What Are The Consequences Of Using Frontline For Dogs On Cats?

Well, your dog could die – straight up. Some sources say that the dog product can be used on the cat with no harm, but others say that things could be devastating for you and your furry canine friend. To avoid any dire consequences, ensure that you use the right Frontline product. Give to Caesar what belongs to him, to cats what belongs to cats, and dogs what belongs to dogs. The different pet bodies react to various chemical products differently and remember that Frontline is like medication, not shampoo.

Actually, a pet parent who used the Frontline for dogs on cats reported that the cat started acting epileptic soon after the application. It experienced violent seizures, and its entire body was shaking. You don’t want that for your cat now, do you? I bet you don’t, and so, keep reading to find out more.

This Is Noteworthy

Many cat and dog owners that use Frontline products report some reddening and irritation on the skin. This happens to the area where you apply the product, that is, on the pet’s skin. While the makers say that irritation is the consequence of using Frontline for dogs and cats, they also say that it is nothing to worry about. This is because the effect quickly fades away. However, if the situation seems to be overstaying, you need to get the pet to a vet.

There is a possibility that the irritation may be triggered by some of the ingredients in the product. In that case, you need to go for another flea control product – one that will not affect the cat or the dog. Also, the side effects and consequences of using Frontline for dogs and cats have been connected to the use of insecticides and other medications.

If you’re going to use the product regardless of that info, ensure that you don’t overdose. If you do, you could trigger the irritation.

You’re now going to go through some info about Frontline, what it is, the difference in products, whether or not you can use it, and what to do if you’ve already used it. Read on.

In And Around Frontline

Among the famous flea treatment brands, one of them is Frontline – a brand that marks products used in taking care of the external parasites hopping on your pet’s skin. So, what exactly are the product lines?

Frontlines: The Products Of The Brand

The two main products that the Frontline product line dishes out are Frontline Plus and Frontline Original. One product is an upgrade of the other, but I’m sure you have already figured that one out.

The Frontline Plus performs better than the Frontline Original one, which kills mature fleas and offers protection for about a month. Inside the Frontline Plus is an ingredient known as methoprene. This is a powerful component that takes care of adult fleas and also the larvae and the eggs. In other words, the Plus product does not kill fleas; it annihilates them – all of them. When the entire lifecycle of the flea gets destroyed, your dog stands at a lesser risk of developing a flea issue again.

Also, the product does not enter your dog’s or cat’s bloodstream; it operates on the surface, and within a day or two, the entire flea issue will be shushed away.

Frontline Plus For Cats Versus Frontline Plus For Dogs

Yes, you need a different Frontline Plus product to treat either pet. But, the difference between the two products is only subtle. Actually, both products have the same ingredients, and the only difference comes when we start talking about the ratio of ingredients. The short table below explains the differences:

Specific ProductFocus Ingredient And Content Variation
Fipronil percentage(S) Methoprene
Frontline Plus (Dogs)9.88.8
Frontline Plus (Cats)9.811.8

From the table, you can pick out that there’s something about methoprene. The Frontline Plus for Cats has more Methoprene concentration than the one for dogs.

If You’ve Already Used The Frontline For Dogs On Your Cat, Here’s What You Should Do

Before the effects start kicking in, ensure that you get your cat shampooed and bathed. Do not wait for any symptoms because it might be too late. As you wash the cat, be careful not to let any Frontline for dogs get into their eyes or mouth.

After the thorough but delicate shower, ensure that you contact your vet and communicate about the situation. Their advice should be good enough to mitigate the risks that the treatment exposes to the cat.

You Should Know This Too

You should be careful with any Frontline medication, be it that for dogs or cats. While the formula may be useful, be delicate about the way you handle things. Also, you should not use it too much. If you feel like Frontline for dogs or Frontline for cats is a little too much to bear, you can try other types of flea treatment brands.

A more natural way of taking care of fleas would be keeping your backyard, garden, or house clean. But, the place that should be cleaner than all the others is the cat’s bed together with its beddings. You should clean them frequently to avoid a buildup of any kind of parasites, be it fleas, ticks, or worms. 

