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Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM

Accidentally put Dog Flea Repellent on Cat

By August 6, 2003

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This recent forum post highlights the importance of following labels when using chemicals and medications.

From the VetMed Forum - kckroq asks: "We accidentally put the dog flea repellent (like Advantage) on our cat. We bathed him about 4 hours after application and when we realized the terrible mistake we made. He seemed better, so we went to bed for the night. When we woke up, the cat looked like he was in shock, shaking, eyes glossed over. He is at the vet now getting fluids but they are not sure what to expect. Has anyone else experienced this?"

Update FAQ: Help - I Just Put Dog Flea Control on my Cat

Comments

March 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm
(1) lisa B says:

We did the same thing. Put the flea medicine on the 10 pound cat meant for the 80 pound dog. Our cat almost passed away. The vet’s office did the bathing, and that didn’t help. We took him to a vet hospital which had overnight service, and they hooked him to IV fluids, and watched him all night. He survived our stupid mistake, but it could have easily gone the other way. I now keep both cat and dog meds separate. I wear my reading glasses and check and recheck before applying any medications. It was frightening. I hope your cat makes it throught this. All the best,
Lisa B.

June 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm
(2) Rhonda says:

I have heard horror stories like this.. I am so paranoid when I put the cat’s on then the dog’s I check and recheck.. they should really be labled better..or differently in some way.

July 26, 2008 at 12:55 am
(3) Angela says:

My poor little 4 month old kitten Ollie is in the vet hospital right now because I put my 120 lb. dog’s Advantage on him rather than the cat advantage. He has a fever and twitching. The ER doc is keeping him overnight. They are giving him baths, IV fluids and he has a 70/30 chance of pulling through. I’m devastated.

Advantage for dogs has an ingredient called Pyrethrine (sp?) which is toxic to cats.

Wish us luck!

October 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm
(4) hyacinth says:

my mum just did the same thing by mistake and our lovely cat is in the vets. we are praying he’ll be ok. my mum is devastated. did the cats commented on earlier pull through?

October 23, 2010 at 1:51 am
(5) Jennifer says:

Yep did the same thing, my cat had the same symptoms about 12 hours after getting K9 Advantix! I felt horrible. We washed him right away and at the vet he was on IV fluids for the day and had the hair in that spot shaved. He recovered just fine thankfully and is 100 percent today.

October 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm
(6) Lynn says:

I just put adult frontline on kittens and my adult cats, .03 ml for kittens and .05 ml for adult cats, and I also used the same dosage as my adult cats for my min-pin dog, which is the same weight as the adult cats. I foster kittens for an organization and the man I foster for said that they found through a vet that it’s the same formula. I’m thinking you just used the wrong dosage for the size of the animal. Everyone is fine and the fleas were jumping off the kittens that very same night.

October 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm
(7) Vetmedicine Guide says:

Actually, using dog medications and topicals on cats is NOT just a matter of dose size. Some medications (i.e. K9 Advantix) ARE very toxic for cats and definitely not recommended at any dose.

On a related note, using human medications (i.e. Tyelenol) can have toxic/lethal effects for both dogs and cats.

Always check with your veterinarian, and in the case of overdosage or giving the wrong medication to the wrong animal, call your veterinarian or poison control immediately.

December 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm
(8) Dee Dee says:

No. But my friend put some flea and tick repellent on a cat and refused to take the cat to the vet. That day the poor little thing died.

March 14, 2011 at 9:40 am
(9) Miss Ruby says:

My sister called me frantically at 0400 this AM & advised me she had mistakenly put her over 100 lb. Doberman’s K-9 Advantix on her 12 lb cat last night. She said the cat appeared drunk & confused. Apparently she had the RX on the cat for 12 hours. I told her to bathe the cat immediately and I would check online. I thankfully displayed this website. My sister also cut the hair in the area where she had put the RX at. She washed the cat’s neck thoroughly 3XS consecutively. The cat finally drank some water and is now moving about normally. Her eyes were twitching a little, but she is now preening herself as well. I have taken her over to my home, for observation while my sister is at work. Make no mistake about it. If her cat begins to act abnormally at all … she will be whisked off to the Vet. My sister mentioned that both RX tubes looked exactly alike, with the exception of the colored cap. This is how she made the mistake. She did say she thought it was strange that her dog’s RX seemed a lot less than the cat’s RX. That should be your 1st clue folks. But alas, unless you’ve made the mistake before, you won’t know. Especially if you are trying K-9 Advantix for the 1st time, like my sister had. Bottom line, do one animal at a time! May this info be helpful to you, as the website was for us! Peace!

March 14, 2011 at 9:56 am
(10) Sher, Miss Ruby's Sister says:

I pray to God that Monkee will pull through! I hope I caught it in time. Yes, I DID put Kona’s K9 Advantix on her, Kona is over 100#’s! I feel HORRIBLE, that I could have made such a mistake! ALWAYS check and do your pets flea meds SEPARATELY. I ill NEVER do them at the same time again. Pull out the dog OR cat’s dose and apply it so there will be NO MISTAKE. This would rip my heart out & I’m at work freaking out still. I am SO GRATEFUL my sister had today off so she could monitor my baby Monkee. She turned 1 yr. old 02/17/11. I am GLAD she is “sturdy” and a little extra weight may have saved her life.
PLEASE EVERYONE: ALWAYS apply the meds separately. That way it will NEVER happen to you!

