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Cat Pyrethoid Poisoning

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Cat Pyrethoid Poisoning

That Cat Fleas and tick treatment you are using on your dog or cat to keep them from being infested by these pests may literally be killing your cat. Many household insecticides, pet shampoos, sprays, dusts and spot-on flea and tick products contain Pyrethrin or its chemical counterpart Pyrethoid, which can literally poison felines. This type of poisoning is called Pyrethoid poisoning and can be dangerous and even deadly to your cat.

What Pyrethrin and Pyrethoids are

Pyrethrin is an extract of an African Chrysanthemum plant. Pyrethoid is a chemical that is similar to Pyrethrin but is more toxic to both insects and mammals and stays in the environment longer than does pyrethrin. Both Pyrethrin and Pyrethoid kill insects by disrupting their nerve function. While Pyrethrin has been approved for cats when used in the correct dosage, Pyrethoids are not as cats cannot tolerate this chemical.

How Pyrethoid Poisoning in Cats Occur

There are a number of ways that Pyrethoid poisoning can occur in cats. Here are the most common ways:

• Using a larger than recommended dose of flea and tick spray or spot-on flea and tick treatments on your cat. Many people feel if their cat is suffering from fleas that using a heavy treatment will rid their cat of the problem quicker and provide them with relief, not only isn't this the case, but that extra dosage could result in your cat becoming ill or even dying.

• Using products made for dogs on your cat. Dog flea shampoos, sprays and spot-on flea and tick treatments often contain higher dosages of Pyrethrin or contain Pyrethoid both of which can be deadly to your cat.

• Your cat coming into contact with a dog that has been treated for fleas. Especially, if they lick the dogs fur.

• Coming into contact with household insecticides.

Symptoms of Pyrethoid Poisoning

If you have a dog or a cat that has been treated for fleas or ticks and your cat shows any of the following symptoms you should seek immediate veterinarian care.

• Excessive Cat Drooling • Excessive ear twitching or facial muscle twitching • Loss of coordination • Cat Lethargy (does your cat seem less active than usual; not wanting to move much even to eat or drink?) • Muscle tremors • Cat Seizures

Diagnosis And Treatment

A qualified veterinarian can diagnose Pyrethoid poisoning by making a physical examination of your cat and taking a history of her recent exposure to insecticides. Treatment for Pyrethoid poisoning may include medications to control seizures and stabilize the feline. Once stabilized a bath should be given to remove any of the chemical lingering on the cat's fur. An IV may also be necessary to keep the cat hydrated.


Preventing your cat from getting Pyrethoid poisoning is the best treatment of all. You can do this by reading product labels carefully and not using products that contain Pyrethrin or Pyrethoid. Other ways to protect your feline are:

• Never use products made for a dog on a cat. • Be wary of commercial produced, chemically-lade flea and tick products sold on the shelves of huge pet supply stores. • Always follow dosage directions • Always monitor your cat after giving flea or tick treatments and if they come in contact with dogs who may have had such treatments.

Suggested Products

Target Spray for Cat Fleas

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