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Can You Use Dog Flea Spray On Cats

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Why Dog Flea & Tick Preventatives Should Never Be Used On Cats

Can you use dog flea prevention on a cat? AKA “shake and bake cat” aka permethrin toxicity in a cat

It has to be repeated to be remembered cats are NOT small dogs. This may seem obvious. However, their metabolisms and internal systems work very differently. When you use flea and tick medications not intended for cats on a cat, the effects can be disastrous.

Pyrethrins and the related but more potent chemically-derived pyrethroids are widely-used insecticides in flea and tick prevention products used around homes and on our pets. They kill insects by preventing their nervous system from functioning properly. However, these products are not species-specific and can cause severe and significant neurologic problems when applied to certain pets specifically cats.

Cats lack the liver enzymes necessary to process these compounds safely. The result can be fatal in some cases. Read more about pyrethrin toxicity in cats.

Safe And Effective Flea Treatment Products For Cats

If you have a cat or multiple cats and would like to avoid pyrethrin/pyrethroid-based products, below are some safer, effective flea control products for cats.

We didnt include any over-the-counter medications for good reason, as many are not as effective or safe in every circumstance. For more information on the benefits of prescription preventatives over OTC ones, you can check out our article on over-the-counter vs. prescription flea and tick preventatives for more information.

  • Advantage® II
  • Advantage MULTI®
  • Bravecto®
  • Bravecto® PLUS
  • Cheristin®
  • Comfortis
  • Revolution® PLUS
  • Seresto®*

Is Dog And Cat Flea Medicine The Same

It depends on the type. Generally, the liquid topical drops you place between the shoulder blades are not the same for dogs and cats. These vials of liquid are clearly labeled with each species, with pictures and the words dogs or cats to avoid any mistake.

The product labeling on these vials clarifies that you do not want to get this medicine on your skin and provides instructions to apply it to your pet correctly. Some flea collars are only meant for cats and not for dogs and vice versa.

Other types of flea treatments could be used on both dogs and cats. These include some types of collars, shampoos, dips, or powders. These flea treatments can be purchased at some grain and feed shops, grocery stores, and veterinary offices.

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What Is The Best Flea Treatment For Dogs

Best flea treatments for dogs and cats Finding the right treatment. Frontline® Flea Spray for Dogs and Cats. Frontline® Plus for Dogs and Cats. Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs and Cats. Capstar® Flea Control for Dogs and Cats. Advantage® II for Dogs and Cats. Sentry Fiproguard for Cats. Effix for Dogs.

How Can We Prevent Cats Suffering From Permethrin Poisoning

Diy Flea And Tick Shampoo For Cats / Homemade Tick Shampoos For Dogs ...

Fortunately, most cases of permethrin poisoning are preventable.

  • Never use a dog product on a cat.
  • Ensure flea treatments are solely designed for cats. Take extra care when choosing from a shop where dog and cat treatments may be displayed together.
  • Be careful when shopping online. Many descriptions dont include active ingredients and warning logos or signs arent always prominently displayed on webpages.
  • Always read product descriptions and take note of warnings
  • If you have both dogs and cats in your home, use treatment for the dogs that dont contain permethrin.
  • If dogs are treated with a product containing permethrin, they should be kept away from cats for 72 hours.
  • If you have any concerns about a product, contact your vet for advice.
  • Whenever permethrin poisoning is known or suspected, its important to let the manufacturer know, as well as the local drug regulatory authorities . Unless cases of poisoning are reported, the scale of the problem cant be determined.

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Why Skipping A Dose Isnt A Good Idea

Just like when we are prescribed a medication, we are advised not to skip any doses. The same goes for our pets, including their preventatives. It should be noted that a product will only be effective for as long as the manufacturer states, which is typically one month for most preventative products . Therefore strict compliance is necessary if you wish to maintain a parasite-free home and cat.

Once a preventative has lapsed, it can take on average 2448 hours for the next dose to start working and to re-start any protection for your cat. The period between protection lapsing can be critical, and it only takes this window for a flea to sneak in and start an infestation.

And this is only one of the reasons veterinarians and veterinary staff promote the use of flea prevention products before fleas can become an issue. Not only are flea infestations difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating, fleas can cause trauma to your cats skin, as well as cause allergic reactions in some cats . They can also carry several nasty intestinal parasites such as tapeworms and, although the risk is low, these parasites can even be transmitted to you!

Topical Spray For Your Pet’s Fur

The most popular and most simple way to treat your dog or cat for fleas is with a simple spray of apple cider vinegar and water. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water into a spray bottle. Spray your pet daily with the vinegar spray. Cover his eyes to avoid getting vinegar into the eyes. It will sting!

Some of our readers have found that all that is needed for flea prevention is some apple cider vinegar to the back of the neck each day. Use a cotton ball to apply some vinegar and water solution to the neck.

