Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning Average Cost

From 554 quotes ranging from $200 - 3,000

Average Cost

$800

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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. 

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

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

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. 

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.

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.

Flea and Tick Medicine Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Baloo
Unknown
6 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Twitching, tremors

I put dog flea treatment on my cat about 4 hours ago, I had realized after 30 or 40 minutes after it was on that she had it smeared off her neck and was trying to lick it, so I bathed her and washed it off of her the best I could. But almost 2 hours ago she started twitching and acting really weird, so I called poison control and wasted money speaking with them because they told me they was only able to tell me to take her to the vet. I only had $90 on my card, to take her to the vet hospital I'd have to pay $200 just for the visit, not to mention whatever the amount is for her treatment and medications, but I spent $65 of my 90 just to call the poison control. So I absolutely don't have money to get her to the vet now and I have no clue what I should do for her, she is twitching and having tremors, occasionally trying to walk but she doesn't make it far. What can I do for her?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
You should never put dog flea treatment on a cat as their internal physiology is different and cats do not tolerate the medication whether she would have licked it or not you would still see these symptoms; there is generally a warning on some brands which specifically say don’t apply to cats. As for treatment, control of any seizures with medication is the main one if seizures start to occur; otherwise you need to keep Baloo hydrated with water (mix in some unflavoured Pedialyte) and give some small portions of smooth cat food from your finger for her to lick off. Ideally you should visit a Veterinarian, try to find a charity clinic in your area just for a once over. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Peyton
American Shorthair
6 years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I use Simple Guard 3 for my dog (60lb pit mix) and sequester my cats after application. Usually, my cats are elsewhere when I apply it, but unknown to me until after application in the kitchen, my cat was in the next room. I applied the medicine to my dog and let her go, and she walked into the next room and shook herself. I think a small drop of the medicine got on my cat, but am not sure. There was a small wet spot on his back, but I wasn't sure if it was a recent grooming or a splash got on his coat. Since I didn't know, I washed his coat with soap and water shortly after I saw the wet spot, and called my ER vet. They told me that unless he shows symptoms all they could do is give him another bath. They were vague on how concerned I should be, but I am wondering how toxic is this stuff if only a small drop got on him and was washed off shortly after? I'm nervous because of the large warning on the back of the box about fatality to cats.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
You would be surprised by the number of people who don’t read those warnings. However, if there was a small drop on the fur which was washed off quickly and Peyton didn’t lick it, then there is little to be concerned about apart from looking out for symptoms of poisoning which are listed on this page. There is no direct treatment for this type of exposure and any treatment given would be purely supportive and symptomatic. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Ash
Calico
2 years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Mild bleeding/redness

Put hartz flea and tick medicine on my cat 2 days ago and now she has a big red area that is bleeding and she is loosing her hair in that same area. I have given her a bath to remove the medicine but she is still scratching and licking at it. It looks painful. What else can I do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
Regular bathing of the area with a dilute antiseptic is important, but check the packaging to make sure you applied the correct product at the correct dose; apart from regular bathing there is little else you can do. I would recommend you call the customer service number on the product to get some product specific advice from them. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Desi
Yellow tiger
2 1/2
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness

My cat is weak, not eating and sleeping all the time after having a flea bath... he didn't have fleas but a new kitten we brought in the house did so we bathe them all to be safe. He has used the potty twice in the last two days (urine only) any advice, I don't want to lose home and vet's are closed for holiday.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
Lethargy brought on from flea and tick products don’t really have any treatment apart from ensuring that they are eating, drinking (most important) and doing their business; it is a case of waiting it out until it is out of his system. If you see a progression of symptoms, he is dehydrated or you notice any other worrying symptoms visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Leska
Maine Coon
3 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness
Lethargy
Shaking

I used Revolution, meant for five pound cats, on my four-and-a-half pound kitten. I thought he was close enough to 5lbs that it was okay. Well, we washed it off thoroughly with Dawn about 12 hours later when we noticed he was shivering and lethargic, but he is still shivering and lethargic. Any vet open this week, with the surrounding holiday, will be very expensive and we don't have a ton of money as we just had to pay for some big automobile repairs. Am I going to lose my kitten? We applied Revolution three days ago and he's still trembling a little and lethargic.

He is eating, drinking, and using the litter box. He just isn't moving much for anything else. Is he going to make it? I'm so worried.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
Twelve hours is a long period of time and it would have already been well absorbed; there is no treatment in these cases apart from ensuring that the kitten receives supportive and symptomatic care as well as is eating, drinking and doing his business. It really is a case of waiting it out. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Nala
Calico
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My cat had ingested some flea and tick medicine. And she is shaking in the floor and can't really walk however my local vet says there is nothing she can do. Is there anything I can do at home??

