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A Warning to Cats!

Meow! My name is June Buggie, and I have something to say.

June Buggie says flea and tick prevention is no joke!

This is a warning for all you cats out there!

Recently Jen went to PetSmart to buy some Frontline for the dogs. A clerk told her some fleas were resistant to that product and recommended a product sold over the counter in the Banfield clinic- it was called First Shield.  

Jen asked the clerk if it was OK to use on DeDe, a dog on meds and skin problems. The clerk said yes. She also told the clerk about us cats. She was told to keep us separate awhile and it should be fine. So she bought the stuff. Then when she got it home she saw the primary ingredient was permethrin.  Jen raised alot of hell but she did return the stuff and got her money back.

Do you know about permethrin?  It is believed to be relatively safe for dogs (that is debatable), but can be toxic to cats.  For some cats as little as one drop can lead to pyrethroid toxicosis. Symptoms include muscle tremors, seizures, hypersalivation, depression, vomiting, anorexia. Some cats have died as a result of exposure.  If your cat shows symptoms, take him or her to your vet.

Permethrin is sold legally in many over-the-counter flea products. Using that stuff on your cat is dangerous, so DON’T DO IT!

And before you think it’s safe to use on your dog, consider this: Cats who live in close proximity to dogs can come in contact with the product when applied to the dog.

If your cat goes outdoors, your cat can be exposed if your municipality uses permethrin in mosquito sprays.

Permethrin is toxic to fish, beneficial insects and honey bees.

Human infants are more sensitive to Permethrin than adults. Traces of Permethrin have been found in breast milk.


So make your human aware and make sure they do their homework before using products that include Permethrin.  Your life depends on it.




EPA Fact Sheet on Permethrin

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) Guide to Permethrin 

Veterinary Support Personnel Network info sheet on Permethrin

Broken Hartz is a blog that has lots of good information about Permethrin

Tiny Timmy’s Healing Journey is another great blog resource; here’s his flea/tick control recommendations.

About Rumpy's Kitty Siblings

I'm Jen, caregiver to the late, great Rumpydog and now to some rather pesky kitties. You can follow us on Twitter - @FineMellowFella and @HissyFitJones. And don't forget to LIKE our Facebook pages! Thanks!


82 thoughts on “A Warning to Cats!

  1. I’m glad you’re alright, June Buggie 😉

    Posted by hottabb | June 28, 2012, 1:09 AM
  2. We do expect the people selling this stuff to give accurate advice don’t we? Other people visiting that shop would have just used it when they got home without reading the ingredients – lucky Jen is so switched on.

    Posted by Tina Holmes | June 28, 2012, 1:09 AM
  3. Good on you June Buggie, I swear we need to be walking-talking-information-absorbing-expousing beings to make a proper go of it on this earth, and be so careful and question everything as well. Sometimes it scares me. I’m glad all is well with you though.

    Posted by EllaDee | June 28, 2012, 1:21 AM
    • It is scary, isn’t it? And here in the US it’s considered “acceptable” in a market-driven society. Because, money is more important than life.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 28, 2012, 4:45 AM
      • Sigh. Money is more important than life. Another “take” on this is: I spend a bundle of money on ADVANTAGE. It costs an arm but has no permethrin. It has imidacloprid (??) and pyriproxyfen (??) and I do NOT want to look that stuff up like that fabulous Timmy site you link to is willing to do. Don’t know about the so-called “other” ingredients (which constitute 90.44% of the stuff), but it has no permethrin. Also says it’s “harmful” to humans if swallowed, but if gets in the eyes, it causes “moderate” eye irritation. Vet says it’s fine, no side effects. Course this was the same vet who treated a combination viral-biological infection with antibiotics, which my cat threw up — and didn’t mention the viral component of the illness until I specifically asked about it.

        Sigh. Money is more important than life and even with money, which is supposed to help life, we still have to work like — dogs — to get at a fuller picture. Makes me wanna holler.

        Thank you for going to bat for us kitties Jen.

        Posted by nadbugs | June 28, 2012, 6:25 AM
      • MEOW! I’m so sorry that had happened to you!

        Posted by rumpydog | June 28, 2012, 7:48 AM
  4. Good advice, June Buggie.

