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What is Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning?

The 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 is 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. 

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 symptoms 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
  • 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 symptoms 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 symptoms, 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 symptoms 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 symptoms 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 will 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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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 again 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. 

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

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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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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dog-breed-icon

Domestic shorthair

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5 months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling, Agitation

I applied topical Catego to both of my kittens, one may have gotten some in her mouth. She was running around, drooling, and seemed very upset. I followed instructions for removing and attempted to dry up as much as I could. She has settled down and appears okay, was even playing with the other cat (who was, at most, annoyed by the flea & tick meds). How long should i monitor? What are signs I should be looking out for?

Sept. 5, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Good afternoon- If she is behaving normally, continuing to eat, drink and play I would recommend continuing to monitor for the next few hours. I wouldn’t expect a toxicity from getting a small amount in her mouth. If any other symptoms develop though it would be a good idea to take her to your veterinarian. Take care!

Sept. 5, 2020

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dog-breed-icon

House cat

dog-age-icon

Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My cat tends to throw up maybe once a day. I gave flea treatment to both cats around 4pm. Cat has thrown up 2 times since

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Vomiting isn't a common side effect to Advantage, but if your cat continues to vomit, it would be a good idea to have them seen by a veterinarian. You can try offering a bland diet of boiled white chicken and boiled white rice for a day or two and see if that settles your cats' stomach, as well. I hope that all goes well for you cats.

Aug. 3, 2020

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Siamese

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12 weeks

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

He Was Drooling And Running Around The House, Now He Is Lethargic

I put frontline on my cat Reggie, it was hard to get him to hold still and he might have been able to scratch a small area where the medicine was still wet. I cant afford a vet, I'm so scared, is there anything I can do?

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Kittens are prone to parasites and infectious diseases, and I'm not sure that what you're describing is from the front line. If you cannot have him seen by a veterinarian, the best thing you can do is to monitor him closely and see if he is improving. If he continues to be lethargic, or starts to vomit or have diarrhea, then he does need to be seen by a veterinarian. I hope that he is okay.

July 28, 2020

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dog-breed-icon

Cat

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Really Sleepy, Drooling

We treated my cat with Advantage 2 for fleas and it didn't work. It had been about 3 weeks and we got her a seresto flea collar. It worked great but she started getting really sleepy and not going outside any and drooling more than usual. She had it on for 3 or 4 days and we took it off. She seemed a little more awake but not much.

July 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear that your cat is having issues. It would be best to try to wash your cat or even just wipe her down with a wet towel. Usually, after a few days, your cat will start to return to normal. If this continues, it would be best for your vet to look at your cat. One product that works great for fleas is Revolution. Your vet should be able to get this medication for you. I hope that your cat starts to feel better soon.

July 22, 2020

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Short hair kitten

dog-age-icon

14 weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Fleas

I used frontline plus on my kittens July 8th. The fleas are horrible, even with me vacuuming two times a day and spraying the house. Can I put a different topical brand on my kittens?

July 20, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Fleas need to be controlled on multiple levels. Flea control on the cat, in the house, and around the property is necessary to control the parasites. If you put flea control on the kitten a week ago, it is too soon to reapply. If you need a different product that may work differently, it would be best to contact your veterinarian. Some prescription products do work better than over-the-counter products. You may also need to treat your house and yard, as environment can play a big role in flea problems. I hope that all goes well with your kitten.

July 20, 2020

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smoky

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Cat

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Weak

i put pet armor on my cat a week ago he had no signs til saterday he was weak and falling over so i took him to vet monday his kidneys was failing dont know if it was because of flea medicine he had about a week ago or not but i had to put my cat to sleep its so sad.

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Harryette and Fred

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Bengal

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3 Months

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Lethargy
Seizures
Vomiting
Twitching
Vomit

Advantage for kittens under 4kg and worm treatment (5kg dose as per pet shop recommendation). Caused vomiting, diaorreah, the serious GRAND MAL seizures. First vet said, no there is wide tolerance, its probaly after coincidence. They both started a. The 1.6kg kitten vomited that night, serious diaorreah the next day and seizures. The boy, 2.6kg, same thing just day later. Its 2 weeks later Thousands of dollars spent and 4 vets to prove that as I knew, they were poisoned. And the seizures continue. The little one had 9 in a morning. The vet first gave her Antirobe for mild toxoplasmosis (because it wasn't poisoning of course), this is when the seizures stepped up a level. Then more drugs to stop seizures and she got worse again. Finally found a vet who took her off everything and she is recovering. But, now the bigger boy's seizures are increasing:( more money spent on something totally avoidable. Terrible terrible stuff Advantage. I have had every test under the sun including a CT and it is NOT congenital :(

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Spice

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Orange tabby

dog-age-icon

9 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I tried to give her flea medication but it was hard to hold her still. A little went alogn side her neck shoulder blade area. I tried distracting her for an hour but it still looked wet, and she kept trying to groom that area and running away when I went to stop her. I was scared that she licked the area, so I took a damp cloth and wiped the area bac up towards her neck. Sometime later she vomited all her food up and some liquid (a huge amount for her size). Then she drank some water, and then threw that up also. And later she gave a warning meow while sitting by herself. She seems fine now. She is also recovering from an upper respiratory infection so I'm not sure what could be causing the issue.

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marshmellow

dog-breed-icon

Domestic longhair

dog-age-icon

6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic

i gave my cat a flea treatment and day 2 stopped eating and is hiding i dont know what to do..any help would be appreciated..this is his only symptom.. i also did my other 2 cats but they are fine. i even tried soft food and he will not eat

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Boe

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Ragdoll

dog-age-icon

12 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Sleepy

I gave my 12 week old ragdoll kitten a flea treatment called ‘Beaphar Cat & Kitten Flea Spot On Treatment Repels Fleas for 24 Weeks’. It says it can be used on kittens12 weeks and older. I put it in between her shoulder blades as the label instructed. About an hour later I noticed that she seemed very quiet and slept for about three hours which is unlike her. She has since eaten, drunk and used her litter tray. Although she has now perked up and is active again I’m concerned she has had a bad reaction to the treatment. I have spoken to my vets by phone and they said I should just keep on eye on her. Do you think I should take her in to be assessed regardless? Thanks in advance!

Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$800

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