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Tick borne disease kills cats

June 24th, 2008, 03:51 PM
I want to give a heads up to all owners of cats that are located in tick areas.
I live on 20 acres in Oklahoma and ticks are horrible this year. My precious 2 yr old cat, Princess, died 3 weeks ago due to the tick borne disease Cyatuxzoonosis. She was an indoor/outdoor cat. She stayed out in daytime, when we were at work, and came in when we got home in the afternoon. I had put Frontline on her the first of May and was going to treat her once a month, like vet recommeded. My vet had told me about this disease and that there had been some cases in our area which is why I bought the Frontline for $95.00 for 6 month supply. I thought it would keep the ticks off her. It did not. She got ill on Sun May 25th, I took her to vet on Mon and she died Thurs early morn at vet hospital (which cost $500.00+).
We have lived in the country for 30 years and I have had cats the whole time. I previously used the tick and flea powder/collars/drops I bought at WalMart.
The vet said this disease has been around for approx 7 years. It comes from ticks that feed on Bobcats then attach to domestic cats. It is fatal to domestic cats and kills within days ( google cyatuxzoonosis for more info).
I thought Frontline would keep ALL ticks off. The package and website says it kills 100% ticks .
If anyone had told me my cat would still get ticks after applying Frontline, I would also have dusted her with flea & tick powder and checked her daily. Even if your cat is an indoor cat, a tick could get to them. I was sitting at my kitchen table and found a tick crawling on me where I had brought it in from outside.
So please learn from my horrible experience.
Don't think your cats are protected because you have put Frontline or any other prevention on them.
I would have posted this warning sooner, but I went out of town.


June 24th, 2008, 09:06 PM
I am so sorry, you must have felt totally helpless. :rip: little princess.
So, is this particular tick resistant to Frontline? What does your vet say?

Good post.

June 24th, 2008, 09:10 PM
Thank you for sharing this info. I am so sorry it was too late for Princess.
:rip: sweet :angel: :candle:

June 25th, 2008, 12:55 PM
My regular vet said that NO tick products are 100% effective at keeping ticks off (she said this AFTER I called her about Princess dying and being on Frontline. My vet was gone when Princess got sick, so I took her to a vet that was on call for my vet).
So I'm wondering , why spend the $90.00 for it if it is not effective? I can get some stuff at Walmart or Target alot cheaper that will do as good as the expensive stuff. I am taking the remainder of the Frontline to my vet and get a refund for the remaining six months supply.
I am not saying that Frontline is not good, just that vets and the web sites of the products need to tell everyone that ticks can still bite even when you are using the products. Not to make pet owners believe all they need is their product.
I got another kitten from the animal shelter, but I still miss my Princess. I am going to put a flea collar , dust her reguarly with flea/tick powder and check her every afternoon.

June 25th, 2008, 03:26 PM
So I'm wondering , why spend the $90.00 for it if it is not effective? I can get some stuff at Walmart or Target alot cheaper that will do as good as the expensive stuff.

First, I'm sorry for your loss!

I use frontline, and you are right, ticks can still bite. However, most ticks who do still bite, will die from the chemical. I frontline both of my cats (mainly indoor) and my dog. I've found ticks on them. most ticks fall off, and I find them on the furniture, or crawling on the animals fur, or I find dead ones. The main reason to not use the cheaper stuff is some of it can be just as hazardous, or ineffective. For example, Hartz flea/tick products have been known to cause death in cats, I would much rather take my chances w/ Frontline than EVER use one of the cheaper brands.

Frontline is not fool proof, I've noticed it DOES help, but doesn't eliminate the problem. I think your warning is good, and needed, however, don't assume cheaper brands are better. Flea collars, powders, shampoos, and inexpensive topical treatments all carry a risk, some can even cause dangerous reactions.

June 25th, 2008, 06:49 PM
I am going to put a flea collar , dust her reguarly with flea/tick powder and check her every afternoon.

First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about Princess. That must be so heartbreaking.

But I really hope you reconsider the use of a flea collar and powder on your new kitten. Perhaps you'll find some of this info useful:
Many cheap flea and tick preventive medications found in pet stores and supermarts are based with chemicals called organophosphates and organocarbamates. Organophosphates function by blocking nerve inhibition. When organophosphates are present, a nerve that is firing will continue to fire. They do this by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme essential for normal nerve function.

While this accomplishes the killing of fleas and ticks, organophosphate based flea and tick preventives are in a class of insecticides that most commonly cause toxicity in dogs and cats. Cats in particular, tend to be especially susceptible to organophosphate toxicity.

Given the toxic nature of organophosphate based flea preventives, it is advisable to avoid them in both dogs and cats. Commonly used organophosphates and organocarbamates include dichlorvos, cythioate, diazinon, malathion, carbaryl, fenthione, methylcarbamate, and prolate. Any dip, topical, oral, or collar preventive containing any of these compounds should be avoided.

Much safer (and far more effective) flea and tick preventives include Frontline, Advantage, Advantix, and Capstar.

Many powders contain permethrin and other pyrethroids.
Generally, powders are active for as long as they remain on the coat.
Remember that cats will groom after treatment and may therefore swallow some of the powder. Careless application may cause the powder particles to be inhaled, causing breathing difficulties.

FAB does not recommend the use of flea powders, as there are safer and more effective products available.


Insecticidal collars are impregnated with active ingredients such as permethrin or other pyrethroids, organophosphates, carbamates or flea-growth inhibiting substances such as methoprene.
The chemicals may not spread throughout the coat and so these may not be very effective.
Many collars are not made with a safety snap-open buckle, and will not enable a cat to escape should its collar accidentally become caught.

FAB does not advocate the use of flea collars as there are safer and more effective products available.