A flea spray based upon the naturally occurring insecticide, pyrethrins, is being pulled from supermarket shelves in Australia after adverse reactions by cats. Pyrethrins are poisonous to cats whether they are natural or synthetic. So I find it unwise that this sort of product is approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Association for use on animals but not on people, please note. The fact that it states on the bottle that this product should not be used on people surely tells us how dangerous it is.
The product is: Excelpet Fleaban Insecticidal Spray – this is an Australian product sold in Australia. I don’t think it is sold elsewhere but please check.
The major problem with this sort of product is that you have to spray your cat with it and then your cat licks it off, ingests it and poisons himself. As far as I’m concerned it’s a complete failure of a product and should never have been marketed.
There are numerous stories of cats foaming at the mouth and being taken to the vets after their owner sprayed their cat with this treatment.
It’s so bad that one cat owner, Chris Chambel started a petition on the change.org website a year ago. The petition was to stop an Australian supermarket chain owned by Wesfarmers, Coles, stocking the product. It is surprising to see that it has been on the shelves of this shop for one year. He said:
“Just seconds after I used Excelpet on my cat, he started foaming at the mouth. It’s been a terrifying 30 hours watching my cat suffer.”
His vet told him that pyrethroids are toxic to cats. Pyrethroids is a synthetic version of pyrethrin.
Another cat owner, Jennie Murray, tells her story:
“Luckily we got to the vet quickly were they [her cats] were sedated and bathed to remove the product. The vet told me this ingredient can cause brain damage, seizures and death.”
As I said, I cannot understand how this product is manufactured in the first place. Insecticides are poisonous. If you decide to use an insecticide preparation you have to follow the precautions and directions on the bottle or label. The trouble is I think that even when you follow the instructions you are likely to poison your cat; I do not think the product is viable.
Foaming at the mouth, convulsions, collapse, diarrhoea, asthmatic breathing, a staggering gait, muscular twitching and jerking are signs of insecticide toxicity.
The company which sells the product are concerned of course and are investigating what has happened. I can tell you what happened. The product is very toxic to cats and it is too dangerous no matter how many precautions and instructions you put on the bottle. It should not be manufactured in my opinion. The least dangerous insecticide is probably Frontline which we know spots the chemical on the back of the neck where it can’t be ingested. There are other dangerous insecticides please beware: Advantage II Flea Treatment (neurological damage) and Bob Martin’s.
P.S. Pyrethrin is an extract of the African chrysanthemum flower. It has a low potential for toxicity. It is approved for use on dogs and cats. It is found in shampoos, dusts, dips and foggers et cetera. Some veterinarians consider them to be quite safe but they are toxic to cats. Therefore I don’t see how they can be quite safe. It just doesn’t make sense to me.