Just Say No :: Hartz Mountain Corp Pet Products
Updated June 2005


  • Hartz Mountain Corp. Product Warnings
  • Online "Pet Pharmacies"

Pet owners need to be aware of potentially toxic "over-the-counter" flea and tick products for pets.  The following is intended to increase awareness for pet owners regarding Hartz Mountain flea and tick products for pets, particularly suspected or known adverse reactions in pets, as reported by various entities.  Although, we encourage pet owners to avoid ANY over-the-counter flea and tick products for pets, and to consult with your veterinarian for safer products available (we recommend Advantage or Frontline from your vet). Please see HERE for our article on "Online Pet Pharmacies".

Since early 2000 (and perhaps earlier), pet owners have reported adverse reactions in their pets following the use of various products marketed by Hartz Mountain Corporation.  Namely,  two products of concern, included HARTZ ADVANCED CARE BRAND FLEA & TICK DROPS PLUS FOR CATS & KITTENS ((EPA Reg. No. 2596-148) and HARTZ ADVANCED CARE BRAND ONCE-A-MONTH FLEA & TICK DROPS FOR CATS AND KITTENS (EPA Reg. No. 2596-151), although other Hartz Mountain pet products may also be suspect of causing adverse reactions in pets.


This is an extensive page that includes information on the following:

  • EPA's June 3, 2005 Announcement
  • Hartz Mountain Corp Response to EPA
  • What You Can Do
  • History of Problems
  • Has Your Pet Suffered a Reaction?   Report it!
  • Hartz Products-At a Glance- Recommendation to Avoid
  • Terms, Inert Ingredients, Warnings on Botanical Insecticides
  • References

Announcement from the EPA, June 3, 2005
Hartz Flea and Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens to be Cancelled

At EPA's insistence, Hartz Mountain Corp. has agreed to cancel uses of several flea and tick products that may be associated with a range of adverse reactions, including hair loss, salivation, tremors, and numerous deaths in cats and kittens. In the short term, the agreement calls for new labeling of the products. The new labeling will state that the products of concern are not to be used on the most vulnerable animals, including cats and kittens that weigh less than 6 pounds, cats older than 13 years, or kittens less than 5 months old.

Through this agreement, Hartz will voluntarily stop all new production of these products by September 30, 2005 and will not sell or distribute any affected product after December 31, 2005. The company has agreed to a prohibition on sales down to the retail level by March 31, 2006. 

Full Announcement: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/flea-tick-drops.htm


June 3, 2005
Agreement between the EPA and Hartz Mountain Corp 
Regarding EPA Registration Nos. 2596-148 and 2596-151 (for cats):

June 6, 2005
Hartz response to EPA's press release (letter from Hartz president to EPA pesticide programs director):

June 2005 - Hartz Press Release:

June 2005 - Hartz letter to cat owners:

June 2005 - Hartz letter to customers:


What You Can Do:

CatHelp-Online suggests to pet owners, and particularly pet owners who have observed an adverse reaction in their pet(s) as a result of a Hartz product and subsequently filed a report, past or present, to voice their concerns promptly to the EPA. 

It is our opinion that pet owners have suffered 5 long, tumultuous years placing their trust and faith into the EPA's authority to take reasonable and regulatory action against Hartz Mountain Corp for full and immediate recall of the products suspected of causing direct harm, injury or death to a pet as a result of a Hartz Mountain product.   The new June 3, 2005 "agreement" between the EPA and Hartz Mountain Corp, is, in our opinion, an exact repetition of events that took place in 2002, and that no regulatory action was actually enforced against Hartz Mountain Corp.  With the exception of new label revision changes (for the second time) and the eventual "cancellation" of suspect products, the repetitive "agreements", both in 2002 and in 2005 served only to require Hartz to revise labels to include again, stronger precautionary statements, yet allowing the production and sales of the suspect products to continue and remain on retail shelves up and until the date of March 31, 2006; thereby continuing to allow continued risks to cats and kittens for an additional 9 months following this "agreement".

Hartz claims they have "voluntarily" requested the EPA to cancel registration of the suspect products, however, it appears the EPA formed the "agreement" based on concerns gathered from incident data reports or other information available to them since 2002 (or earlier), Hartz continues to deny that the products are unsafe, and continues to deny the products have ever been proven to cause death in a cat or kitten.

CatHelp-Online encourages pet owners to voice their concerns to the EPA in a timely manner, since Hartz has requested the EPA "expedite" certain matters concerning the current "agreement". We do not expect pet owners to be satisfied with this "agreement", nor to find the EPA's action acceptable on any terms.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Pesticide Programs
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20460

James J. Jones, Director
Office of Pesticide Programs
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Crystal Mall NO.2
Arlington, Virginia 22202-4501
USEPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
Susan B. Hazen, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, EPA
7101M US EPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460

Eryn Witcher
US EPA Headquarters
Michele Knorr
US EPA Headquarters
EPA General Comments:
File A Complaint:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20580
(file a complaint-webform):
You are only allowed 2000 text characters in the "complaint" text area box, be specific.  If you receive a response (canned), we suggest re-submitting, using the form, and in the text area box, be sure to include "RE: --include the ID number in your email they responded to you with--", and urge them to review your complaint.


