This is a video on Facebook that has gone viral. It is difficult to watch. The person who posted it appears to be an employee at a veterinary clinic, Peyton Jung, who had the consent of the cats’ owner to post the video. Two cats were brought into the clinic on the afternoon of 26 August 2017 (I’m showing one video of one of the cats).
The owner told the veterinary staff that she/he had used Sergeants Silver Flea Control for Cats 5 Pounds and over. It was purchased at a store that sells cheap products: Dollar General. The flea treatment cost five dollars. A cheap product indeed which poisoned the cats.
It appears that this treatment is some form of spray which you put onto the cat’s coat (rather than drops). The video was taken after the cats’ third bath to remove the product from the skin. It had been on for about five hours and therefore quite a lot of the product had been absorbed through the skin.
Peyton, in her Facebook post, says that this is not the first time an animal has been poisoned by this flea treatment. Apparently there have been 706 complaints about this product. Extreme caution should be taken when purchasing it and judging by the video nobody should buy it.
Both cats recovered by the way. The product contains permethrin, an insecticide. Sometimes pet owners apply dog flea treatments to their cat in an attempt to save money. It ends up costing them a lot more due to veterinary bills after they poison their cat. The poisonings can be quite serious. I’m not sure whether it can kill cats but it could possibly leave them permanently injured neurologically.
While building this website I have encountered numerous instances of cats being poisoned by flea treatments. It is sadly all too commonplace. Extreme caution must be exercised when applying flea treatments to domestic cats. I would resist using flea treatments unless you really have to. Prevention is better than cure. I do not and have never applied a flea treatment to my cat. I check him with a flea comb and he has never had fleas. That actually is not quite correct because when I adopted him from a rescue centre at about the age of seven weeks he did have one flea which I combed out. He has never caught fleas so please don’t automatically give your cat flea treatments.
I think the best way to deal with them is to watch for fleas. Use a flea comb every day or perhaps twice a day and then kill them by hand. That is what I have done in the past. It may sound ridiculous but it works and it is safe. Obviously if your cat is covered in fleas then this procedure will not be effective but I don’t think a cat owner should allow their property to become infested with cat fleas.