Never use the same pesticide on cats and dogs: permethrin-based dog flea preventatives are toxic to felines and can even cause their death.

La permetrina uccide i gatti | Clinica La Veterinaria
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Cases of intoxication of cats due to inappropriate application of permethrin-based pesticides formulated only

for dogs


Carelessness, ignorance and the attempt to spare are the cause of the very avoidable death of many cats.

Permethrin is an active substance used as an insecticide repellent against mosquitoes and parasites.

It belongs to the pyrethroid family and acts on pests as a neurotoxin.

It is used on dogs to eliminate parasites but should definitely not be used on cats as it can easily cause their death even through airborne inhalation.

There are always too many cases of permethrin poisoning in cats

Cats, unlike dogs, do not have the enzymes necessary to eliminate the permethrin molecule from their bodies, which acts as a real poison toward them.

It is estimated that 1 ml of 45% permethrin pesticide applied dermally to a 4.5-kg cat leads to potentially lethal toxicosis.

After application of a spot-on emulsion, pyrethroids are rapidly absorbed through the skin into the circulatory system.

They remain in the circulation, bind to particular receptors in the poor cat’s central and peripheral nervous system, causing the onset of neurological symptoms and sialorrhea.

What are the symptoms of permethrin poisoning?

Symptomatology may appear almost immediately or a few hours after application.

The main symptoms of permethrin poisoning include in addition to sialorrhea:

  • Hyperexcitability
  • Tremors
  • Lack of coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Convulsions
  • Dilated pupils

Self-toelectrification of the contaminated area can cause hypersalivation and vomiting.

For more severe cases, survival rates may also be good but only if the cat receives intensive and supportive care promptly.

The treatment for permethrin poisoning.

Either way, there is only one thing you need to do: run to your Veterinarian and speak clearly without omitting anything about what happened.

Report the name of the product used and the dosage with reference to the weight range indicated on the pesticide box.

The veterinarian will admit the cat and treatment will focus on controlling muscle tremors and seizures.

Time is of the essence in these cases: the more hours that elapse from administration and onset of symptoms, the less likely the cat will survive.

Permethrin poisoning can also occur through accidental causes

A cat can also become intoxicated by being in close contact with or licking a dog that has just been treated with pesticide.

So it is a good idea to keep the dog and cat separated for at least 24 hours, the time for the pesticide to be absorbed.

Or, if you are in the habit of storing the cat’s pesticides along with the dog’s,

be more than careful when selecting the pipette to apply to the cat.

Are there products that can be used simultaneously on dog and cat?

Some formulations, such as those with fipronil, are suitable for both dogs and cats, of course with different dosages depending on the species.

Sometimes it is the Veterinarian himself who suggests the purchase of dog pipettes to be used on cats as well, but this is in exceptional cases.

For example, when it comes to mentors of feline colonies or if 4 or more cats live in a house.

But the exception applies only to the pesticide indicated by the veterinarian and in the prescribed amount, taking the right amount of product to apply based on the cat’s weight.

Acting to save money, hearsay or personal experience never leads to anything good

The consequence inevitably results in a rush to the nearest veterinary clinic in hopes of saving the cat from tragic poisoning or even worse, death.

In this regard, in case of need and urgency, we remind you that the Veterinary Doctors of our Staff are at your disposal and that Clinica La Veterinaria is always open every day h24 including holidays and with First Aid service from 8 pm to 8 am.

For the joy of seeing them HAPPY

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