March 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm
(11) LL says:

I also have a kitty in the Hospital as a result of my stupidity. I noticed a flea on my cat. I had a tube of flea control in the that was past it’s experation date. The tube was over 5 years old. It was an old tube for my dog, must have been advantax. I only used a quarter of the tube. The dog weighed 75 lbs and the cat weighs 15 lbs. The cat started twitching and acting drunk this morning rushed him to the vet who told me how toxic the medication is for cats. The advantix included a medication for ticks which is extremely toxic to cats.

March 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm
(12) Miss Ruby says:

LL …

Did your kitty come through okay? 1st of all … My sister’s kitty Monkee did well. The bathing and trimming of the hair made a HUGE impact on her kitty doing better. She is fine.

I use frontline instead of Advantix. Perhaps I am grateful for that. We all learn lessons as pet parents. It too, doesn’t come with a “manual” just like human parents. You are a phenomenal parent to your pet, just by loving and caring for them. Mistakes happen in life and they are not intended to be harmful.

May all of you that read this website benefit from it, as my sister and I had. :) ^..^

April 27, 2011 at 4:25 am
(13) JM says:

My friend did the same thing and his cat is twitching he has not taken him in yet it seems that getting liwuids in them is important as well as shaving the hair. im going to tell him bout the iv and shaving of the hair.

Thank ou

May 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm
(14) Joy says:

My elderly father told me this morning that he dosed most of his cats with their flea medicine. He said that most of them weren’t acting right. I said, “Dad, that was Advantage that you put on them, wasn’t it?” He said yes that’s what he always uses. I rushed in to his kitchen and found the box….it was K9 Advantix. I rushed one trembling cat to the emergency vet and my father brought another one up there after I arrived. They told me that our usual vet had emergency services as well so I put both cats in my truck and rushed them to our vet. As I was driving there one of the cats had a horrible seizure and when I got to the vet the other cat had one as well. I helped the vet insert IVs and he gave them the antidote. He told me that I could leave and that he was going to bathe them. When I returned to my parent’s home another one of their cats had a slight twitch in her ear. I gave her a bath in Dawn and observed her for quite some time and she was doing really good. The vet called with an update on the two cats that I took to him and he said that they are doing very good and to call and check on them in the morning. My father feels terrible. They just lost a cat a couple of months ago when a stray pitbull snatched her by the throat and ran off with her and now this. Our vet told me to tell my father to please forgive himself because this happens quite often to so many people. My father loves his cats and would never hurt them intentionally. The company who makes Advantix needs to change the name because it is so similar to Advantage and it’s easy to confuse the two. I pray that all of their cats make it and that my father forgives himself because I do. I know he loves them and he feels awful. I pray as well for anyone else who is going through the same thing. God bless you all.

June 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm
(15) Stefanie Mccartney says:

*FYI*
I does not matter what brand. I used a cheap brand of flea medicine that has worked well for dogs on my cat, I thought that it was a doseing issue and gave her just a small amount. NOT the case she had a reaction to it. At first she looked drunk and out of it and then she started Seizuring. I called the poison control # on the box and they told me to wash the area with dawn dish soap and see how she did from there if worse then take her to the Vet. Luckily she pulled through but she has not been the same cat ever since and this was about a year ago. My advice: pay attention and follow the instructions on the labels.

July 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm
(16) randi says:

I accidently put flea medicine for dogs on my 4 month old kitten. I didnt realize it untill about 2 hours later, i noticed her shaking then i rushed the the tube and in a corner, about the size of a nail head was a picture of a cat with a circle and a line through it! i immediatly called my sisters sister in law (she works with a vet) (of course it is saturday) and she told me to wash her with dawn and scrub the area down her back where i put it. Squally molly started seizing and i called her back and she said she might have ingested some of the medicine cleaning herself. so i gave her some milk and and keeping her hydrated with water from a childs medicine dropper. She is still seizing and we are praying she will get better. it has been and hour and still no change. please everyone know that you MUST be super careful about medicating animals. one is not good for all! i am so stupid for not paying attn,. if my kitty dies i will be devestated!

July 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm
(17) Patty says:

I did this same thing with K-9 Advantage. I put the 12-55lb dose of dog flea/tick on my cat, Bluebelle, by mistake. I awoke at 4am to the sound of her seizing in the corner of the room. Called ER vet and they said to wash with dawn dishwashing soap3-4 times. I washed my cat and she continued to seize and could not walk. Took her to the vet and they have her on IV fluids and gave her Robaxin. Some of the twitching has stopped but still do not know if she will come through this. I feel terrible. She is such sweatheart. I will be more careful in the future, and buy frontline products instead.

