Hartz Ultraguard almost killed my cat

We put Hartz on our cat because my girlfriend thought that it would be O.K. since she had applied K9 Advantage to her grandmothers cats in the past without incident.  We love our cat dearly and this was an honest mistake that is commonly made.  I just want to tell my story so it may help the next person.  About an hour after applying the treatment my cat started acting weird and then I awoke to her crying in the middle of the night.  She was in a lot of pain and I could see her twitching her ears and shaking her head as her nervous system had been poisoned by the permethrin.  This condition is known as permethrin toxicity and there is no antidote for it.  The best thing to do is to wash your animal with Dawn dishsoap because Hartz is an oil based solution and the Dawn does well to break it down.  After washing my cat with the Dawn I saw an almost immediate improvement.  The muscle spasms stopped within 36 hours.  We are very lucky to still be graced with our cats presence.  These over the counter medicines are really not worth the trouble and you should consult your vet before using any of them.  Most of these flea spot treatments are manufactured in China and other places in the world with a cheap labor pool.  The government is in the process of investigating these products as incidents are on the rise.  See article.


I hope our experience can help someone else.

Sergeant’s Gold Flea&Tick Squeeze on – Don’t use this!!

My 14 lb miniature poodle had the same negative reaction described by others, immediately following application of Sergeant’s Gold Flea&Tick Squeeze on – running around frantically, scratching non-stop, eating grass, foaming at the mouth, vomiting.  We bathed him twice that evening and gave him a Benadryl.  He continued this behavior all night long and when he hadn’t improved by morning, i called the vet who said to bring him in immediately!  She said there had been lots of problems with Sergeant’s and Hartz brands.  We’ve used Frontline in the past with no negative reaction.  Long story short – if we hadn’t taken him in then, he may have worsened and died, as many other pets apparently have!  The vet put him on an IV, gave him more sedatives and drugs to counteract the toxicity in his body, and kept him overnight for a total bill of $857!!  I’m sending it to the company and hope to receive a refund.  If not, i hope there will be a class action suit.  This is definitely cruelty to animal

Not just flea and tick products

I am fostering a litter of kittens and when they were 4 weeks old, I asked my mother to pick up a can of formula at the store. I was very specific about the brand, but she accidently picked up Hartz milk replacer. She later called me, frantic, because after ingesting the Hartz formula, all three kittens were vomiting and one was down and out. I raced home, picking up a can of the right formula on my way. The one kitten was really sick, her gums were extremely pale and she was almost completely non-responsive, but her swallowing reflex still worked, which is a good sign. I forced some Nutri-Cal into her as well as syringe fed some water and kept her with me, nice and warm. It took about 3 hours for her to come around. But she finally did, and she’s been fine since switching her back to the regular formula. I had told my mother absolutely no Hartz but she bought it anyway, thinking I just didn’t like the brand. Now she knows the real reason.

Hartz UltraGuard Plus made my cat VERY sick

I was at the store, and decided to buy the Hartz UltraGuard Plus, as we were out of the Frontline.  My cats, adopted 6 months ago from the Humane Society, are mostly garage and outside cats due to my allergies, so they get fleas and ticks if left untreated.  I went home, treated both cats as directed on the packaging.  Asia, who is a female calico, age 7-9, is about 10 pounds.  Tigger, a male ginger tiger, age 1-2, is about 20 pounds. 

Within a day or so, I noticed that Asia was not drinking or eating.  They sleep in the garage in their puffy beds, and she was not leaving hers.  I thought maybe it was the heat, even thought the garage is pretty mild.  I took her some iced water and a special dish of food, but she was not interested.  I left it there in case she was just suffering from the heat.  It has been around 100 degrees all week in Kansas. 

The next day, I noticed that Asia’s neck area looked funny.  It looked clumpy and oily, and I could see through to some very white skin in patches.  I got online right away to look at lethargy, no interest in grooming, etc.  I also decided to look up the Hartz products since I did not think it was a coincidence.  I found that they are VERY bad. 

After bathing Asia, giving her a spot on the couch, and giving her extra love and attention as well as hand feeding and syringes of water, she seems to be a little better.  She is still off balance, tired, weak, and all-around under the weather. I hope that keeping her inside and hand feeding her will help improve her even more.

I am appalled that Hartz is still selling these products.  This is terrible.


First i want to thank everyone who has posted on this site and offer my deepest condolances to all animals lost and pain suffered.

Recently, my cat Darla developed a flea infestation, so i bought some Hartz drops and a collar for her at the store.  Tonight, i noticed that as she was cleaning herself, her tongue was hitting the collar, so i removed it and googled “hartz flea collars” to see if it was toxic to ingest…which, obviously, it is.  Darla is fine right now, and i cleaned the nape of her neck off as best i could.

This website was the first link to come up in google, and i am so thankful because i was able to remove these products within hours of application, instead of finding my beloved kitty twitching and dead beneath my bed tomorrow morning.