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Why Cant I Use Dog Flea Products On My Cat

Owners looking to save some money when treating multiple pets with fleas may question their veterinarians’ warning not to use dog products to treat cats.

But even if you only use a small dose of a flea treatment not meant for cats, you may be putting your pet at risk. It’s important to buy different products to treat animals of different sizes and species, even if they all have fleas at the same time. If you’re unsure which products are safe for your animals, call a vet for consultation.

What To Look For In Flea Spray For Dogs

Can You Put Dog Flea Treatment on Cats?

There are hundreds of flea sprays for dogs on the market, but they are not made alike. Some work better, some are less effective, some are safe for puppies, and some kill only adult fleas instead of larvae and eggs. In a nutshell, different formulas have different potency and different uses, so youll have to consider various factors before you pick out a flea spray for your dog.

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Advantage Ii For Dogs And Cats

This topical treatment uses pesticides to kill and repel a variety of pests including fleas. It is known for being incredibly fast-acting as it kills all adult fleas within 12 hours of the first application. However, some animals find that the solution irritates their skin. It comes in a selection of formulas which are based on weight.

How Long Does House Flea Spray Work

Each product is different, and some last longer than others. Depending on the brand, it can take as little as 24 hours for the spray to start working. But if youre working on removing an entire flea infestation, that can take up to 3 or 4 months. And you will likely need to re-spray the home or yard periodically. Follow the instructions on your product for more detailed instructions.

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Flea And Tick Control Supplements

There are a number of multi-benefit supplements available that are made for use on both cats and dogs that will combat fleas naturally. Yeast and garlic have been shown to be very effective in driving fleas and ticks off of the host organism, in this case, you cat or dog. Since these products are designed for both cats and dogs, you can buy a single bottle and give them to both of your pets. Some of the available brand names of yeast and garlic supplements are NaturVet and PetGuard, as well as generic store branded lines of supplements.

Are Cat And Dog Fleas The Same

Frontline Flea &  tick spray for dogs &  cats 100ml/250ml

The fleas found on cats and dogs are the same. They all go through the same life cycle, from egg to larva, pupa, and adult flea.

Fleas are different from other parasites and diseases because they can infect both dogs and cats, making them quite dangerous for pets of either species. When treating a pet with a flea infestation, you must first identify whether the animal has signs of fleas or if perhaps their bites are caused by something else.

Signs of fleas include constant scratching, red, irritated skin, hair loss due to chewing and biting activity, flea dirt , debris from the pets body such as fur and dander that appear as tiny black dots on your cat or dogs bedding.

Other common signs of pets being affected by more than just a case of pesky bugs are swollen red welts on the skin, scabbed over areas of skin, raw or hot spots, constant nibbling at the skin with teeth, and wheezing or excessive drooling.

Youll be able to inspect your pets bedding and spot the fleas themselves or their eggs or their poop . Picking up the bed will reveal more than just inspecting around the edges.

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Help I Accidentally Put Dog Flea Medicine On My Cat

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I accidentally put Dog Flea Medicine on my cat is this an emergency? Sadly, the answer is yes dog flea medication contains Permethrin which is highly toxic to cats.

Some people may be tempted to save money by putting dog flea treatment on a cat or may not even realise it is an issue. You may even put it on by complete mistake, if you do try not to panic, as long as your cat is treated quickly it can be safely resolved and will not affect your cats health.

Permethrin is generally used as an insecticide and is found in some flea spot-on products made for dogs, however, for cats, exposure to concentrated permethrin can result in serious illness and death.

Flea Products Dangerous To Cats

E. Kathryn Meyer, V.M.D.

Jenny rushes her cat Sasha to the emergency clinic. Sasha, who seemed fine a short time ago, just had a full-blown seizure. The veterinarian asks Jenny if she applied any dog flea-control products to her cat in the past 24 hours. In fact, she had. At home later, Jenny looks closely at the flea control product she put on the back of Sashas neck. This time, she notices the warning: Do not use on cats. The active ingredient is 45 percent permethrin.

Toxic Spots


Spot-on flea and tick control products are deservedly popular among pet owners. Theyre fast and easy to use, and they are considered safe as long as they are used according to label instructions. But when flea products designed for use only on dogs are applied to cats, the cats can become very ill and even die.

Over 13 months, the Veterinary Practitioners Reporting Program of the United States Pharmacopeia received reports involving 11 cats who required hospitalization following the application of a concentrated permethrin spot-on flea product. Four of them did not survive. Also, between 1994 and 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency received reports of 125 cats who became sick or died after having concentrated permethrin applied.

The new, more convenient flea-control products are a great boon to cats, dogs and owners. We must not let carelessness turn time-savers into tragedy.

