Never use a dog insecticide on cats. For example, don’t grab you dog’s insecticide to treat your cat’s fleas. It is the sort of thing that can easily be done. “Convenience” comes to mind. A lot of what we (me included) do wrong in relation to our cat is because it is convenient to do it and we don’t realise the consequences. Permanently feeding dry cat food is another example. We should shun convenience and choose: quality care. It is harder.
According to the AVMA Animal Poisons Control Center the number one cat poison is permethrin in their list of ten. Permethrin is an insecticide used on dogs.
To be honest, I wouldn’t use any insecticide on a cat even if it is designed for a cat. The only cat flea treatment I would use is Frontline and even that is toxic and nasty. Topical insecticides designed for cats should be used with great care and the instruction must be read carefully. We are all guilty of being bad at reading instructions.
According to the International Cat Care charity, it is possible for a cat to be poisoned simply by coming into contact with a dog that has had permethrin insecticide treatment. On the basis that that is true, people who keep dogs and cats have to be very careful. Don’t forget permethrin can kill a cat.
In the UK hundreds of cats are put down yearly for poisoning by dog insecticides.
Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid. Pyrethroids are incorporated into many household shampoos and sprays. They are used on dogs and humans. Note: high levels of a similar compound: Pyrethrin can also poison cats.
Look, it is impossible to list all the products that contain permethrin. There are many for humans (creams for example) and even for cats (Bob Martin’s flea collar – totally irresponsible product).
My carefully considered advice is don’t buy or use any product that contains an insecticide on your cat unless your vet – and he has to be a damn good vet – advises that it is OK.
Permethrin poisoning causes a cat to:
- froth at mouth
- have tremors
- be depressed
- breath badly and rapidly
Avoid the bloody stuff and please read the labels. My thanks to Kattaddorra for pointing the dangers of this chemical out to me.
Associated: Toxic to cats.