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
In these cases it is best to rinse the mouth out and ensure that Nala is drinking and urinating, but your Veterinarian is right that there is little that can be done from home. It is a case a wait and see, you can call the manufacturer’s consumer helpline to speak with them about the active ingredients and any product specific advice they can offer. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Charlie
tabby
2 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

anxiety
licking mouth
Less meowing
Nausea

I used Natural Chemistry Flea Shampoo for cats of all ages on my cat, but I was not able to rinse as thoroughly as I would have liked to, due to the fact that she hates water. I had to move her to a different house for a few hours while I treated the rest of the house for fleas. During this time, she frothed at the mouth briefly, but it appeared that it was a result of licking the shampoo and the moisture causing it to foam up. She's home now and very calm, very exhausted from the stressful day she's had, and a little nauseous. I'm concerned about what I should watch for in the coming days to make sure she's doing okay.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
It is important to ensure that you thoroughly rinse any shampoo product used on your cat (I understand that they don’t like water); the foaming at the mouth most likely was due the shampoo still being present but I would urge you to thoroughly rinse Charlie again to remove as much as possible. Look out for neurological signs and vomiting; make sure that Charlie is drinking but otherwise alright. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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LOWKII
Domestic Short haired
1 year less a month
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

I have given my Cat "Lowkii" Hartz Ultra Guard One Spot Drops. once a month flea treatment. Keeping in mind that I have lost a cat to the same type of meds, (I certainly never meant for it to happen), Have to ask though, How long before I should see any adverse effects if it is going to take place at all. I am aiming for it not to happen, and because my other previously died, I want to be pro active in seeing that he gets medical attention as spoon as I can to ensure that he will be okay. I can't go through that again. especially seeing it and feeling helpless the last time. It was a traumatic event that will forever be with me. I feel so guilty and so much pain and sadness for that you can;t even imagine. So again, how long should it take if it will show up at all.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
Symptoms usually present themselves within a few hours (less than ten); normally lethargy and loss of appetite are the most common symptoms but others may include vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, seizures among other symptoms especially if Lowkii was able to lick the application site area. Making sure that you apply the correct dose in the right area can help a lot to prevent problems, use as directed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sylvester & Holli
British Shorthair
8 & 5
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Back feet crossing over one another
Cant walk in a straight line
Wobbling cant jump up
Wobbling

Hi i de flead both my cats 3 days ago now but didnt realise that the drops where actually for my 40kg labrador and covered fleas and worming and holli my 2nd cat showed symptoms the next day and her symptoms where that she was a bit unsteady when jumping up onto things but could walk fine although a little bit slow. Today she looks a little better with her jumping up but is still slightly wobbly. She has also gained a right watery eye which is clear fluid just like tears are.

My 1st cat sylvester didnt show any symptoms before yesterday then i noticed that he wasnt himself at all as he couldnt even walk straight and his back legs/feet were sometimes crossing over one another and he had to lean up against almost anything that was in his path way before trying to walk to where he wanted to go and then leaning up against the next thing he could until he got to the room he wanted to be in.

He also usually stays out all day and then comes home late in the evening then will go back out again about 6-7am and then wont be seen till the evening but yesterday he was asleep on my bed all day and didnt even move. Both cats are still eating and drinking but sylvester decided to go out this evening about 6 ish and i am really worried that anything could happen to him if he cant move his feet properly or walk in s straight line 😢 i just cant believe i used the dogs one on my 2 cats and thats a pipelet each for dogs upto 40kg, i feel so dumb and so awful. Im guessing it could happen to anyone who has multiple pets as i have 3 cats in total and a dog but luckily i wasnt able to flea my other cat tinkabell as she was out at the time.

Update: sylvester has just come in and jumped up on my bed all soaking wet from the rain and was meowing for his food. I am SO SO HAPPY AND RELIEVED THAT HE IS NOW HOME AND SAFE. I have just watched him walk and it seems as tho his feet movements are functioning correctly altho he is still walking a bit slower than usual, but didnt have any problems with jumping up onto my bed.
I am in recipt of state benefits so am really inable to pay a large vet bill for my two cats 😢😢

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
There is a lot of these types of cases (as seen in the newspaper links below) and the use of dog flea products containing permethrin on cats may result in death; you should contact the manufacturer of the product to ask about the ingredients of their products and the toxicity in cats and try to contact a charity clinic or nonprofit in your area to check Sylvester and Holli over to be on the safe side. Tinkerbell may be still at risk if she licked any of the product or some of it rubbed on her from bedding etc… Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/493673/How-to-get-rid-of-cat-fleas-safely www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-492519/Hundreds-cats-killed-flea-treatment-dogs.html

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Jinxsi
Tabby
14 Years
Serious condition
-2 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

cold. dialated. stiff.