I pray that no damage is done, and again from the bottom of my heart i thank every one of you and will have all of your animals in my thoughts and prayers.

A story of long ago.

I’ve known about Hartz products for years, but was talking recently with a friend about my current cats.  We got onto a discussion about how you just can’t make some cats wear collars!  It reminded me of the Hartz collar that almost killed my first cat.  The fiasco went as such:

I was 12, maybe 13, and my first cat had fleas.  He was a sweet, affectionate cat, whom I loved dearly.  My mother bought a Hartz flea collar, in some cute purple color, and we put it on my cat.  Unlike many of the more recent stories, the effect wasn’t immediate.  It took him about three to four days, over which time he grew increasingly lethargic.  By the fourth or fifth day, he could barely walk straight.  Now, just being a child, I didn’t make the connection.  I don’t think anyone in the house really did, because my family had always used generic flea collars with no issue.  What happened was at the end of the week, I was cradling my cat, whom I was sure was dying, in my arms.  He had this vacant stare, and he was drooling, and had rapidly degenerated to this state over the course of a six to seven days.  I remembered that he had been trying to pry the flea collar off of himself a few times (which I had attributed to his dislike of collars) and said to him, through my tears, “You’re going to die anyway, it won’t matter if we take this off.  I know you hate it.”  It was then that I took the collar off of him.

Within 24 hours, he could walk again, and within 48 hours he was drinking and eating normally.  It was only my compassion that saved him.  His sudden turn-around after the removal of the collar inspired me to look up Hartz online, and I found this or a similar website, even way back then.  I’m not sure why I never submitted this story; perhaps just childhood shyness.  I am 27 years old now.  Hartz has been diseasing and killing our pets for at least a decade, and I’m still appalled every time I think about it.  Just thought I’d drop my story in the bucket.

PS- That same cat only died last year; he lived to be 18 years old.  There is hope for a long healthy life for your pet, it just may take some recovery.

Hartz Collar

I bought a german shepard on april 1st 09. I put a hartz collar on her she was 7 weeks old. On June 7th she was running across the lawn and she started having a seizure. I took her to the vet the next morning. I was told then about the harm these collars do to animals. She has had 8 seizures that I know of since that day. The vet said hopefully she will grow out of them when the poisions finally leave her system. I think Hartz should have to pay for my vet bills. I bought this dog to eventually breed and sell the pups. Now having had seizures I cant ever breed her. She will have to be fixed. I’m extremely mad about this.


The America consumer spends half a billion dollars annually  on products that kill fleas. Many of these products are not only unsafe for animals but also many have toxic effects on humans. The EPA, registers most of these products as safe pestcides. They are not safe.

On 02/11/01 I became brutally aware of Hartz flea products after using Hartz flea and tick drops on stray cat I had taken in. That day and the next few will forever stand out in my mind. I joking refer to that time as my ‘Hartz awakening’. I have fought to get Hartz flea products of shelves ever since.

I have “My story”, just as every victim of Hartz or other over counter flea product victim does. The stories only vary in the degree of sorrow, be it from the injuries or deaths these products have caused and the amount of money paid to save or try to safe an animal after their use. I have read thousands of them. Sometimes I cry but all the time I get angry. How dare this still be happening. How dare the EPA or other government entity not stop this. The reason is all to simple, GREED.

What you will be reading below is all factual and I hope it will cause you to help put a stop to this before more animals suffer needless harm and death.
I urge you to take action. File complaints, write letters, emails and make calls.   Stay angry about this and do something. WE all must come together to put a stop to this. You must take the time to file complanits,  write letters and  make calls. And perhaps the most important thing of all is to tell people. Tell everyone you know. Tell people you see at the  store looking at these flea products. Get the word out. By doing this you may actually help save an animal from injury and /or death.  Become as animal advocate, especially if you have  your own story.

Hartz has been producing dangerous flea products since 1987. At that time Blockade, was pulled off store shelves after the company admitted that it had caused 366 animal deaths and 2,700 injuries, as well as 56 human injuries

What follows are some high points of the past ten years regarding Hartz.

1999 WFMY News http://www.wfmynews2.com/2wk/2wk.asp?ID=1201
Regarding harm to humans by Hartz products, it turns out that Hartz settled out of court  for a girl’s death from their flea shampoo.

Case details: Delbert Lee Campbell and Virginia P.
Campbell v. The Hartz Mountain Corporation, Colorado Federal District Court, Case No. 98-WY-1171-WD
The Campbell’s attorneys: http://www.zodrow.com/main/cases/env.htm

The EPA orders Hartz to recall their Flea and Tick Drops for re -labeling after thousands of complaints about injuries and deaths attriubted to the products.
In 2003 a case action was filed against Hartz Mountian. It was settled out of court on July of that year.The stipulations regarding settlements required that the orginal product or packaging, the sales reciept, Vet bills and a letter from the Vet stating that the cause for the treatment was reqiured directly from the use of the product must be sent in to file a claim. Claims would not be paid if the animals had  died unless an autopsy had  been  preformed whiich indicated the use of the product was the cause of death. In addition  the  person filing the claim was required to sign a mulit paged do not disclose and information about Hartz agreement. The settlement pay outs were limited to the cost of the product and Vet  bills. Nothing for injury or loss of the animal.
 * I was involved in the class action and  and refused to settle and give up the right to speak out about Hartz.