August 5, 2011 at 4:57 am
(18) Estee says:

I put dog flea drops on my kitten Biscuit, and needless to say, the outcome was fatal. About 1-2 hours into her having the flea medication on, she started becoming lethargic and starting shaking, and I knew then that something was wrong. I gave her a bath, and called a 24/7 vet clinic. They told me that the medicine was poisoning her and for me to bring her in. The clinic was almost an hour away, so my husband had me contact our local vet and I talked to a woman about what to do. She called an “on-call” doctor, and called me back and told me to bathe her again, keep her warm, and give her Karo syrup to even out her blood sugar. This all happened at 10 pm, and 4 hours later Biscuit was still in my lap, wrap up in several blankets, shaking in seizure mode. During this time she had also defecated and urinated on herself, and puked up foamy blood. Around 2:30 a.m. Biscuit’s breathing had changed and soon after, she started to puke up all of her cat food. I thought this was a sign of her getting better, so I gave her some water from a medicine dropper, since she had been up all night panting. When I did this, around 2:42 that morning, it killed her.
I was and still am devastated. I didn’t know where I had gone wrong, because I had put dog drops on her before. I don’t know if it was missing something that the other ones weren’t..I just hate myself for all of this. This whole time, I only tried to help her. And sure, I have enough common sense to know the difference in drops, but I just assumed things would be okay. Looking back I wish I had made that hour long trip to the clinic but the girl from our local vet said that there was nothing they could have done there that I couldn’t do at my house. She and everyone else tell me that I shouldn’t worry because my intentions were to help her, and that these things do happen, but it’s hard to bury your beautiful pet when you feel that you’re to blame. So, anyone out there, don’t chance it, or you too will be a miserable wreck.

October 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm
(19) pa animal lover says:

I think the flee meds should be changed to for instance, mouse shaped for cats bone shaped for dogs that would make for a much easier method to prevent costly mistakes

October 23, 2011 at 9:37 am
(20) michelle says:

its sunday am…i too…put a tube of cheap sergants flea meds for a over 60 lb dog on my cat (10 lbs) i worked at an animal clinic for 20 yrs…so i know better…however, i even shaved spots on the cat 1st..to gt the drops directley on skin…she went out side….about 30 mins later saw her staggering, dragging her legs outside…ran to garbage to check tube..i was devasted….i got her and did the dawn dishwasher thing..as much as i could as she was fighting me all the way and she ran out of house…raining..called her for 4 hours…finally saw her staggering toward house, draqgging her legs as if paralyzed….got her…she was having terrible tremors..wrapped her in towels, blankets..put her in bed w me under blankets…after she got warm…spasms set in..forced water down her..put her in a small warm bathroom with a lot of blankets…litter box…food…in am…she stil was tremmoring…not eating, no urine…so i got canned cat food mixed with mild…warmed it and fed thru syringe…after about 10 hours later..saw she ur peed and pooped in litter box…very good sign…this was friday and saturday..now sunday morning…opened bathroom floor and she had eating all the canned food i left in a bowl for her…and she is still quivvering from time to time. but much better….crying at outside door to go out…but moral is ANYONE CAN MAKE THIS MISTAKE..I SAW IT ALL THE TIME AT VET CLINIC…AND I STILL DID THIS TO MY KITTY…DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP ON THIS..,.IT HAPPENS….ALOT!

November 9, 2011 at 10:22 am
(21) Chas Smith says:

Indeed, the Advantage flea meds for cats and dogs, are the SAME FORMULA, just different doses. I was at Walmart yesterday, and read the labels myself. SAME 3 ACTIVE INGREDIENTS, but 10 lb. cats dose is about 1/2 of same 10 lb. dog dose. Read them yourself.

Reason- cats groom themselves daily, dogs do not, cats ingest more.

having said that, I have a cat that has severe allergic reactions to any Sergeants flea products. A flea collar makes her foam at the mouth, and the collar is for cats.

The stuff is POISON regardless. The best remedy, is a flea bath with bar of flea soap.

these expensive ointments are just that, snake oil. $60 for 3 tiny tubes, are they NUTS ?

November 13, 2011 at 12:21 am
(22) Boo876 says:

we accidentaly put dog flea ointment on our cats and she had a seizurelas night and today we put outside so she can eat grassan some fesh air , it helped and we also forced her drink water every hour so she could go to the bathroom but we had to put her in there and when she did she looked better and it helped but she is still kind of twitching but shes better now.

November 13, 2011 at 12:36 am
(23) Ariana says:

We did the same thing to our cats and the two younger ones had a problem but one of them had it worse because later on that night she had a seizure and today we took both of them outside and pebbles got better out there and boo boo still was bad. So we forced her to drink water mixed with pediatric electrolyte(we looked it up its okay for them) so she could go to the bathroom (we did that every 30-1 hour) we took outside later and she still wouldn’t eat any grass. And we put her in the litter box and she went from all the water and we gave her some cat food and she ate it. She still a little twitcht when she sleeps but shes way better now.

November 13, 2011 at 12:56 am
(24) Faye says:

We accidentaly put advantix dog flea meds on our cat . A few hours later shes had seizures. We were very afraid so we kept an eye on her but we didnt know what to do. My daughter thought of an good idea to put half water half pediatric electrolyte (we looked it up its okay for them) and we got a small medicine eye dropper and we made her drink every 30 to 45 minutes so she would go to the bathroom to flush it out of her system and she finally went. We took her outside in the sun and fesh air to eat a little bit of grass. We did that every 4 hours. And when she got better we fed her some wet cat food and let her rest. We also scrubbed the ointment off her. This helped us alot, and hopefully it will help yours too. It was a extremely horrifying expeirence and we wish they would label their medicine better. Prayer helped to.

