HomeCat Productsflea treatmentsBad experience with a Bob Martin ‘spot on’ treatment. Warning: margosa extract can be toxic.


Bad experience with a Bob Martin ‘spot on’ treatment. Warning: margosa extract can be toxic. — 35 Comments

  1. I just want to thank you all for the information you have provided. My cat has had a reaction to wilko spot on treatment which has the same ingredients as bob Martin stuff. I have (and was about to use) the BM design wormer but I will now put it straight in the bin. I am sorry for all the bad stuff you all have experienced but I thank you again for sharing your experiences.

  2. I’ve read recently that Dawn dishsoap can be used to kill fleas. This product is used by rescuers to remove oil from various birds and sea life.

    I have to find the instructions, but I believe that for cats, a small amount in warm water would work to bathe cats in. Then let it stay on a few minutes before rinsing off.

    I haven’t tried it yet, and don’t look forward to bathing my cat. But I was thinking about applying a solution around her neck, where she can’t lick it, then rinsing.

    I’ve heard from several people that using food grade diatomatious earth has worked well. Follow directions, and don’t inhale powder. At little on the cat’s bedding and other favorite spots kills fleas.

    Since our weather has turned cold and rainy, my cat doesn’t seem to have fleas. I never want to use any spot on products again, even if recommended by vets. They also recommend Hill’s Prescription foods, and one look at the label will tell you it has the same ingredients of the cheapest pet food, at a much higher price. Most vets don’t know about these things, other than what they’re told by the manufacturers that give them freebies and discounts.

    Since I started feeding raw cat food produced by a local company, she’s regained her health and beautiful coat.

  3. Ethylene glycol monoethyl ether is a solvent in the lacquer, printing, metal and chemical industries. … involving lung oedema, slight liver injury, and extensive kidney damage. … Studies have also shown that inhalation exposure in humans can lead to … In animals, inhalation of higher concentrations can result in testicular cancer, low sperm count, upper respiratory issues and foetal birth defects and severe pain and irritation to the retinas turning them cloudy. sometimes blindness occurs along with neurological disorders. Ingesting these ingredients causes toxic poisoning, seizures, coma and death. Inhalation in humans can lead to renal , liver and kidney failure and upper respiratory damage and severe headaches. In water it is very soluble and poisons drinking water, our water, lakes, rivers etc….

    Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate 9.8% is an irritant and prolonged use of this ingredient along with Ethylene glycol monoethyl ether can cause cancer.It is found in butane lighter fluid to mention one of it’s uses !

    Margosa I believe is neem oil [ tea tree ] and is toxic to humans and cats. None of these ingredients should be licked and therefore ingested by a cat or dog.Try to stop your pet from licking their fur?!..
    Margosa can cause cerebral oedema, irreversible brain damage, and traumatic damage and …..because it contains (neem oil) or permethrin, which is a Poisonous insecticide.
    Eva- this is what I found out so far on the subject.

  4. I’ve found a natural product that repels fleas and ticks for cats and dogs. This doesn’t KILL fleas, but PREVENTS them, so once your animal is free of fleas, this is a safe product for continued use.

    It’s made from geranium and peppermint plant extracts in an almond oil base. (It is a bit oily)
    It’s called Herbal Defense Squeeze-On. It’s from Only Natural Pet online. A 3 months supply of 3 vials only cost $15 US.

    This company offers “holistic veterinarian formulated” by Dr. Jean Hofve, foods, treats, supplements and remedies. I received samples of 1 POUND of their dry cat food for only $1.99 free shipping, with a $5 coupon on my next order!

    They also have RAW freeze dried cat food.

    Take a look at this company; I think it’s one we can believe in.

  5. EVERY ONE BEWARE.!! i bought and used this item it burnt my cats skin and her hair fell out then over the pace of two weeks she lost so much weight and began with nerve damage in her legs till they kept giving way under her. the vets did tests and it had poisoned her it had given her pretty much instant kidney failure to the point of a level 4 which is death.!! the poison also caused ammonia to build up in her body and mouth burning all her lips and gums.!! with in 3 weeks of using this we had to have her put to sleep..! there are so many bad reviews on this item not just from people but vets too trying to ban it.! going back to 2009.!! why they havent removed it off the shelfs or at least put a warning on it i dont know but please if you love your pet ..DO NOT USE THIS ITEM…ITS NOT WORTH THE RISK.!!!

