Cat are being accidentally poisoned with flea treatments

Cat are being accidentally poisoned with flea treatments

Cat owners warned over accidental flea treatment poisoning

Vets are warning pet owners after a series of cat poisonings caused by flea treatments intended for dogs.

The animal welfare charity PDSA has reported that it was seeing about 20 cases of accidental poisonings a month.

It said some owners did not realise that certain treatments should not be given to cats, but in other cases cats were being poisoned by contact with dogs.

It has backed a campaign by fellow charity International Cat Care to change the licensing of the products.

'Totally preventable'

PDSA said flea products containing a toxic insecticide called permethrin, could be fatal if given to cats.

Pet owner Debbie Barker, from Stoke-on-Trent, urged people to be careful after her cat, Scratchy, was poisoned.

"I bought some flea treatment for my dog Coco to prevent her getting any infestations. I knew I had to keep her separated from the cat for a while," she said.

"After a couple of days I allowed Scratchy and Coco to play with each other.

"But the following morning, Scratchy became really poorly; he was being sick and was foaming at the mouth. I knew straight away it was poisoning."

Charity PDSA said much-loved cats were suffering "terrible reactions" to the flea treatments

Although Scratchy was successfully treated, Ms Barker said: "I would advise other pet owners to be careful about which products they buy, especially if they own a dog and a cat."

PDSA senior vet Sean Wensley said: "Many cats are continuing to fall victim to accidental poisoning by certain flea treatments.

"This oversight is having devastating consequences, with many much-loved cats suffering terrible reactions including respiratory and neurological problems, convulsions and tremors."

International Cat Care is petitioning for it to be a legal requirement for customers buying the products to be given verbal advice before the purchase.

Chief executive Claire Bessant said: "These cat deaths are totally preventable."

Copyright BBC

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