A post about flea treatments making cats sick (sometimes resulting in death) has been circulating the internet and Facebook  for the past couple of months. One recent posting told the story of Smidge, the kitten,  who died hours after his owners gave him of the shelf  (supermarket bought) flea treatment.

Cork ACS has investigated as to if there could be any truth to this information and were informed by our specialised vets that there is indeed a real and major risk and that owners need to be responsible and make sure that they only use cat/kitten treatment on cats.

Treatments intended for dogs or puppies may contain a harmful ingredient called permethrin. This can cause serious illness and death in cats and should NEVER be used.

Off the shelf treatments can be found in many supermarkets, Pet shops  and discount shops across the country and it is often tempting to purchase a treatment that only costs a couple of euro instead of visiting your vet but owners can easily choose an inappropriate treatment and there are no trained personnel to advise them otherwise. Cat and dog treatments are often stored close to each other so it is quite easy to make a mistake.

These products, if inappropriately used, are a false economy and sadly in the case of Smidge the kitten it proved to be a fatal mistake by the kittens owners for which the kitten paid the price with its life.

If you have accidentally used the wrong treatment on your cat/kitten keep an eye out for signs of toxicity including generalized tremours, muscle fasciculations and seizures. If in doubt visit your vet IMMEDIATELY. The signs can take several hours to develop and can take as long as 48 hrs.

We urge our readers to buy their flea and worm treatments from their Vets and not of the shelf, Yes, it might be a bit more expensive that way but isn’t your pets life worth those few extra euro’s?

For more information we suggest that you visit the ASPCA Poison Control Website page. Here is the link:


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