    • What a horror story. It must have been so painful for you too. It would have killed me. Thanks for posting and sharing. I hate flea treatments but sometimes – a lot of the time – they are a necessity but they are dangerous. A lot of people apply too much or use dog treatments on cats etc.. These poison cats and kill them. It’s horrible.

  6. Update. Good news is, Tiger Lily is now flea free. Relief. After using the Advantage brand(Imidacloprid) she was very quiet during that whole day after appling it. I am totally neurotic now so of course I was stressing out in case she went into melt-down like last time but I’m pleased to report back that nothing untoward happened this time. Phew.
    Thanks to everyone for their help and support. I feel quite disgusted by Bob Martins reviews in general. I am very appreciative for all the links so I can now understand how bad their product was making Tiger Lily.
    I will NOT being using any of their products ever again and have warned my colleagues and friends against it too. I am surprised that the vet hadn’t had any previous knowledge or incidents that she’d encountered to warn me about. She didn’t say, for whatever reason anyhow.

      • Suzy: Great to hear your good news and I’m sure Tiger Lily must be feeling a lot more comfortable now she’s free of fleas.

        I must admit if I’m in the pet section of a shop and I see anyone looking at the Bob Martin or other supermarket brands of flea repellants, I always warn them of the dangers. Most people are unaware of the reported problems and are horrified to hear of the potential side effects.

  7. Maybe flea and worm treatments bought from the vets cost a bit more but I would never buy any elsewhere, what price a pet’s health and even their life?

  8. On Facebook there is a group dedicated to the damage BM products have done to cats, hundreds if not thousands of cats have suffered, some have died, through BM flea treatments and flea collars being used on them, skin has been burned by the contents of flea collars being strapped around cat’s necks 24 hours a day. Sadly people trust good old Bob Martin as “he” has cared for animals for so long, and “his” products are so widely available, but if I ever see anyone browsing and looking at anything Bob Martin I tell them to run a mile, and why. Safest to buy such things at the vets, after all we are actually putting insecticides on our cats when we treat them for fleas.

      • Here are one or two comments off Bob Martins own Facebook page, and their response:

        Comment 16/1/15
        Omg I wish I had look at this before giving my puppy the dewormer product he was so ill
        He had to be kept in at the vets He looked like he had a stroke and is still not 100% . I’m very cross about this and something should be done
        Hi Heather, we’re really sorry to hear this. Please can you send us a private message with your contact details and if possible your vet’s contact details so that we can investigate this immediately for you. Thank you.

        Comment 15/1/15
        Will never use any of your products again on my cat. She has been very poorly, and has been to the vets twice! It’s disgraceful that you have had so many complaints yet don’t seem to be doing anything about it?!! My cats neck is a mess from a de wormer spot on. I hope you do something very soon and stop all these poor animals suffering!!!!
        Hi Kristin, we’re so sorry to hear about your cat. We’d really like to talk to you directly about what may have happened, so please can you send us a private message with your contact details and if possible your vet’s contact details and a member of our team will get in touch to investigate this. To reassure you, all our medicines including the Spot on Dewormer are strictly regulated and licensed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate but unfortunately as with all medicines, some animals experience adverse reactions but we do everything we possibly can to support those that report these to us. Thank you.
        Comment 15/1/15
        Just had to rush my daughters cat to the emergency vet after using Bob Martin spot on de wormer. She started foaming at the mouth a short while after it had been applied. Vet is keeping her in overnight to flush, hydrate and observe. He us concerned that she may start to fit as he has seen this happen a number of times after owners have used this product on their pets. If this product is known to be dangerous why is it being sold. I’ve done some online research since we got back from the vets and have found forums where lots of people and vets have made the problem known
        Hi Bev, we’re really sorry to hear about your daughter’s cat. Please can you send us a private message with your contact details so that a member of our team can investigate this as soon as possible. We may also want to arrange for your vet to speak to one of our Bob Martin vets directly to find out more about what may have happened so if possible, please can you send over your vet’s details. To reassure you, all of our medicines are strictly regulated and licensed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and our home products are regulated by the Health and Safety Executive. However, as with all medicines, some pets may experience adverse reactions but we do everything we possibly can to support those that report these to us. Thank you.