After swapping from Advocate (Bayer) to Frontline + (Merial) my diabetic cat wakes 3 mornings in a row with a jump/shock, runs to hide, stares/not responding. Could he have toxicity? He eats/seems fine later on.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations

Uncoordinated movements may occur in cases of toxicity but they wouldn’t be isolated events in the morning, but throughout the day. There may be something else that is startling him causing a fight or flight response. If this continues, visit your Veterinarian for a neurological examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Toulouse
Norwegian Forest
2 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Drooling
Tremors
Uncoordination
Shaking

I recently just has an accident with applying Dog medication on our cat.. We ran to the ER as soon as possible once we noticed the mistake and he started having tremors. He is out and back home now, we however have been giving him a oral medication to ease the tremors when they occur and can give them every 8 to 12 hrs as needed. (Sorry can not remember the name of the medication at this time, but its a 500mg tablet. We give half of it every 8-12.) Today will be his third day since coming home and he is still experiencing body tremors when the pill wears off. So my overall question is, does anyone know how long we can expect him to experience these reactions? I feel terrible this happened to him and I just want to know when we can expect him to be "Normal" again.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
Generally these tremors will continue to occur whilst the medication is still in his system; flea and tick medications generally offer protection for a month so this is the type of timeframe you are looking at. There is no treatment apart from symptomatic and supportive care which you are currently giving; you pretty much need to wait it out. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sativa
Tortoise
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Sorry symptoms are above

Medication Used

Advantage II

I have tried just about every flea product on my pet. My one cat as soon as i apply 1 drop of even the kitten flea meds, almost instantaneously she drools and becomes very uncoordinated? I bath her with dawn dish soap and shes fine. Flea collars dont work well, and cause scabs. What can i do for her to stop the fleas on her? Because everyone else is treated. Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
If Sativa is having adverse reactions to topical spot-on treatments then I would recommend using a natural pyrethrum plant extract from Chrysanthemum which you spray onto the coat every few days; other than that I am unable to think of anything else to recommend. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mo
domestic short hair
13 Months
Mild condition
-1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Lethargic

I just put the Hartz Ultra Guard Pro treatment on my cat. I used it as it said but his fur is so thick that it didn’t all stay on the back of his neck where I put it. Well he started to lick the spot with the treatment that had fallen down. I did wash off that extra bit so he couldn’t lick it any more. He didn’t ingest a lot of it but he has been acting lethargic, he has had a little water but hasn’t really eaten much. He also had a really runny poop earlier that was super stinky! I was just wondering if since I just applied it this afternoon around 12:30 if I should wait a few days and see if it flushes out of his system before I bring him in.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
Keep a close eye on Mo, it was good that you cleaned the excess off so he couldn’t get all of it; but the amount consumed by mouth would cause lethargy. Keep an eye on him, but if you start seeing symptoms of twitching, tremors or seizures visit your Veterinarian immediately; also make sure that he is hydrated and is eating normally. In most cases it is just waiting for it to leave the system. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Turbo
Maine Coon
less than 2 years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

I recently took in 2 cats that came with fleas. Yay! Not. So i treated both cats. The female with a flea collar and the extremely friendly male with hartz flea and tick. The topical spot on treatment. They have had the hartz flea spray on them before i got them. Never once had a reaction. So after treating them the male disappeared all day and hid. I was convinced he had gotten outside or something. Well he seems more lethargic for sure and i noticed him sneeze a few times. No discharge but a few sneezes. What should i do for hin

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations
The spot on treatment will have been absorbed into his system now, so washing it off will not help; if lethargy is the only symptom, keep an eye on him and wait for it to leave his system. If he starts presenting with tremors, seizures or other symptoms visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Plankton
domestic short hair
7 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Balding

Medication Used

Revelution

My cat has been losing hair on his legs and belly. I took him to the vet 2 weeks ago and the vet thinks he may have had allergic reaction to advantage. So he recommended revolution, which I bought there. I put it on my cat the next day, and now he has a bald spot where I administered it. Is it possible for cats to be allergic to all flea medicine? Btw he has not one flea on him and has been flea free for as long as I can remember

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1679 Recommendations

It is possible for a cat to be allergic to more than one flea treatment product. Other products like Frontline are usually tolerated better than Advantage or Revolution although may be less effective. If the problem persists, you may need to turn to an alternative medicine product which is derived from plants which you would need to apply more often; please do not consider putting essential oils on Plankton. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

why would fleas die without treatment

My 2 cats have been acting strange since switching to Frontline. They are both acting paranoid, twitching, running like something is chasing them and hiding a lot. Not normal at all. The symptoms of Hyperesthesia look very much like their symptoms. Is this a rare side effect of Frontline poisoning?

My cat is indoor/outdoor and I think she might have this type of poisoning however I wasn't able to get her before she took off and typically she stays around the house and comes when I call her. But since she hasn't my question is, what happens if it goes untreated? is it something she could recover from? I assume it would take a longer period of time if so.

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