has never been the same due to the neurological damage this poison inflicted. He has never purred since then and is jumpy. He is not the same cat and while I am glad he lived, it is sad to see what this crap did to him.

  17. Give your pet a bath in dawn dish soap if you’ve used it and you notice spasms or seizures, it saved my cat about 5 years ago and he’s still with me, dawn dish soap is a miracle…I thought he was a goner, he was hiding in my room and seizing, I was terrified.

  18. My sympathies to those who have lost an animal due to these types of products.
    However…..I have to ask……
    Did you NOT know of the dangers of these products….or did you think “that won’t happen to my pet”?

    1. many people think if its allowed to be sold in stores it is safe. that is how it should be. i have always used what my vet suggests but can see how the cheaper pet store products can be tempting. instead of blaming the pet owners blame the government for not regulating these products and the manufacturer for ignoring the fact it is dangerous.

  19. Those of you who have lost pets need to join together and bring a class action suit against this company selling this product. I don’t know of any attorneys who do animal rights but one of you should do a search for animal rights attorney.

  20. I’m sorry that you all had to discover that pet mess can kill. I lost my Nine year old Westie two years ago because the vet wanted me to try Comfortis, a pill for flea prevention. He died with seiUres within two hours of taking it. I wrote a letter to the pharmaceutical company with photos and an autopsy report from my dog from VA Tech vet school. They paid me 1,800 for the life of my precious Wyatt. They should pay for killing your pets. You all should get together and start a class action lawsuit against the Hartz pet company. Sue them and save a pets life.

  21. I’m so sorry to read this 🙁
    Sadly I’m afraid this has been going on for yearrrrsssss!
    My cat Shooter passed away almost 10 years ago from using a Hartz flea collar on her. She was itching her neck so badly, after we put it on her & her skin began to scab and bleed and then started to become necrotic. My mom took her to the vet and she had to be put down because it was in essence eating her from the inside out. It was horrible!
    But nothing has ever been done to help people and spread this word about this terrible company!
    Thank you for this website!

  22. Sergeants is also bad news. My parents used it on all 5 of their cats a fews years ago. All got sick off of it and one died. Please, please, please, use the stuff your vet offers, it’s much safer and your vet can tell you if it’s right for your pet. I’m so sorry for th we loss of all of your pets.

  23. I only use natural remedies for fleas after I read on Tiny Timmy’s journey https://www.facebook.com/TinyTimmysHealingJourney/info?tab=page_info

    So far the following works in combating and preventing flea infestations
    Brewer’s Yeast Flea Treats: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001SGW5AS?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_sfl_image_15&smid=A2RYMXMGFBVXGT

    Spirit Flower Essences: http://www.spiritessences.com/

    And I may every now and then spray the home ones or couple times a year in spring and or end of summer general cleaning, but very minimal especially if there is no apparent infestation, just to kill dormant flea eggs laying around that could hatch sometime anytime (they can stay dormant for over 2 years) with Vets+Best http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003PRI6OC?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

    Even indoor cats catch fleas. We hoomans bring it home through our shoes and clothing.

  24. I literally feel your pain, but as a result of food poisoning, rather than flea stuff. My perky tabby was fine until Royal Canin switched her food this week. In 16 hours she went from playing to being lethargic, then vomiting hourly before having a heart attack. The ONLY thing that changed in her life was that food. I buried my baby because of someone’s lack of quality control.

  25. We tried Hartz on our cats. The first cat was agitated when we put it on and afterwards but she is always fidgety when we apply her treatment. She went to hide. Our male cat was treated next and we never have problems with him. But as soon as my husband put the hartz on him, he let out the most agonizing and horrific screech, jumped out of our arms and began rolling around the floor, still screeching in pain. My husband grabbed him and literally pushed his head and neck area under running water and then soaped the area. We then went to get the female and did the same (not an easy task because she was so traumatized) Never again!! That poison is horrible!!!

  26. I have never used the otc remedies for fleas. Always bought them from my vet. I do understand they are extremely expensive from the vets office. I had the same problem with k9 advantatix plus from the vets office. I applied to our 90 lb dog and she became ver lethargic, I happened to drop a bit on my coffee table and my fingernail and it ate right through the finish off my table and took my polish right off. I switched to frontline right away. I ask myself, what are we putting on our beloved pets. What is in these products! If it can take nail polish off?

  27. Don’t use Seargents products like flea medication. My cat died in my arms after I used it. Both harts and Seargents are dangerous to cats.