        Comment 12/1/15
        I recently bought Bob Martin crystal cat litter (as store out of my usual CatSan). Within 24hrs, my cat developed a severe reaction to her paws…..irritated, swollen and red pads. My vet confirmed BM products are causing many cats similar…if not much worse. On researching these products, it is astonishing how many animals have been harmed and even poisoned by BM products. What an utter disgrace. People buy these items as they are cheap and easy to pick up in a supermarket….but you are putting your animal at risk by using such products. I am sending my vet report (testing results) to the body who apparently regulates these products. In my opinion BM products are cheap crap which pose very real health risks to your animals. I will not be purchasing again.
        Hi Suzy, we’re very sorry to hear this. Please can you send us a private message with your contact details and if possible, your vet’s contact details so that a member of our team can get in touch with you at a convenient time. We may also arrange for you to speak with one of our Bob Martin vets so that we can investigate this as thoroughly as possible. Thank you.

        Comment 12/1/15
        Just a quick question. Post mortem has now been done on my puppy lola, who died after using your small dog and puppy wormer. We received her ashes back Christmas eve, can you tell me when we can expect her post mortem results and what happens then please
        Hi Corrina, thanks for getting in touch. Our customer services team have spoken to your vet and unfortunately they have not received the post mortem results yet. If you would like, a member of our customer services team can get in touch with you to discuss this further. Thank you.

        Comment 21/12/14
        Tasty hide premium knotted bone.

        Please don’t buy this for your dog!!!!!. I gave this bone to Murphy on friday and he ate the middle section and left the knots. Within 10 mins of eating it he had life threatening abdominal distension. His tummy went three times the normal size. He required veterinary attention and X-rays. He vomited 16 times. The abdominal distension caused his bowel to stop working so only way was up. He has been vomiting faeces.
        I expect a call from you to discuss this matter and I will inform u now that this matter will be taken further.
        Hi Claire, thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re very sorry that your dog has been so unwell, and know this must have been very upsetting for you. We would like to investigate what happened, so please can you send us a private message with your contact details so that a member of our team can give you a call? We might also arrange for one of our vets to speak to you to help our investigation. We are genuinely sorry to hear that Murphy has been so poorly, and we hope to hear from you soon. Alternatively you can call us directly on: 0844 7480 108. Thank you.

        These are just a few comments and replies, it just goes on and on, it’s frightening that their products are so readily available and cheap

        • God, this is sick. This is awful. This product should be off the shelves.

          The trouble is which one of the range of BM products do these comments refer to?

          Thanks for this Babz.

  9. Suzy I’m very pleased to hear your cat is now feeling much better.

    The problem with Bob Martin is that it only “repels” fleas. It does not kill them or their eggs, which is why it’s so ineffective at getting rid of fleas.

    Unfortunately there aren’t any natural remedies which are both effective and safe. Many people mistakenly believe tea tree or cedar oil can be used as flea treatments, shampoos etc. This is a dangerous mistake to make, because both of these oils are highly toxic to cats and can cause serious health problems or even death in some circumstances. It’s much safer to stick to the vet approved brands.

    For many years I used Frontline Combi (main ingredient fipronil) without problems, but began to notice that it no longer seemed as effective as it once was and my cats were still getting fleas. I switched to Advantage (main ingredient imidacloprid) and found it works much better. Maybe fleas are developing a natural immunity to fipronil?

  10. Suzy, I’m so sorry that Tiger Lily (and you) had a horrible experience with this product. I’m not clear on exactly what happened with her; but, thank goodness she’s OK now.
    I’m not familiar, ofcourse, with the Bob Martin pet line, so I did some research. What I found made me wonder how any of the products could be on store shelves.

    First, I’ll tell you that I have never seen any of the ingredients listed in this article in any pet products.

    In my searches, this is what I found:
    Even on the Bob Martin Pet Products website, there are so many cat/kitten flea control products that even a scientist would get confused.
    No product has ingredients listed anywhere.
    I read many, many customer reviews, dating back to March 2013, and couldn’t find one positive one. What I read were multiple accounts of cats/kittens dying and serial seizures.

    My lowly opinion is that all Bob Martin products need to be pulled from the shelves and a class action suit begun.

