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Josh, several antiparasitic meds that are "safe for cats" actually do contain permethrin. It's just in a much MUCH lower dose than what you find in, say, anti-flea meds for dogs (e.g. 0.1% compared to 40%+). Which of course begs the question, does it need to be in such a high concentration for dogs? But I digress :p The point is that just because something has permethrin in it doesn't necessarily mean it is dangerous for your cat (or rather, no more dangerous than other similar medications), as long as you follow your vet's directions carefully. HOWEVER, that being said, I personally would like to avoid the risk as completely as possible, and have been trying to find a safer way to prevent parasites from tormenting my kitties. Which brings me to my own question...

While on the hunt for alternatives, I stumbled across a product called "Exner Petguard". I am, however, very wary of trying this, since all the information I could find online boils down to a single description and one highly suspect "review" repeated on mutiple sites. It appears to be available only in Europe, and its listed ingredients are only:

"water, fat, whey protein, sucrose-monohydrate, ash"

Has anyone here actually tried this stuff? Does it actually work? Does anyone know of any empirical studies on *how* it works? I know how the *manufacturer* claims it works, but there seems to be absolutely no objective analysis out there as to its efficacy (over, say, a soapy bath or a spritzing kitty with a similarly edible homemade solution), or as to just how safe it is... I don't want to repeat their whole shpeal here, but I'm taking the claims that "the inventor and patent-holder drank a bottle of it at a press conference to show how safe it is" with a grain of salt, since I can as of yet find no record of any such press conference nor the name of this mysterious individual :/

The "ash" bit is particularly worrisome to me, as it seems to me that "ash" is just anything that's not burned off during post-production analysis but is in too small a quantity to measure the individual components. For example, is there a possibiilty that one of those ingredients originated from chrysanthemums, and that the "ash" actually contains pyrethrins? (albeit in tiny quantities... but then, 0.1% is pretty minute too!) Or am I being too cynical?

Any thoughts?
 

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I have this flea control spray at my place, and I haven't used it on a cat for many years. Is it safe, or should I throw it away?
Hartz Advanced Care
Ingredients:
Tetrachlorvinphos 1.08%
(S)-Methoprene 0.07%
Other Ingredients 98.85%

That last line is kind of suspicious. "98.85%" of something "other" that we don't know of. I hate corporations!
 

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I have this flea control spray at my place, and I haven't used it on a cat for many years. Is it safe, or should I throw it away?
Hartz Advanced Care
Ingredients:
Tetrachlorvinphos 1.08%
(S)-Methoprene 0.07%
Other Ingredients 98.85%

That last line is kind of suspicious. "98.85%" of something "other" that we don't know of. I hate corporations!
It's highly likely that the "other" is a relatively inert solvent; usually it's either water or an alcohol (or a mixture of the two).

The bigger concern would be with the active ingredients themselves; tetrachlorvinphos is an organophosphate that some groups are arguing should be banned because of its potential toxicity (at sufficient doses) to any animal with neurons (it interferes with acetylcholinesterase activity). I can't immediately find anything specifying what a "sufficient" dose for a cat would be, and honestly I wouldn't trust Hartz to have thoroughly investigated it.

Methoprene, on the other hand, is "safe" for mammals at least, because it specifically mimics the juvenile growth hormone found in insects, preventing them from maturing and reproducing. (It can affect the maturation of other invertebrates, fish, and amphibians, though.)

Personally, I would dispose of that stuff. There are much safer options out there now - safer for your cats and you. The only caveat is that you MUST dispose of this properly, as the hazardous waste it is. Do NOT just dump it down the drain or send it directly to a landfill, as both active ingredients are highly toxic to a number of invertebrate, fish, and amphibian species; even a small "escaped" bottle could do a substantial amount of environmental damage :(
 

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is it okay to use shampoo with pytherins in it ?
It depends on the concentration, and on the cat. Personally I would NOT use it - there are plenty of much safer options out there that are just as (or more) effective, no reason to take the risk.
 

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I just found out today my cat Snickers may have fleas. I've never dealt with fleas before. The vet filled me with a lot of information. She was very clear about not buying flea removal from grocery stores.

Frontline was her suggested brand. It's very expensive.

Have any of you used Frontline before? Is it the best?
 

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"Sargents kills cats"

That was the first thing my Vet said when I told her I used Sargents Flea drops on the cat I took in one night (Fay).

At the time I thought Fay was a stray and she was being driven crazy by fleas, it turns out she has an alergy to their bites. I took her flea bitten self in on a Sunday night and felt so sorry for her biting and scratching that I went they carry, Sargents Flea and Tic for cats. At the time I didn't know any better but 2 hours later I could tell it was hurting her.

When I told my Vet about her reaction she said "Sargents kills cats" and "Can you believe they sell that".

Hartz makes Sargents. After that I even found news videos about it.

I've never seen it in Petsmart.


