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Sender’s Name: Pat Shields
Sender’s Email: <withheld>

Message: I have a brand new spray bottle of Hartz "Control" for
cats. I was going to use it in a couple of days on my four cats, and my favorite
cat was going to be first.  I just happened to land on this web site first,
thank GOD!  My 20-year-old cat died recently, probably from cancer or a
heart attack (he was so old that the doctor did not want to hurt him more by
investigating to find out) and it would have been more devastating to know that
I hurt the little ones by trying to help them.  As soon as I read some of
the letters here, I called my dog in and took off his Hartz flea collar. 
He has had it on for two months, but I don’t want to take ANY chances. 
Just because he isn’t acting sick does not mean that he isn’t enduring something
he can’t tell me about. 

And you know, my old cat was sick anyway, but not too long before he died I
used Hartz flea shampoo on him.  I hope to high heaven I didn’t push him
over the edge.  I will never know, but you can be sure that I won’t make
that mistake again!  Thank you for the information, and my cats thank you. 
Now of course I will be racking my brain to try to remember if my old cat’s
seizures were related to any flea products I might have used at the same times.

UPDATE: Hartz paid!

I wrote back in October that Hartz flea and tick drops nearly killed our cat, Samantha and we racked up $500 in vet bills. well, we wrote Hartz a letter and submitted all of our vet documentation and bills and just today we received a check from Hartz for the full amount along with a letter of apology. though this doesn’t change the fact that that poison is still on the shelves, I’m glad they did the right thing and paid us back.

Our Response From Hartz

A few months ago, we had our very own Hartz Horror Story with Apolo, our kitten. I sent a letter to Hartz detailing our experience. A few days after that I saw a news story and found this website.

Hartz requested I send them all of our information including the vet’s diagnosis, an itemized bill, and any unused portion of the Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops we had. I sent all the information via UPS so that I could track it.

Once I saw the package had arrived, I waited one week and then emailed my contact at Hartz. I was able to state in my email the exact time the package had arrived, as well as the name of the person who had signed for it. I received a return email saying my case was still under investigation.

Fast forward to today, when we received the following letter from Hartz Mountain Corp.:

“Dear ________,

We are deeply sorry to hear about the unfortunate experience that took place with your kitten, Apolo. We understand how people become extremely concerned when their pets experience problems of any nature.

Advanced Care Once a Month Flea & Tick Drops For Cats is approved by the EPA and has undergone multiple safety and efficacy studies. The EPA will only grant registration to products that are able to satisfy their strict safety guidelines.

Hartz understands the relationship that develops between a family and their pet. We are truly sorry about Apolo’s unpleasant experience with Advanced Care Once a Month Flea & Tick Drops For Cats. As a gesture of goodwill, we are enclosing our check to reimburse you for your veterinary expenses and for the remaining product.

We are constantly improving and updating our product line, and your comments are important to us. The suggestions of concerned and caring pet owners are taken into account during product review.

We hope that we have been of assistance and that we can be of continuing service.”

Included was a check for the full amount of our veterinary bill and the unused drops I had returned.

This in no way makes up for what we went through, or what other people have endured. It also does nothing to change my opinions of the company and their products. I am grateful that we had a positive resolution, but I know that had we lost Apolo, no amount of money in the world would have made it better. I intend to continue being an advocate for animals everywhere, and sharing my Hartz story at every opportunity.

My Poor Freak

I have a very small kitten whom I have cared for since he was 4 weeks old. His mother pushed him aside, along with three of his littermates because they were sick. These poor kittens had contracted a virus. Two of them unfortunately didn’t make it and the lone survivor was named Freak. It took Freak a long time to begin to get healthy again. Now that he’s healthy, I decided it was time treat him for his fleas. I purchased the Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops. Within hours of applying them, Freak began to have tremors. I have washed him with soap and lots of water, and I am getting ready to wash him again. He seems to be improving, but I do not know what else to do for him. I live in a small town, it is Saturday night, and there is no vet until Monday morning. So here I sit with my fingers crossed, searching for some answers and getting angrier at a company I had trusted for years. I will never again use a Hartz product on any of my animals. I also used the drops on my three dogs, and now i’m terrifed they will get sick too. Wish my poor little Freak the best.

Mary’s Story

I had a kitty girl named Mary who was 14 years old. I took good care of her and loved her for 12 years. She was my best friend and I loved her with all of my heart.

The first week of October, 2003 I purchased Hartz flea drops to rid her of her fleas. I put the drops on her, following the directions, but stupidly ignoring the warning about elderly cats – I used Advantage all the time and it was fine for her. I wish I knew about the “real” issues in using it. Here, on the net, were all these warnings that I never knew about.
She started to act “under the weather” but being 14 sometimes she did get blue. We were preparing for a week long trip away from home, so being busy was a big mistake on my part, as I didn’t think that there was anything serious going on. No convulsions or anything to determine she as really ill.

I had a neighbor looking in on and feeding her twice a day while we were gone, like dozens of times before.
Upon our arrival home, Mary was weak and lethargic and had lost a lot of weight. I took her to the vet the next morning (we got in at midnight) and they examined her. I brought the Hartz package with me and she said, “oh, that’s bad news to use on cats” but that was all she told me. She didn’t say it was possibly fatal. They kept Mary all day and when I picked her up, Dr. Z told me she had a low temp and they warmed her up and gave her fluids. She was also constipated really bad, so they fixed that too. I had just learned from my neighbor that she hadn’t eaten all week. (why she didn’t get taken in by them is beyond me and another story) But we figured since she was so blocked up, that’s why she didn’t eat much.