November 26, 2011 at 7:35 am
(25) Sue says:

Did this yesterday morning, and then went to work, I never in a million years would have thought it was dog meds, husband got home at 330 and the cat was hardly breathing he rushed her to the hospital she’s there now and I’m waiting to hear if she made it through the night. I don’t even have a dog nor ever have so I can’t for the life of me understand why I had it, I feel like I’ve been cut open my heart is breaking and my 7 yr old isn’t much better. I have prayed and all but when the vet called last night at 7, he said she didn’t look much better so he gave her another shot of antidote, just keeping fingers crossed at this point. I swore when the last cat died never again and here I go again, totally just crushed here.

January 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm
(26) Sue says:

Update….. she didn’t die, it was touch and go for 2 nights at the hospital but she survived, thank god ! 550 dollars later quite the expensive lesson learned there, I will never again purchase anything NOT from vet themselves, ever. My baby girl almost died thanks to me, still brings tears to my eyes now.

January 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm
(27) jenn says:

Last night I treated all my cats with a flea medication from walmart. I was in emergency vet office about 3 hours later when one of them was spazzing & unable to walk properly. After reading the tube, it was DOG medication, that said “toxic to cats”. almost 350$ later, she isnt spazzing anymore, and she seems to be much better. I have washed all the cats several times, and now 2 of them have sore blad scratchy spots where the drops were put. I made sure to rinse them well, but was thinking, what if they had flea bites where the drops were put… what could be causing this soreness?

March 8, 2012 at 1:41 am
(28) Karen says:

I made the original post, and very happy to report the he made it and died of old age 6 years later. He was a great vat and we were lucky that he survived!!

March 18, 2012 at 2:37 am
(29) MARY CVT says:

I am just wondering how a mistake like this can be so easy to make. The k9 Advantix boxes are clearly markedvto NEVER apply to cats due to it being so toxic for them not to mention it not only says k9 on the box and tube and it has pictures of dogs on the boxes. Also there is no “antidote”. It is a toxin that is absorbed transdermally. Its absorbed through the skin then spread through the natural oils in the skin so instead of washing and shaving..take it straight to a vet because you dont know just how much was absorbed. Supportive therapy and certain meds such as cerenia may be needed to help stabilize the cat and make it more comfortable during the reaction. Dont try to treat yourself…take it to a veterinary hospital immediately!

March 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm
(30) Chris says:

Ease up Mary and look at the bottle. All mine says is Hartz ultraguard. Yes the box says no cats and there is a picture of a dog on it. I did the same thing today because I grabbed the loose bottle out of a bin we keep all of our dog and cat meds in. No excuse. I feel terrible. I love my cat and my son is beside himself that our cat may die making me feel doubly bad. By looking at these posts and many others on other sites its pretty common and done by educated well meaning people.

March 31, 2012 at 9:47 am
(31) Pat says:

Hello. We have done this same thing. We put flea treatment for a 44-60lb dog onto our 15lb(?) cat. The next day we noticed her trembling, having muscle spazms and twitching excessively. Her whole body was in tremors. We quickly washed the flea treatment off, and checked, sure enough it was for dogs. We started searching online for emergency vets but all of them wanted money up front, which we not had enough of. We noticed mostly everyone online suggested to rush her to the vet. So we bathed her a second time, and put water into a syringe and fed her water while she was wrapped up in a warm towel. After 2 hours, her body wasn’t trembling as bad as it was. She started to calm down. We mixed wet cat food w/ dry and she ate! Good thing. We left her for the night to keep warm in blankets and drink water. The next morning (this morning) she’s barely twitching and is eating. No sign of urinating or pooing yet in the litterbox. But we think she’ll pull through it.
People, mistakes happen. I would recommend going to the vet right away, if happened to you. All cats are different. We were fortunate that she’s a strong one (:

October 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm
(32) Mackenzie Nolan says:

how much did the fluids at the vet cost?

October 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm
(33) Courtney says:

We put dog flea medicine on our 11 lb cat for a dog that can weigh up to 40 lbs around noon about 9 1/2 hours later we realized he was acting very strange. He was twitching, blinking repeatedly, moving his mouth, things like that. I had finally looked up what would happen if you put dog flea medicine on a cat and the results were frightening. We tried to give him a bath. After his bath he went back to the twitching, then all of a sudden he had a seizure, then went back to the twitching. After that we were calling vets in our area, none of which were open because it was almost 10 at night. The closets animal hospitals open 24 hours with walk ins were about an hour away and the other place was 45 minutes away. He had another seizure, so we decided we needed to get him there. He had another seizure on the way up. As soon as we walked in they knew exactly what was wrong and said it was common. They gave him another bath, hooked him up to an IV, gave him muscle relaxers, and medicine to absorb the toxins in his system. He stayed the night and the next day he was back to his self and got to come home. After reading what was online, we didn’t think he was going to make it. I just want to let others know that there is still a chance, after 12 hours with it in his system he made it through. So just get to the vet as soon as possible and good luck! d

October 22, 2012 at 5:12 am
(34) tracy says:

i dont have money for a vet…

October 26, 2012 at 10:41 am
(35) Tammy says:

My cat Kit – Last night, I accidently gave him K9 Advantix II for large dogs. I could have sworn it was the cat medicine. We bathed him an hour later. He started seizing and I freaked out so bad. My husband took him to an emergency pet hospital in Garden Grove, CA and that costed $500.00. Kit is still not doing well and being transported to another hospital as the emergency hospital closed at 7am this morning. The Dr. says that Kit will be o.k. BUT he is not showing signs of improvement. A little background on Kit the Kat. I was shopping at Burlington coast factory and I came out only to find my husband with a kitten that looked grey and black in a shopping cart. Apparently someone had thrwn the cat from the car and James got him. THe cat was in really bad bad shape, critical. He didn’t even weigh a pound. We rushed him to a vet. Cleaned him up and took him home. That is how we got Kit, then when he was six months old, he was running out of our room at full speed at the same time I was shutting the door and the skin of his tail came off. I was frantic. We rushed him to the same hospital where part of his tail was amputated but he came home in good health. NOW THIS! I feel so responsible. We do not have the $$ for this but I am praying that everything goes well, I am maxing out our credit cards trying to keep him alive. THank you God for my husband who is taking him to the other hospital this morning.

October 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm
(36) Tammy says:

Well… Since last night, Kit is still in the hospital. The Dr. did say that his seizures are better than they were this morning. I have to take Kit back to the Emergemcy Hospital again because this hospital closes at 6pm and he needs someone actually watching him. What they are doing is, giving him enough valium to put him into a coma state, in order to let the toxins work out of his system and keeping him on fluids. Tonight at 6pm it will be a full 24 hours of treatment and the cat is still seizing. I am so scared. I am scared of a lot of things. 1. Kit doesnt make it. 2. Kit makes it but has brain damage and needs to be on medicatoin for the remainder of his life. This has taken so much out of me emotionally but everyone on this site knows exactly how I am feeling. Thanks for being here.

November 22, 2012 at 10:36 am
(37) Lisa says:

I also made the mistake of using K9 Advantix on my 2 cats. I also have 3 dogs so when I buy Advantage and Advantix for my pets I buy the largest dose and then administer by using a non-needle syringe. I usually use the advantage for the cats and 2 dogs and the advantage for one of my dogs that is outdoors more since he needs the medication that also repels the bugs. I had forgotten that I used Advantix on my two otehr smaller dogs and still had some left in the vial since one large dose tube is enough for my 2 dogs and 2 cats. A week later I realized that my cats were due for thier flea meds so I used the remainder of the tube and administered the .4ml for one cat and .8 ml for the larger cat. The next day my larger cat was blinking his eyes alot and twitching his ear. It was then that I realized that I used the Advantix. I shaved the area that I applied the meds and washed the area several times. He is still eating and drinking and sleeping alot and has stopped twitching. I am just observing him closely now and hoping for the best. It is Thanksgiving so I don’t think I will be able to get him to a vet today. The otehr cat seems fine, maybe because she got the smaller dose, but I still shaved her head and washed the area.

December 27, 2012 at 3:35 am
(38) Ryan says:

Reading these comments, I am surprised how many people assume it is ok to put medication intended for a dog onto their cats. Why would dog medication work for a cat? Just because they both have fur and live with us? That’s just not thoughtful.

December 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm
(39) Barbie says:

use a turkey baster to give a little water to your cat as it gets well. It needs water more than food. and when the cat feels better enough to eat, use water in the can cat food. make it easier for the cat or kitten to eat. I use to put my finger in the wet cat food and place it on his tongue. but he has to feel well enough to eat, water is what is necessary

February 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm
(40) Blackie' mom says:

I did the same with a small kitten that was found out in a bad winter storm. She was crying, cold, and very hungry.. Bought her in got her warm, and a full tummy. All was looking good. after a couple days I thought I would start bathing her while she was small so she would get use to it. added a couple drops of dog flea med, and now she is shaking so bad. The vets says it has to work its way out o her system.. I feel so bad. Hopefully she makes it through this, after being rescued from the bitter cold.

March 9, 2013 at 11:33 pm
(41) shannon says:

I accidentally put dog flea medicine on both my cats they r twitching can barely walk n one of them is having real bad shakes like a seizure I have no money to take them to the vet I am a cancer paitent n my cats is all I have I have been crying n holding them wat do I do someone plzzZ help

March 19, 2013 at 2:18 am
(42) Delaney says:

I accidentally put Hartz dog flea medicine on my cats. Somehow I didnt realize that it was dog medicine until after I applied a dose to each of my three cats. Miraculously I noticed and started researching. Within 10 minutes of realizing my mistake and researching it I took each cat to the sink in my bathroom and scrubbed away the medicine with soap. Then I called the emergency vet and asked what they recommend I do next. They recommended that I give each cat a soap bath in Dawn. I didnt have Dawn so I used the dish soap I had, anti bacterial Palmolive. It worked well. I started to notice my cats were very lethargic and didnt want to move much. They let me pick them up even after I gave them baths and I was starting to get extremely worried. I took them to the emergency vet and she checked each of them and looked at the box I brought of dog medicine. She said normally cats get seizures and twitches right away and they would more than likely be okay after she examined them. She researched the ingredients she didnt know and said the best they could do is keep them overnight and watch them or have us do it at home. After the crazy night we had, we decided to take them home where they would feel comfortable and not scared by other animals and people. I applied the medicine around 930 and it is now 2am and they seem okay. I gave them each another bath in dawn soap. A really thorough one, dried them, and they seem to be okay, just a little traumatized by water and the vet. I was very lucky. Try to stay calm but contact your vet as soon as possible. First of all, wash the medicine off. If they are already having seizures rush to the emergency vet so they can flush the system. My vet tried to call the emergency hotline on the box and it was closed. Figures. All I know is there are extremely harmful toxins for cats in dog flea medicine and no one should EVER, EVER make the mistake of accidentally putting dog medicine on their cats because it could be life or death.