  28. I had the same thing happen to me in 2000 after using Hartz two and one flea dip! I lost my “Kimmi the Himmi” who was only a year and a half.

  29. That is so sad! I don’t think they have this produce where I am thankfully, I know it’s no comfort but I’m sending you hugs and hope your other furbaby makes it, love for me and my furbabies xx

  30. I put this stuff on my two cats shortly after adopting them in 2005. Within a couple of hours they both began exhibiting strange behavior (howling, extreme agitation, etc). I called my vet and he told me to bathe them IMMEDIATELY, several times, with dish soap. Within an hour or so, they both began to behave normally again and are both still alive today. How this company gets away with selling this poison is beyond me.

  31. I bottle raise kittens and at the beginning I used their kitten formula. The litter was 2 weeks old when I found them. A week into the formula 2 went limp and would shake. They were ice cold and lifeless. Their third eyelid glazed over their eyes. A third kitten was vomiting. Imagine a tiny baby vomiting like that! It was horrible. Their doctor checked their glucose and all was well. He said it looked like it was their time. I took them home to try my own stuff and they made it. It was the worst experience .

  32. I made this mistake once. The groomer at pet store sold it to me. I thought cost less and convenient Almost killed both of my cats. Luckily I noticed something was wrong and called my vet right away. They told me to wipe them down with wet rags and make sure they drank a lot of water. Never again. I sent a mass email to my office warning everyone. That was about 13 years ago. I even called the pet store to warn them.

  33. I had a cat that nearly died from this. Luckily I lived close to an animal emergency room. I called them and they told me to get there as fast as possible. The vet and the techs met me in the parking lot. By that time my cat was having seizure after seizure. He recovered some, but he was always sickly after that. I learned my lesson. Flea and tick meds come from a vet, not a pet store or from MalMart.

  34. I feel for you! I have a 15 year old cat I put a Hartz Ultraguard flea collar on earlier this year when fleas were bad. I did not know about all of the issues with Hartz products either. A week later she started convulsing. I immediately took it off washed her and after a LONG 3 day weekend with over a dozen seizures got her into the vet first thing Monday morning thank GOD this vet knew about the problems with Hartz got my kitty on valium for the seizures and she has been fine ever since. I curse Hartz and thank God for that vet every day! And yes I wrote to Hartz also..did no good they aknowledged my email and apologized but the product is STILL OUT THERE!

  35. PLEASE READ::: First, i’m so sorry for the loss of your kitty. i hope your other one is doing ok. we almost lost a kitty recently b/c of anemia from the rabies vaccine. feed your sick kitty raw beef liver. this will help immediately with blood cell count levels, and will help them to fight the medicines poisoning them. The easiest thing is to shred some frozen beef liver like you would with cheese. our kitty was so sick we had to force feed him. we were able to find a homeopathic vet in the area that helped us as well. you can get minerals from a local vitamin shop specific to their symptoms. We If you can find a homeopathic vet in your area, they can help you as well.
    i hope your kitty gets better!!!

  36. Please! No one should use Hartz flea products on any animal! I could have died! I was using it on 3 dogs one of them I had to put it on with my hands and was poisoning myself!!! I had no idea I just thank God I did not kill my animals! I am so sorry for all who have lost their beloved pets to this product!!!

  37. Let’s all write to marketplace and ask them to do an investigation on Hartz ! If enough people write to them we could do something about it. Maybe start a petition as well!!!

  38. This is why I only use Dawn Dish Soap on cats and kittens, kills the fleas but isn’t toxic to the cats. I also sometimes use vinegar mixed with water if the fleas are bad in the house, the vinegar causes them to dry out. Use the Vinegar mix on clothing furniture ect, not the cats as the stuff can hurt their eyes and nose, plus a gallon of cleaning vinegar is really cheap, and lasts a long time. it also kills odor, so if you dog has a favorite spot to have accidents, spray some vinegar on it, let it sit for a few minutes then wipe up (always test to see if it stains the material or not)

  39. Hartz is much like Purina. It is owned by a large corporation only driven by profit. This is what I got off of their website. “In 2011, Sumitomo took on a partner and Hartz became a joint venture of Sumitomo and Unicharm Corporation, a leading consumer goods company based in Japan. Unicharm entered into the pet-care business in 1986 and is currently the leading pet care manufacturer in Japan.” They are too big to fight. The only way to get them to pay attention is to get people to stop buying their poison. Start up a Facebook campaign to boycott Hartz

  40. This has been in the news, it’s been an ongoing thing for over a decade. They also make Jerky treats that will kill your animals. Why is it allowed to continue I have no idea my guess is they don’t care. It’s just not worth giving anything to your pet that you can’t buy from a vet including pet food.

