Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning?

Some flea medication contains ingredients that can be harmful to cats, such as pyrethrins, pyrethroids and permethrins. Cats are more sensitive to these ingredients than dogs, but the poisoning can be harmful to both types of pets.

The effects range from mild to severe, depending on the amount of exposure and condition of your cat. Flea and tick medicine poisoning can be fatal if it is not treated by a veterinarian.

Flea and tick medicine poisoning occurs when your cat has a negative reaction to the medication. The chemicals from the medication disrupt the nervous system and can lead to serious health problems. It is usually found in topical medication that is applied to the neck and back. The chemicals may also be found in medicated power and collars. 

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Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning Average Cost

From 554 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats

You may notice the signs of flea and tick medicine poisoning within the first six hours of exposure. Take your cat to the veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Unrest
  • Tremors
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Incoordination
  • Hypothermia
  • Hyperthermia
  • Dyspnea (labored breathing)
  • Seizures
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Causes of Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats

There are several causes of flea and tick medicine poisoning in cats. The causes of this condition are as follow:

  • Sensitivity to the medicine
  • Medicine clinging to hair coats
  • Unusually low body temperature
  • Overdosing of medication
  • Ingestion of topical medication
  • Medication not being used as directed or for the correct species
  • Close contact to another pet being treated with medication
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Diagnosis of Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats

The best thing you can do for your cat in the case of poisoning is take them to the veterinarian immediately.

Your veterinarian will start by asking questions about their medical history and the signs they are displaying at home. You can also expect your veterinarian to ask about their exposure to the chemicals. It is important to answer these questions to the best of your knowledge. This will help your veterinarian determine the severity of the situation.

The next step is to give your cat a physical exam to check their current health and rule out other conditions. Expect your veterinarian to order blood work as part of the physical exam. Your veterinarian will use your answers, the cat’s signs, and the test results to make an accurate diagnosis.

It is vital to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you notice the signs of flea and tick medicine poisoning. Early detection and treatment can lead to a full recovery for your four-legged friend. 

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Treatment of Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats

Your veterinarian will treat the flea and tick medicine poisoning as soon as possible. There is a good chance your cat will need to be hospitalized during the treatment. This is done so your veterinarian can keep an eye on their signs and overall health. The good news is your cat may be released from the hospital in just two to three days.

Activated Charcoal

Your veterinarian may give your cat an activated charcoal to help them eliminate ingested chemicals from their body. The activated charcoal removes the chemicals before the condition becomes worse.

Bath With Detergent

Your cat may have been exposed to the chemicals when the medication was applied to their skin. In this case, your veterinarian will bathe your cat using a mild liquid dish soap.

Prescription Medication

Medication may be prescribed to keep the seizures and muscle tremors at bay. Your cat may also need to receive intravenous fluids during their hospital stay.

Constant Monitoring

The medical staff will monitor your cat for several days to ensure they are recovering from the poisoning. This includes monitoring their blood glucose, body temperature, and kidney function. Your cat may need to remain hospitalized until their symptoms fade and their body is functioning normally.

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Worried about the cost of Flea Tick Medicine Poisoning treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning in Cats

Your cat will be released from the hospital once they have recovered from the flea and tick medicine poisoning. However, the road to recovery does not end when your cat is released from the hospital. It is important to schedule a follow-up appointment so your veterinarian can make sure your cat has recovered from the poisoning and treatment.

You can prevent flea and tick medicine poisoning from happening by using the medication as directed. You should never use medication on your cat that is designed for another animal. It is important to contact your veterinarian before using flea and tick medicine on your cat.   If in doubt, asking your veterinarian for a prescription product that is safe for your cat is best.  

Taking your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you notice the signs can lead to a full recovery. Unfortunately, neurological complications or leaving this condition untreated can be fatal for your cat.

Flea and tick medicine poisoning in cats can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat is at risk of flea and tick medicine poisoning, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning Average Cost

From 554 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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dog-breed-icon

Domestic cat

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Two Months

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10 found helpful

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10 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Shaky

I accidentally gave my cat flea and tick meds for the next step above her weight limit. What can I do?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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10 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. . I hope that you were able to get care for her. The best thing to do in that situation is always to wash off the medication if you seen any signs of problems, and see a veterinarian. If she is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and help get treatment if it is appropriate.

Oct. 13, 2020

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indoor house cat, long hair

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1 year 4 months

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Drooling, Not Drinking Water, More Attention Seeking/Antsy

We first put a Seresto collar on him for 4 days and he didn't seem to react badly, but he did lick it a few times before it was tightened. We took it off before leaving for the weekend. We put Hartz Ultra Guard drops on the other cat and were unable to monitor if he would have licked that application. I noticed drooling when I returned a week later, my partner didn't notice any when he returned earlier by 4 days. I thought it might be his excitement to see me but he isn't drinking water, craves more attention, and doesn't seem to be sleeping as much. Could this be delayed poison effects?

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Those could be signs of a pyrethrin toxicity, yes. It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 18, 2020

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Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning Average Cost

From 554 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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