April 12, 2013 at 10:05 am
(43) Cathy says:

I gave my cat a large dog advantage. I bathed her in dawn and she seems to be fine this morning.

June 7, 2013 at 3:22 am
(44) Melissa613 says:

I accidentally put on my cat Advantix for x-l dog at 7:00 AM. Went to work came home to him seizing foaming i rushed him to vet. He is on sedatives and fluids. It was on him for 8+ hours before i realized. I feel that im the worst person in the world. Im so sad. Why cant they make the packaging different colors? It is my fault totally but it would help. Please think good thoughts for my baby boy kitty. Im disgusted by myself.

June 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm
(45) kyle says:

How long does it take for the seizing and trembling to stop. The vet let me take me cats home due to lack of money and gave me the meds to administer myself …its almost 24 hours and my cats are still shaking and unable to walk ??????

July 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm
(46) Jean says:

I gave my cat a flea dip yesterday around 2 pm. I realized what I had done and gave him a bath in Dawn 4x’s. He only had the shampoo on him about 20 mins. It is now almost 24 hours later, he seems ok but did have a twitching episode a few mins ago. Should I worry about this 24 hrs? I mean it could of been the fleas making him twitch. Would he show sypmtons this late?

July 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm
(47) Roma says:

I just did that , and feeling really horrible. I put advantage tick & flea treatment for the dog on my cat. Once I realized what I had done, I tried to wipe it off with soap and water. But he had already licked it. He wasn’t shaking when I left for work. But about lunch time my son called to say that he was acting and looking funny. Meaning he was shivering. I called my Vet and they said to bring him immediately. On the way my cat started to seize and my son started to scream. And everyone was in my way, and the traffic just seemed to build up instantly. I started to panic but got my cat to the clinic. They admitted him immediately and 4 vets started working on him, shaving and putting in a drip. He stabilized and they advised that he would have to overnight. I am waiting as I write for further word…. The tubes of medicine look too similar and need to be changed so that mistakes like this can be avoided. I feel so bad. If the advantage can be fatal to cats, the packaging should definitely be changed and should not resemble the dog’s advantage at all…..This is horrible!

July 27, 2013 at 11:38 am
(48) John says:

It just happend to my family our cat has been with us 11. Yrs . And the flea s are so bad and the cost of the treatment is so high we thought that it would be ok and being so tired and working 3 jobs to try to make it and not ever till this time not buying feline treatmemt and I will regret this the rest of my life I lost my cat and had to put her down so anyone else out there please please do not make this fatal mistake and it is very emotional and it is a fact do not put dog treatment on a cat

August 1, 2013 at 7:13 am
(49) jade says:

Once I put dog flea treatment on my kitten thinking it was for cats! She was acting strange all day,she would hiss if we stroked her and she has never done that before and that evening And i heard noises under our kitchen table so i looked and my little kitten was there twitching and shaking uncontrollably and my puppy Labrador was licking her neck where I put the dog treatment, I was terrified so i rushed her to the vets in a box because that’s all I had at the time. She had to stay in over night and if she turned for the worse then they will give me a call, I got a call that night saying that she might not make it through the night. She was only a kitten but very strong because she’s with me now today at 3 years old and i love her and she loves me!

August 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm
(50) Jen says:

I did this with my 4 month old kitten. It was the dollar store brand and I applied it at 12am and when I woke up for work at 6:30am she was shaking, she kept blinking her eyes, vomiting, and unable to walk. I for sure thought she was going to die. I knew it must of been the medication since this was the first time she ever had it. My first instincts were to wash it off with warm water which was what I did twice. Then I came home on my lunch break and she was walking a little better and still shaking. So I washed her again with dish soap with worked really good. After getting off work she’s already playing with the dog and I feel she should be 100% by Friday.

August 15, 2013 at 11:45 pm
(51) Amy says:

Dear MARY CVT:
You mean to tell me you dont know how humans make mistakes?!
We had our cats and dogs flea meds laid out to give them. We werent able to give it to them that night so we put them back in the boxes. The next day we took them out of the boxes and made sure we check the boxes to make sure we gave the cat the cat meds dog the dog meds . Well they were mistakenly put back in the wrong boxes the night before. Mistakes happen. May the one without mistakes cast the first stone.

