Why Does My Cat Go Crazy After a Flea Treatment?


This is very common and is usually caused by strong smells or active ingredients in flea treatments.

Your cat may experience a reaction to the chemicals, which can cause them to become agitated and start running around or hiding.

In some cases, cats can also have an allergic reaction that causes intense itching and irritation.

It’s important to talk to your veterinarian about the proper flea treatment for your cat to reduce this reaction and ensure they are not experiencing any adverse effects.

Additionally, use a natural flea and tick repellent since these often have fewer side effects than traditional treatments.

It’s also important to take extra care when applying flea treatments on cats.

Be sure to follow all the instructions for dosage and timing, as well as any special precautions that may be listed on the product label.

Additionally, keep your cat away from areas treated with flea treatments until it has dried completely.

This will help protect them from coming into contact with any of the active ingredients in the treatment.

Finally, watch your cat for any signs of distress following flea treatment. If you notice any unusual behavior or reactions, contact your veterinarian immediately to ensure your cat isn’t experiencing any adverse effects from the treatment.

By doing so, you can help ensure that your cat stays healthy and happy.

 

The Importance of Flea Treatments

 

Fleas are external parasites. They attach themselves to a host’s body, usually a mammal, and bite their flesh. A flea often jumps up from its natural habitat and connects itself to the host. However, animals (as well as humans) can also pick up larvae while walking through tall grass or wooded areas. The larvae develop on the host’s body until they mature into adult fleas.

 

If a flea bites a cat, it can cause itching. The cat will frantically scratch at the bite area to remove the itch. Unfortunately, this scratching alone can lead to numerous problems, which include loss of fur, swelling, painful sores, and an infection of the bitten area. But the fleas are also carriers of various other parasites. 

 

For instance, flea larvae tend to feed on tapeworm proglottids. Each proglottid stays inside the larva during the pupal stage. Once a cat ingests the pupa, the tapeworm can manifest inside the cat and continue its life cycle.

 

Flea-Related Diseases

 

Like many other carriers, fleas are responsible for some of the most severe diseases that affect mammals, including cats. A sample of those diseases includes:

 

  • Calicivirus
  • Feline leukemia virus or FLV
  • Rickettsial diseases 
  • Bartonellosis
  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Plague
  • Tapeworm infection

 

Most of these conditions can lead to life-threatening issues for the cat. That’s why conducting proper flea treatment of your feline pet is essential.

 

How to Perform the Treatment

 

Deworming and anti-flea treatments are crucial for your cat’s safety. Administering them is a bit uncomfortable for the cat, however. You have to take a pipette and apply the anti-flea serum onto the nape of your cat’s neck. 

 

The process is relatively simple:

 

  • Have someone help you by holding the cat in place
  • Part the hair on your cat’s neck and expose the skin underneath
  • Squeeze out the serum onto the area and gently rub it in
  • Ensure the serum is only applied at the neck, where the cat can’t lick it.

 

Most of these serums will protect for about 3–6 months. In other words, you won’t have to treat your cat very often, which saves you lots of time and effort.

 

So, Why Does My Cat Go Crazy After a Flea Treatment Is Done?

 

Unfortunately, many things can go wrong when treating your cat for fleas. Sometimes, it all comes down to human error, while other times, it’s the cat’s behavior. So, to help you pinpoint the cause, I’ve compiled an overview of the potential reasons below.#

 

Flea Treatment Poisoning

Anti-flea products come in all shapes and sizes. Usually, pet owners use powders or shampoos and rub them into their cats’ fur. Other options include lotions and sprays. 

 

Each of these types of products has one fatal flaw, however. When you apply them onto the fur, the cat can accidentally ingest them and get flea treatment poisoning. It doesn’t even have to do it consciously. For example, if I were to get an anti-flea spray, I could accidentally spritz some of it into my pet’s mouth.

 

And it doesn’t end with ingesting the product, either. If you use too much of it, the chemicals could affect your cat through skin contact alone.