The vet never said anything about pesticide poisoning. I wonder now if she was trying to spare my feelings and concerns about what I possibly had done to my girl.

Her blood tests came back normal: her kidneys were okay for her age and her liver enzymes slightly elevated, inconslusive for the time being, we’d check again in a week. Her blood test did not indicate severe damage caused by pesticides.

We chalked it up to her being upset that we’d left, had a digestion problem, but should be alright in a couple days.
So we headed home and she was okay for a few days but over the weekend, she lost interest in all food, could barely walk, couldn’t drink water and basically was withering away. I thought she had a virus that she was trying to kick, but she kept getting worse.

On Monday morning, October 20, 2003 I took my baby, who was barely alive into the doctor’s office for the last time. I sent Mary to heaven with the help of her doctor.

After reading the testimonials from other pet-lovers, I’m not convinced that Mary died of natural causes. Although her symptoms were far less severe from that of others, I believe the poison slowly killed her over the course of 2 weeks, rather than so suddenly as others. She felt sick while we were gone, did not receive immediate attention from a vet, her digestive system was compromised and ultimately she could not shake it.
As my mom saw it, her system was trying to work the poison out of her, but she wasn’t as strong as the poison was. She almost made it. I of course regret all that I unknowingly did to cause her death.
This was all recently brought to my attention when I told my mom about the Hartz. (it’s been 2 months since Mary went to heaven and I can’t get over it) She asked me if my vet knew and I said yes. She suspects that Dr. Z was trying to ease my fears and in the end tried to spare my feelings of guilt and despair by not telling me I had a hand in her illness and death. I’ll be talking to the vet to make sure that what I suspect is true about the product. I need to know if it was a coincidence that she got so ill after the use of Hartz, that it was something of a different nature, or if I did in fact kill my Mary by using an over the counter poison on her.


our cats (3) were mistakenly poisoned today because the plastic vials of flea medication looked exactly like other tubes that we have used in the past just for cats & kittens (which instead were for our huge dogs). There was no labelling on the products to indicate that it was lethal or deadly or any sort of indication to NOT use on anything other than dogs. All three cats are now on IVs and anti-seizure medication at the emergency vet clinic. These vials were made by BioSpot which I believe is made by Hartz … other vials of flea medication for myST. Bernards is in large tubes (duh) and the labels are easily read (frontline) …however, these three small tubes were virtually illegible as to any labels but with a magnifying glass, we could read (after the fact) that it was for dogs 60 lbs and over, etc. …. still nothing said about cats. However, we immediately began cleaning and tryign to remove this product from the cats’ coats; all to no avail, within 5-7 hours, they all began exhibiting symptoms of toxicity. Is there any kind of suit that can be brought against Hartz for this negligent labelling that causes such accidents to occur?

any help you can give us woudl be greatly appreciated. so far, after 10 hours of the occurrence, they are hanging on for their life, but just barely. please let me know if there is any help or advice from others.

[email protected]

Not only Hartz….

I work at a veterinarian office, and I have seen first-hand incidences of reactions to many O.T.C. flea preventions. We had a lady come in that had bathed her 3 cats in Sergents flea & tick shampoo for cats, and they all died within a day of each other. She was so devestated that we had to call a friend of hers to pick her up from the office. The one that lived the longest, died after $800+ of life saving medicine. We are still working with her and helping her out. Not all veterinarian offices are as understanding, but a lot will help out in times of emergencies if you are willing to make an effort! So don’t feel like you can’t take your pet to the vet’s office because you don’t have the money. ESPECIALLY in cases like these! Even though there is no guarantee, we have saved most of the 10 cases of reactions to flea products this year. I am doing my best to educate the public and companies that sell the terrible stuff! I even have a “No-Hartz” sticker on my nametag. Keep up the good work! We will get them soon I know it!

-JE Medley

flea drops nightmare!

As I write this my little buddy is in the animal hospital hooked up to an IV struggling for his life.
I wish that I never put those flea drops on my cat. I will hold a vigil tonight with the kids and hope our poor guy pulls through.

more victims of hartz

Hartz flea spray and drops killed 2 of my precious cats this week. I did not know of this problem with the Hartz spray until this happened to me. I lost 2 beautiful siamese cats that can never be replaced in my heart. they were young and should have lived many more years in my home. please spread the word…DO NOT BUY OR USE HARTZ products!

My Cat Cybil

About 4 years ago when my Cybil kitty was about
7 months old, I gave her a flea treatment. Less than 24 hours later, she was acting very strange. She was shaking and twitching and having uncontrollable muscle spasams for about 12 to 15 hours. My income was way below poverty level, about $450.00 per month. I could’nt afford a vet,
so we rode it out… After the muscle spasams stopped she started going into seizures. I mean she was flopping around for about 4 or 5 hours.
I thought for sure that she was going to die.

I did not know for sure what caused that to happen
until today. I was just exploring the web site because she is very ill right now from fleas, i think.

I will refrain from giving her a Hartz treatment, that’s for sure!


Sue Anderson