August 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm
(52) Jennifer says:

I also made this awful mistake!! I put advantage for a large dog on our 12 lb Ragdoll cat. We left for dinner, came home and he was foaming at the mouth and having seizures. I rushed him to ER vet, they did the dawn bath and Iv fluids. Then he was transferred to our regular vet the next morning. I wouldn’t leave his side. Our vet gave us a 50/50 chance of survival. It was awful!!!! My 5 year old daughter asked the vet to please make our cat better. He had tears in his eyes. Thank god- after 2 nights under his care (still having seizures) and $600 later he is back to his self. Dr said his age (3) weight and being otherwise healthy saved his life.
There has to be a way to make it easier for these meds to not accidently be switched. Ill never make that mistake again!!!!

August 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm
(53) KATY says:

What a terrible feeling to know you have caused harm to your precious kitty. Mom and I by mistake put some old Seargents dog tick/flea for 15-30lb dogs on our beautiful 6yr old 16lb
orange kitty. He is always vocal but his cries were of distress, his eyes very dialated, ears very warm, he was not foaming but dripping salivia. We called an emergency vet they said to wash with dawn and if he didn’t get better bring him in immediately. We don’t have $$for emergency visit. Thank God he did better after washing the area for the third time. Still not his self yet…watching to see if he will drink and eat. Daughter and I both crying and praying…

August 24, 2013 at 5:38 pm
(54) AnimalLover says:

Just in the event that more people stumble upon this article (and these comments), I want to say that it’s understandable that people make mistakes. However, I would urge anyone who has both a dog and a cat to avoid giving them their flea treatment on the same day. Keep the tubes in their respective boxes and don’t take them out until you’re absolutely ready to put them on your pet. That certainly can help avoid some of these problems. Then there are no worries about trying to check the tubes to see which one is which, etc. Mark your calendars and do the treatments on two different days of the week. Generally, the boxes are much clearer than the tubes in terms of having a photo of either a cat or a dog on the front.

As for the [person] who stated that she doesn’t have money for the vet – if you don’t have the money, you shouldn’t have the pet. Period. I understand that financial circumstances can change drastically and quickly and perhaps you could afford the pet when you first took it. If you can’t afford it anymore, for Pete’s sake, rehome if necessary and able, but don’t make the animal suffer because you can’t give it the care it needs. That’s very irresponsible.

Lastly, don’t buy cheap flea treatments. They are well known to cause very serious reactions, much more frequently and severely than the others. Yes, they’re all chemicals and can all cause reactions, but Harts… no. Just no. Save your money and buy something that is less likely to kill your pet.

September 4, 2013 at 12:58 am
(55) Angela says:

Glad I came across this our cat was shaking badly. My husband just did all the animals flea meds except one cat who he couldn’t find. I asked him are you sure you put the cat meds on. He insists yes an went to get the other tube he had out for the other cat to find it was our dogs :/ he’s at the vet right now

September 5, 2013 at 11:48 am
(56) KAHTY says:

RYAN- SOME OF US MADE A MISTAKE BECAUSE WE ARE HUMAN AND ALREADY FEEL LIKE CRAP! BUT THANKS FOR JUDGING! I too mistook the dog flea drops for cat drops. same size bottle. Im terrified for my cat. To all the nice people who have shared their stories..thank you.

September 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm
(57) Robin says:

Going through this as we speak. Realized I used the wrong tube too late. Washed it off immediately but read all these posts. Went to ER where he spent the night, had another bath and seemed ok but this morning started seizing. He’s now sedated at the vet and may need to go back to ER tonight for monitoring. So far we’ve spend $800. I’ve done this for years with no mistakes. Can’t believe I did this. Hoping his young age of 3 is on his side.

September 13, 2013 at 9:34 am
(58) Deana says:

I’m sorry Mr. Animal Lover but not everyone needs thousands of dollars laying around to be able to keep an animal. My friend just went through the same thing with her cats. And from the looks of it the vet can’t do too much in this situation either. I think people should quit applying this poison. Obviously. Try neem oil and citrus oils next time. But even less fortunate people should be able to own animals. With that said, yes people should think more responsible and not allow a innocent animal to suffer. Once I took my dog to vet because he was shaking. They gave him one pill to make him throw up. It costed me $500 dollars. That’s just rediculous.

September 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm
(59) Shelly says:

Thank goodness for this thread. I accidentally put a really old tube of advantage for large dogs that my roommate had in a drawer on my cat. I realized something was wrong by the amount that came out of the tube. I found this thread and immediately washed him about 6 times with Dawn and he was fine. I shudder to think what might have happened otherwise.

September 22, 2013 at 11:39 pm
(60) Faye says:

Tonight I decided to treat my two cats and large dog for fleas. I started with the cats, and then when I went to give the dog his flea treatment I realized I had already used 2 dog packets… on the cats. After reading the warning label on the box, I immediately washed both cats once with Dawn and twice with their soap for kitties. After bathing them I gave them two cans of their favorite fancy feast to stuff them up so they will sleep through the night. They are both sleeping in bed with me tonight so I can keep a close eye on them. I haven’t felt this terrible in a while. Just having to bathe them so much broke my heart. I appreciate all the shared stories. It has greatly lessened my anxiety. Hoping they’ll be okay.

September 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm
(61) Sherry says:

If you are looking at this article because you have just accidently put the dog medication on your cat you might be freaking out, I know I was. First, WASH YOUR CAT. Well. Rinse under a lot of running water. The sooner the chemical is off their skin, the better. Dry them as best you can–the least amount of licking they do, the better.