Sergeants almost killed my family cat. My mother used to buy flea meds and shampoos at the grocery store all the time, for the cat and my dog. Apparently, you can use a product for years and they can change something in the ingredient and your pet can have a bad reaction. Shortly after it was applied, my cat, Kitty, started acting funny so I gave him a bath. He tried to escape, as usual, and jumped out of the bath, but fell, actually fell. He became so weak he couldn't even lift his tail, and I had to beg and scream at my parents to call a vet. They had resigned to the fact that he was dying and no vets would be open because it was a Sunday. I finally found one that was open and we rushed him there, meanwhile in the car he began to seizure in my arms. He was only 5 years old. The vet shaved off his hair and rubbed charcoal on his skin, and pumped him w/ fluid and charcoal through an IV. At home I had to help him drink Pedialite w/ an eye dropper and stand him up in his litter box or he would fall and seizure again. The vet had told us he would be lucky to survive, and the chances of permanent neurological damage were pretty high. We were very, very lucky. Kitty survived, and is quite old now. The only thing we ever noticed was occasionally his back would spasm, but otherwise he was normal. We complained to Hartz, who makes Sergeants, and they just blew us off saying it must've been a predisposed allergic reaction and basically, we had no way to prove it was their product that caused it. I will never EVER use any sort of medication or chemical without the consent of my personal vet. It was the worst feeling in the world to be a child and hold a beloved family member in my arms and not be able to do a thing, and to have it been our fault as well.
 

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horror stories... I have a sergeants flea shampoo somewhere in my cabinets for cats, I think I need to throw this away this is essentially poison to my cat O_O
 

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When my cat got fleas, we first tried the a flea removal drop for the back of the neck. I don't remember the brand but I do know it was the cat formula because I spent an hour looking at all of them. After reading this, I feel so lucky that my Momo didn't have the reaction that I just saw on youtube and read about. However, his skin became VERY irritated and I ended up washing the stuff left over after a day.

After this, I discussed the problem with my vet and he FLAT OUT told me not to use flea collars, flea shampoos, and other flea-killing products. His reasoning was that 1) they are toxic and 2) they don't work well and are a waste of money. He told us to use Dawn soap (the blue, original kind).

We ended up having to give two separate Dawn baths about two weeks apart. We were moving from Iowa to Chicago at the time as well, so when we had the U-Haul loaded up, we used a couple of those flea bombs to kill the fleas on our stuff.

My cat and our apartment have been flea-free for over one year now. I would recommend using Dawn initially, taking care not to get it on their face.

I hope this helps! :)
 

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Any comments on adding rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in the cat's bath to kill fleas? Or, maybe diluting them with water, and spraying & rubbing onto the skin and coat?
 

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ok so I just read this thread about how Hartz for cats can really hurt your cats, so I am really concerned now, but I dont think my babies had a reaction because they have not had any drops in over a month and now they only wear the flea collar so does that mean they wont have a reaction and to stop using it or that maybe the reaction is not one easily seen? do I need to take my babies to the vet:|
 

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I don't think they need to go to the vet, but if that's a Hartz or Hartz-brand flea collar on them, I would take it off. Now.
 

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Hartz flea shampoo made our cat have seizures

This was the cat I grew up with, so some years back. I'm not sure what the particular ingredients were, but it sent our kitten into seizures. Our vet told us Hartz products are horrible and she sees several cases/year of cats going into anaphylatic shock or having seizures from it. Avoid at all costs!
 

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My grandma used to rub an orange peel on her indoor/outdoor cat and it never got fleas.. makes sense because of what you find in Citronella products for people. Plus, orange peels are all natural and safe.

*Please note I am only recommending you try actual orange peels and NOT Citronella products that are meant for occasional human use!
 

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Hartz Syndrome - Hartz Flea & Tick products can HARM OR KILL your loved one.

This video is graphic but necessary. All of the animal abusers employees of Hartz, Sergeant's and any other company marketing and distributing this POISON, take notice. You are helping the abuse of innocent animals.

How can anyone work for these companies and sleep at night daring to say they care for animals

I just watched the newscast video from that site, and realized I had a bottle of bio-spot shampoo from when I received Kodak all full of fleas. Needless to say I just tossed it in the trash. Thankfully, my cats are all indoor, and not on a ground floor, so I have never had an infestation here. HOWEVER god forbid I hadn't seen that video and used it again for whatever reason. It's gone now. You know, I don't even treat my cats for flea and tick prevention, since they never go outside. As far as any future infestations (knock on wood) It's Dawn dish detergent from now on.
 

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Just read the information on this thread - very informative. I didn't know any of the stuff re: Hartz products. We have recently adopted a stray who has roundworms, ear mites and fleas. It's been a rough week, but I think we are finally starting to get over it. The vet said we'd have to wait three more weeks to completely be sure as the life cycle takes almost 1 month. We did get a Siphotrol Fogger that has permethrin in it, and I am concerned. Is this something that is safe for our house, as long as we follow the directions?
 

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My partner (Nathan) works in a laboratory as an analytical chemist, at a natural pyrethrin extracting factory. According to him they the largest supplier of natural pyrethrins in the world. He says that natural pyrethrins are completely safe for animals and humans, and I used natural pyrethrin shampoo on my kitty when I first got her (she was flea ridden and had very thin falling-out fur and skin irritation from biting/scratching). My experience is it's very effective for killing fleas, the wash basin was full of dead and dying fleas. I noticed no ill side effects afterwards, and I lathered her twice with it including her face and ears to ensure I didn't miss any fleas (Nathan assured me it is safe to eyes at low concentration levels of pyrethrin contained in the shampoo).

Synthetic pyrethrins, including permethrin, ARE highly toxic to cats. Cats have a particular sensitivity to them, and they should never be used.

Eight days after flea shampooing kitty, her fur is thick and luxuriant, and she hasn't scratched or bitten herself at all that I've seen. I find that natural pyrethrin flea shampoo is effective, safe, and I would recommend it to others.
 
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