ASPCA Animal Watch Summer 2000

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How Are Cats Poisoned By Permethrin

The most common way cats are poisoned is when owners use a dog flea product on their cat in error. They perhaps assume that the dog product is simply a higher volume of the chemical and that if they apply a small amount to the cat, that will be fine. Unfortunately, this is not the case and cats can become very unwell even after tiny doses of permethrin.

The other way cats are exposed to permethrin is by coming into contact with a dog which has recently been treated with a spot-on containing permethrin. The permethrin will stay on the dogs skin and coat for some time and when a cat grooms or even rubs against the dog, or simply sits on the same furniture, it can be poisoned.

Permethrin-impregnated clothing:

Limited Efficacy Of Feline Products When Used On Canines

Best Natural Flea Spray for Dogs & Cats

Normally, cats are much smaller than dogs. This means that the main worry when using a product meant for feline use isnt necessarily going to be is it safe for use on your dog, but will it work. A product that comes in a pre-packaged dosage for an animal that is under nine pounds wont do much good on an animal that is over twenty pounds and will do next to nothing for an animal over thirty pounds.

Most feline flea and tick medications can be given to both your dog and cat. However, to be safe, you should consult your veterinarian to make sure.

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Why Can Permethrin Be Used In Products For Dogs But Not For Cats

Cats lack certain proteins in their liver that break down some chemicals into harmless forms, which means that the chemicals can accumulate in the cats body and cause serious illness.

Its this difference in drug metabolism that means we should never assume a product thats safe for dogs is also safe for cats.

How Long After A Bath Can I Put Revolution On My Dog

Can I give my pet a bath after applying Revolution? Yes. Bathing or shampooing the dog 2 or more hours after treatment will not reduce the effectiveness of Revolution against fleas or heartworm. Bathing or shampooing the cat 2 hours after treatment will not reduce the effectiveness of Revolution against fleas.

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What About Flea Sprays

Flea sprays are cheaper than their topical or oral counterparts. But many products need weekly applications, so in the long run they arent as cost-effective or convenient as a monthly topical or chew. Since these treatments kill on contact, you also generally need to spray down your entire pet, which takes a lot more work than a couple of drops on the scruff of the neck.

Some treatments, like Advantage Treatment Spray for Dogs, direct owners to rub the spray around the pets eyes, nose, and mouth, and they can cause adverse reactions if ingested. Others, like Vets Best Flea & Tick Home Spray for Cats, contain essential oils that are toxic to cats. Some sprays also contain alcoholwhich sometimes isnt disclosedwarned the ASPCAs Wismer. If a pet is soaked with one of these products, they can actually become intoxicated, and this requires immediate veterinary care, she said.

What To Do If Your Dog Or Cat Has Flea Control Product Toxicity

Buy All Natural HouseHold Flea Spray

If you notice any signs of toxicity, contact your veterinarian. It is generally recommended that you immediately wash your pet with warm water and a mild detergent, such as Dawn® dishwashing liquid. Pets can chill easily so dry thoroughly after bathing and keep your pet warm. After bathing your pet, proceed to your family veterinarian. If unavailable, find your closest veterinary emergency clinic.

Read Also: What Is The Normal Heart Rate For A Cat

Internal Use Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Flea Control

Apple cider vinegar can be given to pets internally for flea control. It can be added to your pet’s water bowl or mixed in his food. Add 1-2 tablespoons of raw and organic apple cider vinegar to each quart of water for your pet. If you pet won’t drink the water with vinegar in it, decrease the amount. Some have found that very little vinegar is needed to keep their pets flea free.

Watch Earth Clinic’s video demonstrating two effective methods to apply apple cider vinegar topically. Your pet will love you for it! We will also show you how to make an apple cider vinegar solution to use for fleas.

Best Natural: Tropiclean Natural Flea And Tick Spray For Dogs

Some pet parents simply prefer natural products for their pets be it for their dogs sensitive skin and system, or just because they are wary of artificial ingredients. Luckily, there are flea sprays for dogs that are made from natural ingredients but are still quite effective at eliminating these parasites such as this formula that relies on natural essential oils. The active ingredients are clove oil, cedarwood oil, lemongrass oil, and cinnamon oil, all known for their repelling and eliminating effect on fleas and their larvae, as well as ticks. Not only does it contain no artificial insecticides, but this flea spray for dogs can also be used on bedding. Tropiclean Natural Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs is safe to use on dogs over 12 weeks of age.

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Oral And Topical Flea Control

Fleas are annoying and persistent. However, dog flea and tick pills and other spot-on dog flea and tick treatments have proven to be some of the fastest ways to rid your pet of fleas.

Some only target adults, while others target flea eggs, larvae and adult fleas, so it’s important to buy the right one. Others will combine flea control and heartworm prevention in one treatment. Youll notice that some require a prescription, while others do not.

So, what is the best oral flea treatment for dogs? It will depend on your individual dog’s needs. Talk to your vet about which option is the best for your pet.

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