Flea Toxicity In Pets (Cats And Dogs): An Explainer

Apart from worms, fleas are the other common parasites that choose cats and dogs as their hosts. With that knowledge, many companies have lined up products to take care of flea infestations. If the products are used as the manufacturers direct, they work out safely and effectively. However, when you give a pet the wrong product or a little too much of the right one, you are looking at a grave, possibly fatal outcome.

Pyrethrum-Based Products: The Most Common Flea Control Type

If you get any or many of the common flea products, you will pick out that pyrethrum is the main ingredient. It may be listed under other names like permethrin and pyrethroid.

The following table captures the active ingredients in such pyrethrum-based products used in dealing with fleas:

The Pyrethrum-Based Ingredients

If you’re unable to recognize the tabled ingredients, worry not. You will find them with brand names like Baygon, Anvil, Capture, Talstar, Ortho Home Defense Max, Scourge, and Bifenthrine.

Organophosphate-Based Products: The Second Common Flea Control Type

These are the other flea product types that can be toxic to your pets, you know, the ones based on organophosphates. Here’s yet another table that captures the active ingredients in these second common types of flea control products:

The Organophosphate-Based Ingredients

In the pet medication market, some of the brands of these organophosphate-based products are Zema, Happy Jack, Hartz, Kill-Ko, Rabon, Hopkins, Unicorn, Sergeant’s, Ford’s Freedom Five, and Protection, among others.

Like the pyrethrum-based products, these are also virtually safe when used correctly. If not, you and your pet risk developing some health issues. Before you use any of these products, ensure that they fit your dog in terms of age, breed, and weight.

Signs Of Toxicity From A Flea Control Product

The signs, if any, may kick in from within the hour of exposure to about 12 hours. Because the flea control products are different, the symptoms may vary.

The most general, common toxicity signs from pyrethrum-containing products are too-much salivation and muscle tremors. On the flip side, toxicity from organophosphate-based products brings about symptoms like dilated pupils, general body weakness, difficulty breathing, and the GI issues of vomiting and diarrhea. The cat or dog may drool as a sign of nausea.

Because of the many symptoms coming from organophosphate toxicity, the cat or dog may die sooner or later – it will depend on the dosage and ingredients ingested.

How To Deal With The Toxic Consequences Of Using A Flea Control Product

If any of the mentioned signs start kicking in, the best way to alleviate the situation involves the vet. But before you go, you should wash the pet gently in warm, soapy water. Since pets become chilled quickly, ensure that you dry the cat or dog thoroughly. The pet bath should now get you going to a vet.

How Will A Vet Address Such A Toxic Situation (All Pun Intended)?

Suppose a pyrethrum-containing product has poisoned your pet. In that case, it will be treated using any or all of the following methods: symptomatic care, using IV fluids, and delivering of muscle relaxants.

With organophosphate poisoning, the dog may get supportive care or even hospitalization. If the toxicity is caught early, you should expect full recovery of the pet soon after treatment.

The Do’s And Don’ts: How TO And NOT TO Handle Flea Control Products


1. Ensure that you get the flea-treatment product from a certified vet. This will ensure that you give your pet something that’s both safe and effective.

2. Go through all the labeling and the ingredient info to make certain that what you give is appropriate.

3. Once you use the product, separate the pets until the product dries up (if you’re giving it to multiple pets). This will prevent the pet friends from licking each other and thus ingesting the medication.


1. Avoid applying the topical flea product to the pet’s skin if it seems broken, scratched, red, or irritated.

2. Keep away from using many flea control products at once as it could increase the danger and level of toxicity.

Final Words

The take-home info is that using Frontline for dogs on cats can have some dire consequences. Also, you should monitor the pet’s skin before making any topical application. Ensure that you have all the information regarding a product before using it to know its appropriateness level.

Lastly, do not panic when you think your cat is suffering the consequences of using Frontline for dogs. Always calm down and talk to an expert; you’ll get all the help you may need.

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