Dangerous and Deadly Flea Products In Memory of Tiny Timmy

This is a very hard story to write because Tiny Timmy touched so many lives in so many ways. To condense his life into a few paragraphs doesn’t seem a fitting tribute, because he is deserving of so much more. Timmy saved many cats in his lifetime through consumer education, although the normal life he should have had was taken from him as a kitten from the use of Sergeant’s flea products.

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Tiny Timmy had neurological damage from over-the-counter flea and tick products. In Timmy’s case it was Sergeant’s Flea and Tick Spray and Sergeant’s Gold Spot (a spot on treatment). He had good days and bad days. He suffered from tremors, seizures and GI issues caused by flea products that should have been safe and are still on the market today. On his Facebook: Tiny Timmy’s Healing Journey, Timmy describes his life

“I am a little wobbly when I walk, and some days fall over a lot. Sometimes I need help doin’ my ‘business’ and others I do it all by myself. It depends on how strong I feel at the time. My peeps rescued me from a very bad place. They weren’t looking for another more kitties, but couldn’t say no. Had they not rescued me, the bad people where I was at were going to dump me in the forest. It’s a very scary place there for a kitty who at the time could hardly hold my head up, suffering from toxic exposure to OTC flea and tick spray. My fur was caked with it and the vet didn’t give me 48 hours to live.”

This YouTube video shows Timmy when he was very young. Please check out the other video’s on his YouTube channel, especially Tiny Timmy Movie-Heal Me series (see sources below). Not only did Timmy entertain with YouTube, he was a feline educator on the danger of “supermarket” flea products. Timmy and his human servant Claudia refused to give up on their quest to make the public aware of the dangers of topical flea products. These are products the respective companies want the consumer to think are safe and improved when they’re not. They’re made by Sergeant’s, Hartz, Sentry, Farnam, Summit, Adams, Advantage, Zodiac and Bio Spot just to name a few and include sprays, spot-on treatments, shampoos, dips, flea bombs and flea collars.

Timmy travelled to Washington on several occasions to meet with the EPA and lawmakers, but these products are still out there. Thanks to Timmy’s fame, cat and dog owners have learned first-hand what these products can do to a healthy pet. When Timmy came into what would become his forever family in September 2009, his pet parents were told he had a muscle condition. Then they handed Claudia a bottle of the Sergeant’s Flea and Tick spray, bragging that it was only $2 at Wal-Mart.

On December 4th Timmy was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive case of LGL lymphoma. His prognosis was 17 days to live, with or without treatment. Timmy thrived with ups and downs for 67 days, but in the end the disease attacked the left side of his neurological system, traveling from his foot all the way to his face. The results of this was a very fast decline. It seemed especially cruel that it affected his hard won mobility as relentlessly as it did. Timmy was always so proud of the places he could go despite being told it was impossible. It was his time.

On February 9th, 2016 Timmy died. The beautiful story of his last day can be found here. Leslie A. Palleria named a star in the constellation of Leo after him. You will be able to see him in the sky most clearly in July through September, the month he was rescued. This isn’t the end for Timmy. His ashes are being placed in 1/4 dram bottles and will be sent to all parts of the world along with “Timmy stones.” How to apply can be found on the Timmy’s Ashes Project. Claudia writes:

“Timmy never just belonged to me. He belonged to everyone. I was just his nearest Sherpa. We had an incredibly deep and symbiotic, often intuitive, connection but he still never belonged to any one person. It’s only fitting he should be laid to rest all over the world. You have shared his ups and downs these past six years and made his healing possible in more ways than you will ever know.You are the Ripples. You are The Wave.”

Those who participate in the Timmy’s Ashes Project are asked to write an essay of what Timmy meant to them and to chronicle how each person spread his ashes. A book will be compiled from the essays and will be available for download.

Thousands of cats and dogs have died or suffered neurological damage or burns from these products. Please research each and every product you consider buying to use on your pet, including those made with natural ingredients. As it turns out, some of them can be as dangerous as the chemical ones.

I loved Timmy and kept up with his story over the years. Because of him I never purchased those cheap flea products. He may have saved a few of my cats because he taught me to research every product and every ingredient. Readers, remember that just because a product is being sold doesn’t make it a good product. I learned that lesson through Timmy and sympathize with Claudia and Timmy’s extended family as they adjust to life without him.

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22 thoughts on “Dangerous and Deadly Flea Products In Memory of Tiny Timmy”

  1. The article never says how old Tiny Timmy was when he died. It would clarify how much he was cheated out of his normal lifespan. No cat should have to suffer like that. Although the manufacturers will of course deny it, if a link can be scientifically established one would think these products would be banned by governments, even mine(USA), but the catch is: who is going to pay for that research? Obviously the companies that make these treatments won’t, or would cheat to exonerate their own products if they did. Governments aren’t going to pay for such research either, and obviously the hapless individual cat owner can’t afford it. On the other hand, without an effective and safe means of protecting our cats from and ridding them of, fleas, cat owners have no real choice. I read the scary facts of neurotoxins and stopped treating my cat with Advantage II last year, and found that even diligent daily flea-combing was ineffective. Trying to bathe my cat would be suicidal. He’s huge, strong, and has claws over an inch long and dislikes baths. I would as soon douse myself with gravy and punch a Tiger in the nose as try to give my cat a bath . So, despite diligent daily flea combing, he ended up with a horrendous flea infestation (40 & 50 fleas combed off him per night) and anemia from the lost blood they were sucking from him and I had to pay a vet and was forced to give him an internal pulicide(spinosad) she prescribed, as well as iron treatments. Which was expensive for a pensioner like me. So there doesn’t seem to be a safe and effective alternative to pulicides(flea-killers) of one sort or another.

  2. Actions against the manufactures end up with them trying to insinuate that the animals [ your pets ] suffering the side affects, must have already had pre-existing health issues, so therefore their products cannot be held responsible for the outcome.

    • Thanks. Yes, the manufacturers would defend their position in anyway possible even if it includes downright lies.

  3. Every cat we’ve adopted out we’ve warned the new pet parents not to use these “supermarket” flea meds. Most of them were unaware of the dangers.

    • Interesting, your comment confirms my fears and is the reason why the manufacturers get away with producing these poisonous products.

  4. Thank you for writing this article about Timmy. He touched so many lives with the story of his triumph over neurological damage from flea & tick products, and countless pets have been spared health problems as a result of increased awareness of the dangers of these products. Timmy and his human, Claudia, have made a lot of progress in spreading awareness, and hopefully one day these products will be banned completely.


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