My loss

My cat Meriadoc was thirteen and still acted like a kitten. My elderly vet said he was the sweetest, most calm and laid-back cat he’d ever met. My cat Madison is half purebred show Persian and has a terrible problem with fleas. I bought the Hartz flea medication hoping it would help, because the more expensive products only seem to last a week or so. Madison cried and struggled when I applied it to his neck. (He doesn’t fight or object when I apply Advantage) A bit later I noticed Meriadoc was grooming him, licking the back of his neck. I stopped him, but didn’t realize the full danger. A week later, I noticed Meriadoc was a bit thin. He was always a pudgy cat, even as a kitten. On September 30th, I had him put to sleep because he was dying. Madison has lost a lot of weight and is displaying many of the same symptoms. The autopsy on Meriadoc showed his liver and spleen were over five times normal size, and he had peritonitis and growths throughout his abdomen. I’m not avoiding facts when I say that up till the day he licked the Hartz, he was fine. And now he’s dead.

It was a road to recovery

My parents got Oliver after they lost their long time friend, Rocky. Oliver has been a great addition to the family. He looks like a corgi but he is a lab/beagle mix. Oliver is now 15 years old. He has gone down hill due to his old age. Recently Oliver has been struggling with an almost failing kidney. He was put on a special diet and the road to recovery began. My mother noticed he had fleas and bought the Hartz drops at the local Wal-Mart. Two days later, Oliver started to seizure. Frightened with what was going on we took him to his vet. Blood work shows he has improved in every aspect so we weren’t sure what was wrong. Then the vet asked if Hartz products had been used, and told us that has to be the cause of Oliver’s regression. We have been trying to nurse Oliver back to health and have almost put him down a few times just so he doesn’t have to suffer. There is noticeable brain damage happening with every seizure. He now walks sideways and doesn’t have much strength for anything. We have to feed him plain chicken and rice because he won’t eat his special diet food that he once loved and devoured. It’s a sad and unfair ending to such a great life. We’ll always love you, Oliver.

dog toy NOT ideal for strong chewers but dangerous

I sent the following message to Hartz:

I bought this toy for my 8 year old Golden who is a strong chewer but she doesn?t destroy toys easily ? they wear down after a while but if they are good quality, they don?t break into dangerous pieces.

I bought her the Dental Rubber Scrubber and within half an hour it was destroyed and in pieces. Luckily she doesn?t seem to swallow the pieces ? at least I hope she didn?t swallow any. I don?t need to incur a vet bill because of blockage!

This toy is definitely not what it says it is: durable, ideal for strong chewers ? it?s ideal for no dog and quite dangerous.

I don?t think I will ever buy Hartz products again , not even shampoo! I no longer have faith in your products ? I think your bottom line is more important than the welfare of our pets.

I thought the name Hartz stood for quality, reputation and love of animals.

Hartz flea & tick drops killed my 8 year old cat =(

I am quite too upset to talk about this in detail but my cat was given the Hartz flea & tick drops for cats and kittens in August of this year (2006) and the very next month she became anemic, dehydrated lethargic and we had to put her to sleep because she was in so much pain from kidney failure and the vet said it seemed as if she had been poisoned and she absolutelythinks it is because of the Hartz product, she said that after talking with other veterinarians about this she found that many animals are being brought in to emergency clinics because of suffering caused by Hartz flea and tick products. She actually wrote the Hartz company a letter for us to give to them telling them what their product most likely did to our cat. I feel SO extremely guilty for this. I will never get over this, having to sit there and talk kindly to my cat as the vet put her to sleep, and I watched her die. It will haunt me forever. I don’t want anyone else to ever have to go through this because of Hartz!

My vet is actually boycotting Hartz products, as is everyone in their hospital. If that doesn’t tell you enough about Hartz being deadly to animals, that an entire veterinary center is boycotting it, then I don’t know what can convince anyone. PLEASE don’t use Hartz products on your animals! The flea and tick drops don’t even kill the fleas!! It just may kill your pet like it did mine! And Hartz couldn’t possibly care LESS!