    • Thank you Dee in your support and for checking this out. I feel saddened by this. I am so naive and only just learning all this stuff about how these companies and pharmaceuticals can continue to manufacture bad stuff and then sell for a high profit. Exploitation. Just like cold/flu remedies scenario really. Except fleas aren’t a virus. And the companies know it’s an ongoing income for them.
      I love my furry baby so much that to think of so many products causing so much harm to my kitty let alone anyone else’s brings tears to my eyes. I just wish there was a proper safe herbal remedy I could make myself. I know people who make their own special brews for their horses to keep the biting flies off so possibly there’s something for cats.
      In the big Pets at home store the vet recommended using Bayers advantage made from 80g Imidacloprid spot-on instead of Bob Martin, but letting her settle for two weeks to be rid of any of the other stuff in her system.
      It’s hard as I am scared now to give her anything chemical but I know I must as the fleas are bloody loving her long hair…. I hate to see her scratching and I know it can cause worse probs in the long run.

      • I know that some (actually, not that many)people have had issues with Advantage. I have used it for around 20 years with no problem. As a matter of fact, I order it from a UK based company. Our Advantage here has 9.1% imidacloprid, and the UK version has 10%.

        Here is a copy of an email I received last month when I inquired about the percentage:

        lawheeler65, Dec 29 00:32:
        We are based out of the UK so this is a UK product and does not have US/EPA registration #, expiration date is 08/2019 and imidacloprid is 10%.


        Lisa Wheeler
        BestFlea Customer Support

        • Well that’s so interesting. Thank you. I’m sure it’s her best option right now, thanks for reassuring me.
          Interestingly I paid around £20 for exactly the same packet in that was on the Bestflea website and theirs was $21! So there’s another advantage of living in America, it’s so much cheaper than here!

  11. Thank you Micheal for some insights here.
    I won’t use this particular box ever again, I’ll always chose a different ingredient incase she’s now super-sensitive.
    This is the culprit box incase anyone wants to see the exact one. A lot of the Bob Martin I’ve used before were in lighter colored boxes to this green one.

    Bob Martin cat flea treatment

      • The expiry on the box is 02/16. So it wasn’t anywhere past its sell-by. She lost her magnificent ruff in the week after the last dose. I’m sure that evil stuff was to blame. It’s never happened before this. But she looks all shiny and healthy now so no worries. It was just so hard to see her looking so subdued and dejected eyes glazed and knowing it was because of what I’d innocently given her. Well poisioned her actually. They really are at our mercy aren’t they!
        Thank god she’s ok now.

    • You may want to think about avoiding the entire Bob Martin line completely. It’s not just this box killing cats. It’s ALL of them. And, the reviews are just as bad for the dog products as well.
      Bob Martin stuff seems to be a pretty risky game to play with those we love.

  12. Suzy, I am sorry to read this. I hope she is okay now. You appear to be saying it is possible to buy the wrong box with the wrong ingredients.

    This reminds me of another flea treatment by Advantage:


    Concerns unlisted ingredients.

    Also getting dog and cat treatments mixed up:


    And flea treatments can kill:


    You did everything correctly it seems to me so what happened? Do you know. Tiger Lily was okay with the first usage.

    Thanks for posting. Much appreciated.

    • Tiger Lily was okay with the first tube administered but she’s always a bit calmer after I’ve used these spot on tubes/pipettes before. I wasn’t overly concerned on this first tube/pipette. Although I noticed her fleas returned very quickly indeed after a few days. My thoughts were only that it was a crap product and I shoulve bought the more expensive Bob Martin version with that has only one or two tubes/pipettes in it, (it’s about 3 times the price and now I also realise contains a totally different ingredient.) I felt it must be a gradual build up system as they state which days you should use it on, and log on their chart in within the box.
      I believe the good Bob Martin was called Fipronil, which I’d used previously, more expensive but more effective on Tiger Lily. It certainly had little affect on her wellbeing and killed the damn fleas for a good few months.
      I was desperate to tell this story and to be honest I hate using these chemicals on her but I don’t feel any natural products will control fleas. I know lavender helps repel cockroaches and the French spray it everywhere in summer as it works but it really doesn’t seem to help in my home.

      • I agree that we as cat lovers and caretakers are placed in a very difficult situation because, as you say, natural stuff doesn’t really work but the insecticides are bloody toxic and they do work. Mind you they’d probably kill a person, in time, never mind a flea.

        Thanks for posting Suzy.

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