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Flea Collars: some advice

03 October 2016
Flea Collars: some advice

This News article was originally written in 2013 - we are posting it again as it is still of great relevance.

Since writing this article in September 2013, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (DEFRA) have issued a report which details the dangers and includes links to those flea treatments which do not contain the drug Permethrin or it is contained in low enough doses not to cause harm. The full paper can be found at the link below Please don't put your cat at risk, the dangers are many and the deaths are horrible.

Please read: http://www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/pdf/permethrin-spot-on.pdf

**Please see our advice in bold in the article below**

Our original article: Sept 2013

We have recently received reports of incidences where kittens and cats have died from poisoning symptoms, seemingly after they have been fitted with flea collars. In some cases, this has lead to sickness and diarrhoea and in some extreme instances, convulsions leading to death. 

This may be as a result of people using dog and puppy flea collars on cats.  This is extremely dangerous to cats as the chemicals used for dogs are vastly different and extremely poisonous when used on felines.

So our first piece of advice is NEVER, ever put a dog flea collar on your cat or kitten.

There is also some evidence that this adverse reaction appears to be particularly related to those products that contain Diazinon, sometimes called Dimpylate.  There have been newspaper reports (unconfirmed) that flea collars containing this substance, which by the way was originally developed as nerve gas for use in the Second World War, is having an extremely bad effect on children who are very close to their pets, and who spend a long time sleeping with them or stroking and cuddling them.  Diazinon poisoning symptoms include headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea amongst other things.

One large manufacturer of pet products in the UK has already voluntarily taken their flea collars off the market which contains this substance, but there are others out there that still use it as part of their flea treatment products.

Of course we advocate the use of flea treatment as part of your regular care regime for your cat, so our second piece of advice is always read the label to make sure that the collar or other flea treatment you are purchasing for your cat does not contain Diazinon, Dimpylate or Permethrin.

Similarly, off the shelf worming treatments meant for dogs must NOT be used on cats, nor should you repeat a dose of worming treatment earlier than the manufacturer’s guidance. 

Our final piece of advice is if you are worried or have any doubts about the flea collar or other treatment you have purchased off the shelf, stop using it straight away and contact your vet immediately for advice.