Serena H.
Murfreesboro, TN

Other Hartz divisions

According to the Hartz web site (, their divisions include Harper?s Pet Products, VMX Pet Vantage, Wardley, LM Animal Farms, and Nature?s Gold.
Please keep this in mind for your aquatic and small animals.
My brother used Wardley products in his aquarium, and ended up having to trash the whole thing.

hartz ultraguardplus

same thing happened to us i put the drops on my cat and it made him very sick i found him lying in a box very limp and driping from his nose he also shivered very bad

tupper lake new york

A Near Miss

I am so glad I found this article. My 3 month old tabby kitten, Kurt, has always had a bad problem with fleas. I’ve been using Gold’s shampoo on him but I recently picked up Hartz flea and tick spray for him. I’ve used it on him once with no ill effects but you can bet I will NEVER use it on him again after reading these stories. I’m going to throw away my bottle and home and warn my roomate not to use it on the stray she’s planning on adopting either. Thank you so much for the warning!

beware of hartz cat toys too

i am SO glad i found your site BEFORE i ever used such a harmful product on my cats.

i just wanted to add a word of warning to be very careful of some of the hartz toys as well since i have run into a few that are poor quality. some quick examples:

1. their fishing pole – my cat managed to eat a couple of the feathers which tore out almost immediately while we were playing (and yes, when i saw them in his mouth i jumped up to get them out but he swallowed them before i could grab them) and the elastic which is so thin, another cat chewed through it in minutes and could have very easily swallowed that too or the tiny bead strung onto it had i not immediately thrown the toy in the trash.

2. the dizzy daisy – the “crinkly petals” of the flowers which are supposedly designed to entice the cat by the sound they make are apparently very tasty too. once again, into the trash it went.

3. the hartz catnip bubble bottle – the stuff inside had gone bad and when i dipped the wand in, it came out covered in what i can only describe as putrid slime. yep, trash.

i’ve been lucky that with my unfortunate naivete, my cats have managed to pass or vomit the bits they’ve eaten…

please people use common sense with animal toys and don’t make the same mistakes i have. i think dangerous animal toys should be banned too and regulated like children’s toys are. hartz may not be the only culprit here, but they dominate the shelves at my local grocery store and pet stores so i hold them at least partially responsible for the crap out there.

My Cat had seizures most likely due to Hartz flea meds

I am amazed that there are so many similar stories out there like mine and still this product is available!
My 1 1/2 year old health male cat all of a sudden started having seizures. We rushed him to the emergency vet center and was told that it was most likely caused by the “flea medication that we had used about 1 1/2 weeks before. (We used Hartz One spot, which was purchased at Walmart.)
It is 2 days since the original event and our cat is still off balance and crying constantly. Seizures occur still once a day. We may have to put our cat to sleep, which will cause great duress to our children who adore this animal. The vet bill was another added burden. I am just absoletly sick that this is not pulled off the shelves, since there are so many similar stories. I plan on following up with the company and will not stop until this is addressed.
If anyone has suggestions on how I can help get this product off the market please email me at [email protected]

Close Call!

I just adopted my kitten not long ago. She is 6 weeks old and still alive today, but I had a close call with one of the Hartz products.

I was holding Chessy [that’s the kitten’s name] and I noticed a few fleas crawling on her. So, I took her to the bathroom and looked around to see if I had something for the fleas. What I found was Hartz 2 In 1 Flea and Tick Spray. I began to spray my Chessy, when on the third spray she turned around and looked at me, and the spray got in her left eye. Immediately, she began mewling and rubbing at her eye with her paw. I didn’t realize at all that any product meant to go on animals would hurt them when it got in their eyes. So I stopped spraying and picked her up. Immediately, I noticed that her eye and the lids around her eye had turned bright red so I freaked and called the Hartz number on the bottle. If I recall correctly, this was a bit after 8 or 9 pm; and when I called the number on the bottle, an automated message told me their office was closed and to call another number. Now, why would they put a number on the bottle to call in emergencies if they couldn’t at least have a decent 24 hour help line!? Well I called the number they gave me. I think it was poison control or something. Anyhow, at this point, Chessy was dragging herself around on her left side, with her face on the floor. Panicking, and thinking I had blinded her, I told the lady who picked up the situation with my kitten. She put me on hold a total of THREE times, each time lasting at least five whole minutes. And after all that, all she told me was to ‘give it a bath’. Aside from this, she asked how old the kitten was and I told her 6 weeks. Then she said that the product was meant for cats 12 weeks and older. IT DID NOT SAY THIS ON THE BOTTLE. Yes, the bottle had a label on both sides! It looked like it had come from the store and I can prove this. Maybe it said so on a sticker that was tore off or something, but that’s NO excuse, it should say it clearly on at least one side of the bottle itself! Well all in all, I gave my Chessy a bath, no I did not have to take her to the vet, and thank goodness I didn’t; I was pretty much broke at the time. I’m just grateful that I only got three sprays on her and I washed it off as soon as I could. I’m SO thankful that I found this website and learned what I did. I know my experience was not as severe as some of the other victims on this site, but, it just points out the pure ignorance of the Hartz company themselves.

Fayetteville, NC