Fighting fleas with cats in mind

By Connie Orcutt • Published: January 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

Word to the wise: dog-safe products are not always cat-friendly. In fact, some are downright deadly.

Flea preventatives such as medical treatments and collars containing any form of concentrated permethrins [per-MĒ-thrins] are particularly dangerous to cats, even when used in very small amounts. In fact, cats can die just by coming in contact with permethrin-treated dogs.

Cats lack the enzyme needed to detoxify permethrins. While kitties can handle permethrin levels as low as 2 percent, concentrations of 45 percent or more in dog-safe products are often fatal to our feline friends.

Signs of permethrin poisoning in cats include nervousness, shaking and seizures. Only immediate veterinary care may be able to save a cat’s life once signs develop.

So fight fleas safely. Read labels carefully before choosing a flea product for your cat, and don’t let your feline friend play with permethrin-treated dogs.