Hartz Flea Treatments – Read This Page Before Buying

I am flagging up the acute dangers of this flea treatment product. It’s a USA product available, I presume, only in the USA. From what I have read and seen in photos; I wouldn’t buy this product. I wouldn’t go near it. Each cat owner can make their choices but the dangers appear to be far too high compared to the benefits. Don’t buy it, is my advice.

As I understand it, the problem insecticide used in the product is tetrachlovinphos (TCVP). Propoxur also appears to be dangerous. There have been attempts to get this insecticide banned in these products without success. There is a court case running through the US Court of Appeal to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take action. I don’t want to get involved in discussing the in-and-outs of the legal issues but simply flag up the dangers of this product.

All flea treatments are potentially dangerous to a cat’s health. They are toxins, insecticides. Some flea treatments are more dangerous than others. Hartz is one of them – both the flea collar causing horrible burns and damaging the nervous system and the spot treatment. Another product is Bob Martin. Also read this about Advantage II.


Please use the search facility on this site to find more info about flea treatments. Search for “flea treatment”.


Here are some quotes and summaries from cat caretakers together with photos who have suffered with their cats the horrors caused by this toxic product. These are from the Hartz Victims website.

From Callie

“Mac was a beautiful, healthy, happy male cat. He was 9 years old and had more energy than any kitten! He spent most of his time outside which led to him contracting fleas…..We decided to use the Hartz flea and tick collar….Mac passed away today (December 12th,2014) due to kidney failure and failure of his nervous system. I did some research and Tetrachlorovinphos, which is one of the chemicals in the collars, is actually known to attack the nervous system….”

Burns caused by Hartz flea treatment
Chemical burns on Mac’s neck caused by Hartz flea treatment
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

From Danielle

“….I woke up and it was a busy morning I was running to go get something out of my sons room when I looked down at my precious Siamese and seen red under his collar! I immediately took the flea collar off… And under neath was a big chemical burn on his neck!!!! I am so furious this product hasn’t been recalled…”

Siamese cat chemically burnt by Hartz flea collar
Siamese cat chemically burnt by Hartz flea collar

From Jane

“I squirted a tube on my cat Lily on November 7, 2014. Today, this is what her neck looks like.”

Chemical burn on cat from Hartz spot on flea treatment
Chemical burn on cat from Hartz spot on flea treatment

There are other examples but I’ve made the point. This hazardous neurotoxin called tetrachlovinphos (TCVP) is used in other flea control products. Therefore purchasers should look out for it. The trouble here is this: the average cat owner will be confused by the language of these chemicals and the difficulties in reading the ingredients on the package. These are barriers to checking and taking precautions. Also it can be difficult to select a flea treatment that is safe – none are 100% safe. They are to be avoided if at all possible. Also, there are many cases of people misapplying flea treatments and killing their cats. One example is overdoing the application and another is using dog treatments on cats.

TCVP is an insecticide which is said to put people at risk too. A senior scientist at Natural Resources Defense Council said:

“EPA continues to put the cognitive development of millions of pet-loving kids at risk….Brain and nervous system-harming chemicals, like TCVP, are too dangerous to have in our homes, on our pets, and around our kids….”

This is an important aspect to using flea treatments. Children are at risk as well.

One final story from an anonymous contributor to the Hartz Victims website:

“I have been using hartz ultra guard flea and tick spray for cat. my cats have died from use of this product. i had 3 cats, i used this spray on 2 of the 3 and the to i used it on have passed on. In the matter of 2 weeks my animals have got very sick….I would have knew this product would kill my animal I would never of used it. RIP Pippi and Zoe.”

1. If you can avoid flea treatments, avoid them.

2. If you use them, use them with extreme caution and read the instructions top to bottom.

3. Don’t buy flea treatment containing TCVP.


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3 thoughts on “Hartz Flea Treatments – Read This Page Before Buying”

    • I think the answer is to prevent fleas as best one can. That means a home where fleas struggle to proliferate – no carpets if necessary. It means keeping less cats. It means physical processes to catch and kill fleas where appropriate – flea combing twice daily. Sometimes as a last resort spot flea treatments are necessary and if so it means extreme care should be taken and the best product chosen. But these treatments can only be useful within a holistic process.

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  1. It is not just the Hartz brands although they are among the worst offenders. Quite a few over the counter products can cause severe and possibly fatal reactions. Recently there was a very effective prescription flea treatment that also caused problems mostly limited to hair loss; it has now been reformulated and is sold under a different name. The bottom line is that anything that kills fleas is poison. Unfortunately the nonpoisonous treatments do not seem to be particularly effective, including in my experience DE.

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