ASPCA CASE NUMBER from May 31, 2004 is case # 40034238

In August of 2004 we know that Hartz had recieved at least 58074 complaints. As this number was given to a person filing a complaint.

Those number are from 2004  Can you dare to imagine what the actual numbers are today? Horrifying thought isn’t it.

By the way these companies are awesome in their ability to get the EPA to believe that the reasons for most of these complaints are due to the American consumer being to stupid to (A) Buy the correct product for thier pet. (B) Read and follow the instructions. That was Hartz response back then and the EPA bought into it.
6/18/04 Sumitomo buys Hartz Mountain for $365 million 

6/3/05 EPA and Hartz agree to recall, relabel and  stop  the sale of Hartz Fle and Tick Drops for cats and kittens, on 3/06. At that time they will put a new product on the  market to replace their flea and tick drops for cat.
The Latest  News Articles –

EPA Investigates Hundreds of Flea, Tick Products. States that The Environmental Protection Agency is “intensifying its evaluation” of hundreds of spot-on flea and tick products, which contain pesticides and may have accounted for thousands of pet injuries and deaths in the past two years.

A “significant increase” in the number of reports prompted the EPA to investigate the individual commercial products and their major manufacturers, including Hartz Mountain Corp., Central Life Sciences and Bayer AG, according to EPA spokesman Dale Kemery.

The agency is not, however, recommending or requiring any companies to recall their products.

Kemery says the EPA is not targeting specific companies — just the products that may have contributed to the 44,263 incident reports the EPA received in 2008. Approximately 1,200 of those reports accounted for animal deaths.

The numbers mark a sharp increase from the approximate 28,000 incidents pet owners reported in 2007.

“There has been this increase and there is definitely a concern,” Kemery said. “That’s why we are investigating this.

 Contact For Mr Kemery
[email protected]

April 24, 2009
Oakland SF Chronical

Group says flea collars for pets endanger kids
The Natural Resources Defense Council urged federal regulators to remove the products from the market

EPA 5/09
Increased Scrutiny of Flea and Tick Control Products for Pets

Monterey County Herald

EPA investigating spot-on flea treatments


Pet products draw warning

5/18/09  KOCO
Resources, Web Sites For Flea/Tick Poisoning Story


Pet owners concerned about flea and tick medications

Defiance Crescent News
Some flea and tick medicines could lead dogs and cats to increased risk of injury

Wall Street Journal

Fur Flies Over Flea Treatments

Flea Treatment Side Effects


Hopefully reading this has enlighted you to just how bad these products and given you the urge to want to, “do something about this” All the information and contacts for filing complaints for victims and others wanting to stop the injustice and the suffering of our animals from greedy companies can be found on the , “Need Help’ page. Please join the fight and  help us stop this.  Thank you!

Suggested Information sites-

BioSpotVictims.org      An awesome collection of informational articles

Against Hartz          
Hartz Victims Memorial Quilt
*Note Both the above sites must be moved as geocities is closing

Hartz Plus Guard

Today I go to Petsmart and get my cat some Hartz Plus Guard flea drops because I ran out of the usual stuff I use.  i get home and put it on my two cats and am shocked by the amount of oily substance that gels their hair at the base of their neck.  A few hours later, one of my cats starts acting funny rubbing up against me in ways he generally does not do.  Its four hours and the oily substance has still not dried.  So I take a damp cloth and wipe as much of it as I can away.

I then jump on the internet to see what the heck is going on.  Luckily I find this and other pages.  I quickly give him a bath (The most traumatic event in his life. )  It kills me to do it but the lathargic looks he was giving me and the unnatural way he was acting forced me to follow through.

After I was done I call the 800 number on the back of the box which gives me an 888 number where a “vet” tells me to do exactly what I had done.  he starts referring to the product as a “pesticide”.  I didin’t buy a “pesticide”  I bought a nationally sold product sold by a national retailer which is supposed to care about animals!!!  

My cat is still not acting normal and now it is a little after midnight and I have to be in court in the morning.  I am afraid to go to sleep now that I have read all the horrible things that you all have shared.  The “vet” told me it should be alright and that I should continue to monitor him and if he worsens to take him to the vet.  Now am I supposed to pay for this vet bill? I requested that someone from Hartz return my call tomorrow and I am hoping that my cat will be ok.

This is the last Hartz product I ever use!!!