Then read the label. My Advantage II for dogs is exactly the same formula as the one I use on my cats, in the same concentration, but I accidently put 6 ml on my cat, when the cat dose is .8 ml. K9 ADVANTIX has PERMETHRIN, which is toxic to cats. There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between giving your cat too much of the right medicine and a lot of something toxic.

I was lucky. I had the Advantage II. I caught my mistake right away. My cat is fine. There was no vet visit. But I have used K9 Advantix on my dogs in the past, and things could have been far different.

October 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm
(62) Summer says:

My mum did this with a cat waaaaay back, but it was Frontline, and it damaged the cat’s CNS (central nervous system) and almost caused it to pass away, though it was ill with it until it died of mostly natural causes.

She went to the vets today, who prescribed Frontline flea and tick medicine for our 5yr old and 5 month old cats, and there was a Labrador on the box (exactly like the one she used on her past cat), though the receptionist (who was very confused) reassured her it would be fine.

We’re currently on stand by….

October 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm
(63) Laurie says:

I did this to my cat I picked up the wrong tube 4 hours later he was having seizures and tremors rushed him to the vet he is now day 3 in the vets still having tremors I will never buy this stuff tfor my cats again they should make something that makes it obvious that it a cat or dog product I am devistated that I made such a error I can not believe the people that I have talked to that didn’t realize u can’t put the dog stuff on a cat

November 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm
(64) Kim Davis says:

Well I went to my Vet and specifically asked for Cat Flea treatment, and two capstars for cats. The Capstar was correct, but they gave me Flea treatment for Dog instead of Cat. I didn’t realize it and I was only able to get half on my cat, because he took off like a bat and couldn’t find him. He came out and was acting funny, and then I thought maybe I should read the ingrediaents, as this is the first time I used Vectra on my cat. That is when I realized it was for a DOG!!!…I was instantly upset, and I called the Vet, and they were of course closed at noon for the day. Anyhow I left message. What I did was wash my cat with dish soap, and he is fine now, but I think only because I couldn’t get it all on him…I am very upset that this kind of mistake was made…..I don’t even have a dog!!!

December 31, 2013 at 8:34 pm
(65) BB says:

My daughters cat is at the vet right now for the same thing. I feel HORRIBLE. my daughter will be deveatated of her cat doesn’t make it. The cat sleeps with her every night and was found as a kitten under her Grannie’s house after
Her granny passed away. My daughter had always wanted a calico and it was like a gift. Please keep her in your prayers.

January 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm
(66) Heidi says:

I have had dogs and cats for years…I KNOW that this stuff will kill them, convinced of it as I have lost one each and only use it when there is an issue,,,,,..so after taking a stray that we found Saturday to the vet today I was a bit cocky when the vet said to make sure I don’t put the dog drops on the 5 month 3lb kitten we found in th..e dead of winter in the middle of the road. I said of course I wouldn’t..I know what I’m doing. What did I do an hour later? The K9 Advantix was for some reason was in the cat Frontline box…..after I applied the tube to the baby and went to set it aside the “do not use on cats” caught my eye and I SCREAMED!!!! Needless to say the baby that we thought we would provide a well deserved loving home is now spending a $500.00 night at Valley Emergency Animal Hospital in Winchester. Granted I realized my mistake within seconds…but this poor kitten is now traumatized even further…not to mention this place is full of callous employees. PLEASE separate your dog and cat meds in clearly marked containers. I have been frantic an hysterical for 4 hours now because if something I thought I would never do…..

February 13, 2014 at 5:00 am
(67) Florencia says:

I am so sorry to read all your terrible stories but I am also SO grateful as I was tempted to put dog treatment on my cat as I noticed he has fleas but only had the dog stuff handy. I am so glad I decided to check online first, thank you thank you thank you for preventing me from making such a shocking mistake!! I hope all your precious cats are ok!!

February 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm
(68) Darlene says:

If the flea shampoos or sprays have an organic phosphate ingredient don’t put it on your cats. My vet said no cat product should have organic phosphates in them (but some do) You have read the labels carefully. It is like crack to a cat. I did this spray once with a flea collar. One cat ran off but came back 2 weeks later..very thin. The vet had to give the other cats daily injections of Atropine (actually, I had to after we saw the vet initially). They all lived to be quite old.

Also, wear gloves whenever you are using a non homeopathic treatment.

April 14, 2014 at 1:26 am
(69) Tammy says:

Too many of us have made the mistake. Kimbo is at the vet – night 2. You must take the cat to the vet for fluids and meds to counter the poison. I will be sending a plea to Bayer company asking that they repackage. As I bathed him he seized and I have a deep scratch on my leg. I deserve it. Lesson is to Slow down and stop multi-tasking. As pet owners, we must be focused and careful with our rescued cats. I can’t stop crying.

April 15, 2014 at 5:21 pm
(70) NJ says:

Us too we have made the mistake. We feel so bad for our sweet cat and are devastated. We realized right away that we had given the wrong meds, but he had already gone outside. It took us two hours to find him. Than immediately washed it off with dish soap. He has been twitching his ears and sometimes his head too, but is eating normally and has gone for a pee too. We have been watching him closely for 9 hours now and are in agony. He seems a bit restless every now and then and grooms himself a lot. We pray he will be fine.

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