    We only ever buy tick and flea products for the Boxers from the vet, a bit more expensive, but I guess you pay for the reassurance.

    Lesley x.

    Posted by shacklefordlb | June 28, 2012, 1:30 AM
    • The problem is that Banfield IS a vet clinic! Granted, most vets wouldn’t sell something like that anyway. And Jen was trying to avoid a trip out to our vet’s office to buy Frontline. But next time she’ll take the trip.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 28, 2012, 4:47 AM
      • Think of Banfield like the 7-11 of pet medicine in a way. They are trying now to “market” their own brands so this doesn’t surprise me. The sales person actually gave good advice about keeping treated animals separate. Sadly, so much is not disclosed to pet owners and needs to be. Good on you for spotting this and knowing about it!!! (Oh and Passing it on!) ~ Timmy sends his *headbonks* and many thanks for the pingback!

        Posted by Tiny Timmy | July 1, 2012, 4:03 AM
  5. Thanks June Buggy – a very important warning that all humans should be aware of.

    Posted by Animalcouriers | June 28, 2012, 1:38 AM
  6. Thank you for sharing this info with us!

    Posted by Martha Vitez | June 28, 2012, 2:07 AM
  7. Thanks June Buggie. I only ever get flea stuff from the vet, but will still check it out!

    Posted by CATachresis | June 28, 2012, 2:25 AM
  8. One advantage of all the dryness in AZ is we don’t have much problem with fleas. At least that’s one less thing we have to worry about.

    Posted by Bongo | June 28, 2012, 2:47 AM
    • You are fortunate. Fleas can be of great concern here, as can ticks. Jen had been using Comfortis with the dogs but only recently learned that it is great on fleas but does not kill ticks. And with the mild winter we had this year, ticks are of great concern.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 28, 2012, 4:48 AM
      • Rumpy, Frontline works the same on ticks. They still bite, they just are supposed to die after they bite, but Frontline does not repel ticks or deter them from biting.

        Posted by Tiny Timmy | July 1, 2012, 4:06 AM
      • We still use our DE, but since Jen found a tick on her this spring she is not taking any chances. Of course, since she’s seen none on anyone else, it’s possible she picked that tick up elsewhere.

        Posted by rumpydog | July 1, 2012, 6:05 AM
  9. Thank you for this information. I have a cat and a dog living together so very important to know this. Just followed your blog. Am new to blogville.

    I’ll be back,

    Posted by Sankissjuice | June 28, 2012, 2:49 AM
  10. thank you for the info! that is scary stuff. another reason to be glad my kitties are all indoors.

    Posted by littlemiao | June 28, 2012, 5:04 AM
  11. Thanks for the info June Buggie! I passed that on to my Mom. She’s VERY careful about EVERYTHING we use around here….certainly that stuff sounds QUITE dangerous!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

    Posted by onespoiledcat | June 28, 2012, 6:00 AM
  12. You’re a smart and caring kitty. thanks 🙂

    Posted by an uncommon girl | June 28, 2012, 6:24 AM
  13. Thanks for the great info, June Buggie! I’ve always had indoor kitties, but my one little boy just can’t stand to be inside when his mommy is outside. We’ve gotten him a harness and he comes out on the patio and in the hammock when I am out there. He’s the first kitty we’ve ever had who has needed flea and tick protection, so we have been buying Frontline from the vet. I will be sure to not buy anything with permethrin in it.

    Posted by Paprika Furstenburg | June 28, 2012, 6:35 AM
  14. We is sooooo glad to see you writing about this! Mommy’s in the middle of writing a Monday Medical Issues article about the very same thing!!! It’s sooo very deadly and dangerous!

    Posted by Ryker's Boyz 'n' Allie | June 28, 2012, 7:17 AM
  15. Thank you J.B., I email your post to my grand kitty’s mama and daddy. ajm

    Posted by My Journey into Art | June 28, 2012, 7:32 AM
  16. Good thing somebody read the label.

    Posted by Goose | June 28, 2012, 7:55 AM
  17. Hi June Buggie, Mollie here. Last year, even with Frontline Plus, we got fleas, all three of us. Two of us are only allowed on the screened in porch but Jake can bring in fleas. What a nightmare! We had to take little pills to kill the active ones and then we all got Advantage since the Frontline didn’t seem to work. It took a couple weeks to get under control and we were happy we didn’t have to treat the whole house, yikes! Now we all get Advantage for cats and I even get a special one for cats under 9 lbs. (I have a very sleek, girlish figure!) This is a very timely post!