 

To spot flea treatment poisoning, observe your cat and see if it exhibits the following symptoms:

 

  • Facial and ear twitching
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures or muscle tremors
  • Excessive drooling
  • Agitation or anxiety
  • “Drunk walking.”

 

There are even cases of cats dying from flea treatment poisoning. However, those are few and far between.  

 

Flea Collar Poisoning

Sometimes, pet owners buy flea collars for their cats instead of applying a solution. These collars can be effective, but they are dangerous if you don’t put them on your pet correctly or if your pet licks them. 

 

An average collar contains lots of harmful chemicals. Some of them include the following:

 

  • Organophosphates
  • Amitraz
  • Pyrethrin
  • Carbamates
  • Pyrethroids

 

If these chemicals enter your cat’s digestive system, they will cause flea collar poisoning. Therefore, if you notice your cat behaving strangely, remove the collar immediately and contact the vet. The symptoms are the same as the ones for regular flea treatment poisoning, with the addition of dilated pupils and a drastic change in blood pressure. 

 

Ingesting Medicine by Accident

 

I’ve already covered ingesting products like powders, sprays, etc. But, without a doubt, applying a gel on the nape of the cat’s neck is the safest option since it cannot reach that spot when grooming itself.

 

However, there are still ways a cat can accidentally taste the anti-flea serum. For instance, if you leave the pipette around, the cat can look for it and lick it. The same can happen if you don’t dispose of a used pipette properly or try to caress your kitty without washing your hands after applying the serum. 

 

Weak Immune System

 

Cats are similar to other animals (and humans) in various ways. For example, each cat is allergic to something and has a different immune system. In other words, one cat will have no problem with one type of processed meat, while another might have severe health issues after a taste. 

 

The same goes for medication. Before you decide which brand of anti-flea serum to use, please consult your vet about it. The product might contain ingredients that can harm your cat or worse. 

 

Using Dog Flea Medicine by Mistake

 

Sadly, many pet owners like to cut corners when caring for their cats. So, instead of buying a proper anti-flea medicine for cats, they get a dog-only solution. 

 

This is lazy on the owner’s part and extremely dangerous. Most commercial anti-flea medications for dogs contain pyrethrin and pyrethroids. As we saw earlier, these chemicals can cause poisoning if a cat comes into contact with them. It should go without saying, but I’ll stress it anyway — do NOT use dog medication on a cat, ever.

 

Using Adult Cat Medicine on a Kitten

 

This section also falls under poor pet care. Newbie cat owners usually don’t pay attention to the label, whether it’s food, medication, or bedding. Instead, they see a cat picture and automatically buy the product without giving it a second thought. But caring for a cat is not always the same as caring for a kitten.

 

Kittens are delicate and frail compared to adult cats. They are still developing, so you can’t use any adult products on them. Even a regular dose of an adult cat anti-flea serum could harm the kitten by poisoning it. So, before buying anything, consult the vet. 

 

Why Does My Cat Go Crazy After a Flea Treatment? — A Few Final Thoughts

 

Treating a cat against fleas is as essential as any other procedure. But as an owner, you must be careful and approach the problem correctly. Remember that you should always consult the vet and ensure you get the right product. Then, hopefully, the dreaded Why does my cat go crazy after a flea treatment question never has to cross your mind again. 

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Michael Grover

About Me I have been a pet owner for most of my life. I am now retired and spend my days writing about problems relating to cats, dogs, and funeral poems. I am passionate about stopping animal cruelty in any shape or form. My passion is to help people like you identify behavior problems in cats and dogs. That is what I do. Over the years of my life, I have always kept cats and dogs. About four years ago I retired and found I had a lot of time on my hands, so I started to write all about dog and cat problems. It was suggested that I start up a website and publish my words to help people with their pet problems. I am still writing every day and hope you find my articles useful. Regards Mike Grover

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