The RSPCA has advised cat owners to read the labels of flea and tick treatments carefully before use after a cat had to be euthanised when its owner applied a tick-treatment intended for dogs.
The woman, from Kenley in Surrey, got in touch with her local branch pleading for help after her cat started having fits. It was rushed to the vets, but had to be euthanised to prevent further suffering.
The cat’s owner is upset by the incident, which was made in error, prompting the RSPCA’s warning to other owners.
Flea treatments for both cats and dogs are readily available to buy over the counter, but some dog treatments contain permethrin, a chemical highly toxic to cats.
In addition, many treatments are not suitable for very young animals, so it is important to check labels carefully before use, the charity said.
RSPCA cat welfare expert Alice Potter said: “This was a very distressing incident for the owner of this cat, who realised she had made a dreadful mistake, but all too late.
“Only give your pet flea treatment that has been recommended for them. It’s always best to speak to your vet about which products are safe to use and, if you have cats and dogs, be sure to read the labels carefully before administering.”