    Posted by katecrimmins | June 28, 2012, 8:15 AM
  18. Since Banfield is a vet clinic, they need to have people knowing what they are selling!!! That is very scary story. Glad Jen read the box carefully! x Berner Girls

    Posted by moxiedogs | June 28, 2012, 8:19 AM
  19. Thanks for the warning. I hadn’t heard of that chemical – now I can be on the lookout. I’m sensitive to pesticides, so even though we don’t have cats, we do have issues in our house. And I’d rather not cause more problems for the already declining honey bee population. Frontline has worked well for Lola for both fleas and ticks and it doesn’t seem to bother me, so I think we’ll stick with it.

    Posted by Shary Hover | June 28, 2012, 8:26 AM
  20. Thank you for the warning. It is irresponsible of these companies to use such dangerous ingredients, all they care about is their profits.

    Posted by Jacqueline Selby Brooks | June 28, 2012, 8:38 AM
  21. Thank you sweet June Buggie for this info. We are really happy Jen was on top of that situation and kept you safe. Hugs and nose kisses

    Posted by Chancy and Mumsy | June 28, 2012, 8:46 AM
  22. Thank you!

    Posted by Margarita | June 28, 2012, 10:16 AM
  23. Meow for sure! Thanks

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | June 28, 2012, 10:19 AM
  24. thanks for the info June Buggie!!

    Posted by cindimichealle | June 28, 2012, 10:24 AM
  25. We have a problem, Frontline is not doing it’s job very well so we went to Advantix (spelling?). Then this year we went back to Frontline because I was told that the other does not kill ticks. Now we have fleas again and Mozie has a skin rash due to being allergic to the fleas. The vet says to bring him back for cortizone shots for the skin, but that only treats the symptoms and does not get to the root of the problem. Now that he is inside alll time helps but the other outside kitties still bring them in. What can we do?

    Posted by Jennifer Threet | June 28, 2012, 10:37 AM
  26. Well, it is scary.
    i’m glad Jen knew about it, and now a lot of humans do!

    Posted by Ritika Upadhyay At Le Blog | June 28, 2012, 10:42 AM
  27. So glad Jen caught that before using it!

    Posted by Misty Shores Chesapeakes | June 28, 2012, 2:29 PM
  28. Wow! I don’t have a cat but this is very good information to know. Besides, if it’s not safe for cats, I am reluctant to use it on my dog. Thanks Buggie!!!

    Posted by Dawn | June 28, 2012, 2:31 PM
  29. This is excatly what happened to Gail’s kitty LuckyCharm….fortunately quick action by a vet saved her…it was a dangerous and costly mistake

    Posted by Ruth Arnold | June 28, 2012, 2:45 PM
  30. Very good post. We often wondered about how households with both kitties and pups deal with that problem. It is a very good thing that your human is so attentive and smart.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    Posted by Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning | June 28, 2012, 3:41 PM
  31. we definitely appreciate the warning!

    Posted by catchatcaren | June 28, 2012, 6:08 PM
  32. Absolutely RIGHT that not all flea and tick treatments for dogs are safe for cats! No, No, No! Thanks for this great reminder and teaching, June Buggie!

    Posted by granbee | June 28, 2012, 6:44 PM
  33. You are a true public servant and your posts always contain important information for all pet owners. Thank you, RumpyDog! You are the greatest!

    Posted by Russell Smith | June 28, 2012, 8:37 PM
  34. Hey June Buggie, Jet here.

    Thanks for sharing. Mom did not know about this product in particular, however, she did know about the compound. Our professional bug killer told Mom about that decades ago when she asked about natural products….

    Posted by heyitsjethere | June 28, 2012, 8:54 PM
  35. Hi my dear June Buggie!!!!! I’m sorry to see you this late….as my mom, who is is my typist now out of Japan and can’t access Internet often….*sniff *
    OMG! How dangerous these Permethrin is!!!! We have a cat, Shiro here, so we have to be really careful to choose products, as he can’t choose on his own.
    I’m glad that Jen is so careful!!!!!! 🙂

    Posted by eripanwkevin | June 28, 2012, 9:52 PM
  36. Good investigation June Buggie!

