Cat Flea Spray Side Effects Examined

Cat flea sprays are products used to treat flea infection in cats. Although flea sprays effectively kill cat fleas, there are known side effects that you need to understand before you decide to treat your pet with a flea spray. Cat flea sprays are known to contain certain active ingredients such as permethrin which are highly toxic to your pet.

Cats lack the enzyme glucuronidase that the body uses to detoxify substances. Thus, if your cat is exposed to sprays containing permethrin you will notice certain symptoms that indicate your pet is suffering from permethrin toxicosis. The cat will require immediate medical intervention as it could be fatal.

Signs of Permethrin Toxicosis

  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Nervous behavior
  • Difficulty walking
  • Twitching

Spray Ingredients that Can Cause Serious Side Effects

  • Organophosphates
  • D-limonene
  • Linalool
  • Methoprene

Cats are highly sensitive to many insecticides. Toxic substances in the insecticides can cause upper respiratory problems and irritate your cat's eyes. Certain sprays packages also warn owners, not to allow the product to come in contact with their skin. Since sprays are harsh on both pets and human beings its best to choose a safer option to treat your cat for flea infections

Signs of Organophosphates

  • Weakness
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dermal sensitivity
  • Hyperactivity

Before you treat your cat with any medication for fleas, it's important to carefully read the label. Pet owners often consider natural products as safe products. This may not be true for all commercially available cat flea sprays.

Known Side Effects of Natural Flea Sprays

  • Skin burns
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Central Nervous System Damage
  • Dehydration
  • Death

Tips to Avoid Poisoning

  • Don't use any dog medication on your cat as cats are very sensitive to insecticides.
  • Don't use any insecticide without consulting your vet.
  • Avoid kittens and pregnant cats from exposure to insecticides.
  • Look for the ingredients used in flea sprays and spot-on medication. Avoid any medication that contains more than 0.1 percent of permethrin.
  • Make sure the flea product doesn't come in contact with your pet's eyes and genitalia.
  • Certain new products contain insect growth regulators like pyriproxyfen, methoprene and lufenuron which are used in combination with other flea insecticides to prevent larvae from turning into mature fleas.
  • If these medicines are used as per the instructions provided, they can effectively treat flea infections.

Remember, even small amounts of dog products can cause hypersensitivity in cats. Flea medication for dogs doesn't always contain the same active ingredients for cats. Read the package carefully before you buy flea medication or sprays as the same packaging may confuse cat owners. Certain brands caution pet owners of the effects of the medication. Consult your cat's vet if you're in doubt, to decide on an appropriate course of treatment for flea infection. If you notice any unusual symptoms after using a flea spray or a spot on treatment, call the animal poison control center immediately.