Why Does My Cat... Lick Her Flea Medicine?

Cat cleaning her paws.
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Though most cats will stay far away from parasite prevention products, sometimes they don’t. And that’s just because cats will be cats. And curious creatures that they are, they’ll investigate. They will sniff and taste.

That’s why manufacturers of these products recommend you apply these products on the back of the neck, where cats can’t reach it with their wily tongues. Still, some cats paw at the area and subsequently lick their feet or groom a buddy where the flea meds are.

Here’s what the public materials of manufacturers state on the subject of products’ oral ingestion toxicity:

  • Frontline (Merial): “If licking occurs, a brief period of hypersalivation may be observed due mainly to the nature of the carrier.”
  • Advantage and Advantage Multi (Bayer): "Oral ingestion by cats may result in hypersalivation, tremors, vomiting, and decreased appetite."
  • Profender (Bayer): “Oral ingestion or exposure should be avoided.”
  • Revolution (Pfizer): “The safety of Revolution administered orally also was tested in case of accidental oral ingestion. Oral administration of the recommended topical dose of Revolution to cats caused salivation and intermittent vomiting.”

You should call your veterinarian or a poison control hotline for pets in the case of oral ingestion of any of these popular products (or any other not on this list). Pet Poison Helpline or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control are two excellent resources. Fees may apply.

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