    Posted by shereenielsen | June 28, 2012, 9:54 PM
  37. You should also send a warning out to dogs, not to eat chocolate – we’ve moved on from sandpaper, as it wasn’t that tasty.
    PS. Dog on mend, vet loves me – I’m good for business

    Posted by Just Outside the Box Cartoon | June 28, 2012, 10:53 PM
  38. Thanks for the warning!

    Posted by Ellie and Edmond © | June 29, 2012, 8:49 AM
  39. Wow – That stuff sure sounds dangerous!! Just as well your human checked it out 🙂

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    Posted by snoopys@snoopysdogblog | June 29, 2012, 8:54 AM
  40. Good information will be more diligent about reading labels!

    Posted by PC PHOTO | June 29, 2012, 11:58 AM
  41. Very important and helpful info to share – thank you June Buggie! And reminds me to not take advice from pet store check out people.

    Posted by Cat Protectress | June 29, 2012, 12:32 PM
  42. That is very scary stuff….I don’t know whether it’s on sale over here but if it is I’m quite sure people in general will be happily oblivious to its dangers. I swear by Frontline as recommended by the vet but I get your point about some fleas developing a resistance to it. I always buy direct from the vet and although it’s expensive I’ve never had a problem with fleas 🙂

    Posted by europasicewolf | June 29, 2012, 12:53 PM
  43. Geesh! Good stuff to know. Thanks!

    Posted by Bassetmomma | June 29, 2012, 1:46 PM
  44. Wow! Mai vet is at Banfield iN teh PetSmart store! Ai git flea treatment from teh vet but not OTC. Gonna git Mom 2 chek the gredients enyways. We also has teh skeeter man truk go bai ebber evenin’ & Poppa lieks me 2 stay N when it goes bai. Skerry! Fanks agin, JB. Hey< Winston duz look liek u assept he has a reeely big empty hed.

    Posted by Mr. BobButtons Michael | June 30, 2012, 7:49 AM
  45. I have heard of this but only since Barnaby came to live with us and tall person investigated flea protection. Thanks for highlighting the issue.

    Posted by Bassas Blog | June 30, 2012, 3:54 PM
  46. Accidentally put on wrong flea collar on landlords cat as he handed me wrong one and I did not have my glasses on…cat went into seizures and we spent entire weekend in emergency vet waiting room to see if the cat was going to live or not…never again…luckily that was about three thousand American dollars later and about six years ago…he is doing well now…well if we survive this heat wave of 109F…

    Posted by TammyeHoney | June 30, 2012, 6:05 PM
  47. Thank you heaps, June Buggie – this is something my human had no idea of. A very worthwhile post. If all your nine lives are as meaningful as this one, you’ll be a saint! Saint June Buggie 😉

    Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes | July 1, 2012, 3:55 AM
  48. Thanks for letting us know!
    I never heard of it, but I’ll keep an eye out!

    Posted by Dianda | July 1, 2012, 2:29 PM
  49. Another great, informative post, June Buggie! 😀

    Posted by Wayside Artist | July 1, 2012, 9:27 PM
  50. I sent this to my cat-&-dog-family sister, who will surely find it good to know. I always appreciate how well you keep us all up to date on animal health issues–so important!

    Posted by kathryningrid | July 2, 2012, 11:02 AM
  51. Thanks for the warning.

    Posted by Zac The All Black | July 8, 2012, 6:07 PM
  52. TY for spreading the word.;-)

    Posted by eof737 | July 9, 2012, 2:18 AM
  53. Thank you for that information! I have a feline fursister!

    Posted by Baylie Dog | July 18, 2012, 9:07 PM
  54. This is crazy! I think I heard about this before but I am in shock that the employees at Pet Smart are so negligent. Thank you for reminding me since I have 3 cats!

    Posted by Baseball Serendipity | July 18, 2012, 9:07 PM
  55. Hello June Buggie and RumpyDog – thank you very much for passing on that information. I have passed it on to my Mum.

    WOOFS from Solo

    Posted by awordfromsolo | July 24, 2012, 3:24 AM


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