  41. Well I work in the industry and know for a fact that harts products have clear labels saying a product is not for cats. This is mandated by the EPA. Their is a symbol of a cat with a line threw it in a prominent space on the package. I am sorry u lost your kitties but now u know to check the labels. Only buy an product with a picture of a cat on it. We make Effipro for cats and is available online.

    1. No, Hartz, Sergeants, et al. make products for both dogs AND cats. Yes, sometimes these issues are due to people using the dog product on cats, but as a vet I have seen multiple cats with toxicity even from the products that are supposedly safe for cats (whether a topical spot-on product or a flea shampoo). This is the main reason I tell people to stay away from any OTC product and get something from their vet (or at least something recommended by the vet). The other reason is that most of the products just don’t work! People will tell me “I’ve been using XYZ product from Walmart for 3 months and we still have just as many fleas!”

  42. My cat just died 3 weeks ago and I was blaming the flea shampoo , which wad Hartz, and I thought I was crazy. I was using it for the passed couple months even putting a flea collar on her.. Then on a Wednesday I bathed her again..she star yes acting very strange 3 days later on Saturday she died.. I guess I won’t be using Hartz on my cats anymore!

  43. Seeing all these posts on here should ring a bell with all of you.
    Don’t you realize you have a class action lawsuit?
    All it would take is for one person to consult the proper
    attorney. Then everyone needs to reach out to anyone they
    know to jump on board.
    This is the only way you will have any hope of getting the product off the market.
    Hit them in the pocket. Do not settle for the money though.
    Demand the courts make Hartz take their shitty product off the market.
    The choice is yours people….

  44. I had a beautiful 1 year old Australian Cattle Dog that was poisoned by the Hartz Flea Shampoo about 10 years ago. The symptoms were swift. Had him at the dr within 36 hrs. Told me to wash him throughly and all we could do was just wait and see. Told me that he had seen many animals die from Hartz products, mostly cats. My beauty, Nipper, was put down only 2 days later. Seizures, no eating, did not recognize us and was growling and hiding when we came near. A truly horrific end to his life.

  45. When something so serious is wrong with your pet, you need to get to a vet right away!! Do not wait 2 hours, 4 hours , or even 1 hour! Never use any Hartz products ever!! It’s sad that this company is still around after killing so many animals!!

  46. I used Hartz on my two siamese cats about 9 years ago. I put it on about 6pm and by 2am both were having severe seizures. I called an emergency vet and they told me to “put them in the bath tub right now and rinse them off for about 15 minutes and to call them back asap”. I did as instructed and thank god i was able to save both my cats but just barely. I was told they both would’ve been dead by morning. I called Hartz and all I got was “seizures can be a side effect but are rare”. RARE my ass. I have never used ANYTHING Hartz again and I tell everyone I know NEVER to used their products. They dont stand behind their products and as you can see by all the comments, they are killers.
    Im so sorry for all your loses. I wish tbere was something us as pet owners could do to shut them down. They are basically killing our “children”.

  47. We had a cat die from using the harts flea medicine probably 10 years ago. The company didn’t do anything about it, I think they offered reimbursement for the flea medicine. But what is $15 compared to losing your cat?! We won’t buy anything hartz brand now!!

  48. How do we get this crap off the shelf.. I wouldnt want any compesation just justice for my cat.. I had a healthy 3 year old playing with my 10 yr old last night and we decided to give her a bath.. I did not realize that it was our last time with her.. We used the Hertz cat shampoo and she had a seizer right after I had rinsed it off. It was like she was sufficating. My daughter seen her death in front of us and Iam so heart broken.. This is rediculious that I had to go through this and never knew that it contained pyrthrins cause I had bought it through a store and read that all these animals have died.. What can we do????

  49. Note:
    Heart worm and flea meds are toxins to begin with, that’s how they are effective at doing what they do.
    There are many ‘natural’ methods available to prevent fleas, ticks, etc.
    There are many immunizations as well which are dangerous to pet health, and most shots given as a puppy are effective for seven plus years (7+); no need to over vaccinate.

    This is tragic, and I am so sorry to hear about this. Thank you for sharing though so others can learn from this.

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