Plagued with flies in your house? We find out how to get rid of flys without also poisoning your cat.
(Q) The hot weather brings not only fleas, but flies galore. Do you know of a repellent that is not toxic to either our cat or ourselves?
A Vet Andrea Harvey advises: There are a wide range of products like fly traps, sticky strips and electric grid fly killers available and I would recommend using something like this rather than any kind of household spray.
There may be some that are safe, but many may contain pyrethroids (eg permethrin) and these are very toxic to cats and so should be avoided.
Permethrin toxicity is most commonly encountered in cats when permethrin-based flea treatments designed for dogs are inadvertently used on them, or where cats come into close physical contact with dogs in the same house (through sharing beds or grooming) that have been appropriately treated with permethrin.
The signs of permethrin toxicity include muscle twitching and other neurological signs, even progressing to seizures. Affected cats may need two to three days of intensive veterinary treatment to aid recovery. In severe cases it can prove fatal.