Although this chemical is relatively harmless to humans, it is highly toxic to cats, both in the natural and synthetic form. Sadly there have been many incidents of cats being poisoned by this chemical. The highest risk of all is cats that have been exposed to cheaper dog flea treatments. This includes direct applications as well as being exposed to dogs that have recently been treated with flea treatments containing permethrin.
Cats are more sensitive to this chemical because they have different liver metabolic pathways than other animals. Treatment is possible if spotted early enough, timing is crucial, so ensure that you consult your local veterinarian if you suspect your cat is showing any signs of poisoning. Even small amounts can be fatal for a cat. There are many signs to look for. These include seizures, twitching, tremors, poor coordination fever and dilated pupils.
There has been an increase in recent years of the number of cats being poisoned by permethrin. One cause of this could be the increasingly availability of low cost flea treatments off the shelf in supermarkets.
Although in the current economic climate it is an attractive option to buy cheaper more generic pet flea treatments, the best option would be to visit your local pet store or even seek the advice of your veterinarian. They will be able to advise on the best and most safest treatment for your cat.
If your cat also shares a home with dogs, there is the risk of cross contamination. This can be avoided using a less toxic product. Where there isn’t a safer treatment available it is wise to separate your cat from a dog that has recently had such a flea treatment. The best practice would be a home free from Permethrin altogether. That way you will know that you have created the safest possible environment for your cat. Remember that permethrin is used in a wide range of products.