History of Problems:

(From the EPA's 2002 Announcement) The Agency first began receiving preliminary and initial reports of adverse effects to cats associated with these products in May of 2000. In March of 2001, EPA found the number of adverse incident reports and effects to be mounting and promptly began evaluating and investigating these incidents. EPA requested full incident report documentation from Hartz, consulted with veterinarians, and interviewed affected pet owners. Following a thorough evaluation of the incident reports and other information available to the Agency, EPA began working with Hartz to reduce such incidents and the potential risks associated with these products.....(story continued with link below):

November 2002 - Announcement from the EPA - EPA's Questions & Answers:
Label Instructions Tightened on Flea & Tick Control Products for Pets:

Review of Incident Data for Four Hartz Mountain Flea and Tick Control Products
(EPA Reg. Nos. 2596-146, -147, -148 and -150)

January 9, 2003
EPA-Cat Owners Will Soon Find More Protective Labeling for Two Hartz Mountain Flea & Tick Products

Hartz Mountain Corp's Letter to Consumers - "Introducing "Spot On" Application"

Hartz Mountain Corp - A Statement from Bob Devine, President and Chief Executive Officer


Cathelp-Online strongly encourages pet owners to read the links available here to familiarize yourself with the history of problems regarding Hartz Mountain products suspected of causing harm, inury and death to pets, particularly cats.  It is clear that these products were suspected as causing harm to pets as early as 2000 (or earlier), yet 5 years later, the EPA has not taken appropriate regulatory or enforcement action against Hartz Mountain Corp, despite what appears to be clear evidence.  We feel this and the repetition of events between 2000 and 2005 are completely unacceptable to pet owners, consumers and the public as a whole.

2003 - National Pesticide Information Center Annual Report (covers the period April 1, 2003 - March 31, 2004)...See specifically "Of Special Interest" - "Issues", but read the entire report for concerning issues:

January 13, 2003 - Hartz Mountain Corp Challenges Beyond Pesticides "Deadly" Pesticide Story:

January 10, 2003 - Hartz Mountain Corp letter to Beyond Pesticides:

December 18, 2002 - Beyond Pesticides Asks Major Retailers to Stop Sale of Deadly Pesticide Widely Used on Pets:

December 16, 2002 - Beyond Pesticides' Newsletter to Retailers:
Beyond Pesticides' List of retailers:

Nov 1, 2000 - National Resources Defense Council's Press Release:
Flea-Control Products Threaten Pets and Children

National Resources Defense Council's 2000 Report: Poisons on Pets -
Health Hazards From Flea and Tick Products
Executive Summary - http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/pets/execsum.asp
Full Report - http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/pets/pets.pdf


Has Your Pet Suffered An Adverse Reaction?   REPORT IT!

If your pet has suffered a serious adverse reaction following application of a Hartz Mountain pet product, first, contact or take your pet to the nearest veterinary emergency facility immediately!:

  • Contact or get your pet to the nearest veterinary emergency facility immediately for emergency instructions! Your vet may advise bathing your pet immediately to remove residual toxins from the product:  To remove any residual remains of the product, use large amounts of lukewarm water and throughly bathe your pet using the warm water and Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (or Joy, or a dishwashing liquid that is specific for gentle hand use only).  Do NOT use cold or very hot water, this will intensify the sensitivity of the product and sensitivity to the pet!  Once you have bathed your pet, follow additional instructions provided by your vet or emergency vet.
  • If your vet recommends bringing your pet to a veterinary emergency facility, do not waste time, get your pet to the nearest veterinary facility immediately for treatment.
  • Carefully and quickly gather the product packaging, including any label instructions, take it with you to your veterinary emergency facility so that your vet can identify the product and ensure appropriate treatment.

ONLY AFTER your pet has been examined, or has required specific treatment as a result of potential toxic exposure to the product, or if your area does not have an veterinary emergency facility available during emergenices, contact the following immediately:

  • The ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center, (and to report the incident and receive further instructions on reporting adverse reactions, or for questions and concerns regarding pesticide products and safe flea control products) 1-888-4ANI-HELP
  • Hartz Mountain Corp, for further directions or to report the incident. 1-800-275-1414
  • The EPA, to report the incident, via National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378. seven days a week excluding holidays, from 6:30 AM to 4:30 PM Pacific Time - or fax them on (514) 737-0761 - or send them email at npic@ace.orst.edu. NPIC can also offer advice and assistance with questions related to pesticide issues.

It is important to report any adverse reaction to the above resources, so that the incident can be recorded into a database for any necessary review or action necessary.  You may be asked to provide information about the product you purchased and applied, the product's name and type, how you applied the product, your pet's weight and what symptoms or adverse reaction(s) you observed in your pet after application of the product. 

If possible, retain the actual original product packaging, receipt of purchase, and also retain your pet's health records from your vet (you will need permission from your vet), in the event you are requested to provide them by any of the above resources for whatever purpose (photocopy any packaging, tubes, etc and only provide the photocopy to the reference who may ask for it). Document in your own words, the adverse reaction(s) you observed in your pet, the action(s) you took regarding detoxifying your pet, receiving veterinary treatment, as well as your pet's veterinary health record, photo documents if necessary and keep them on personal file for any future use.  Also keep a record of the product's name, type, registration number, and as much information as you can regarding the product.  Document any responses you may receive through any of the above resources for personal records.


Hartz Mountain Corp Products - At A Glance
Recommendations to Avoid:

CatHelp-Online recommends avoiding all over-the-counter flea and tick products for pets, regardless of the brand.  The following is a list of Hartz Mountain Corp products containing pyrethroids as well as organophosphate pesticides, known as neurotoxins with the potential to cause acute toxicity (through inhalation, oral, or dermal exposures)

The following table does not represent all Hartz products available or all products previously or currently registered by the EPA

Hartz Advanced Care 3 in 1 Flea & Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens (10 lbs. or Less)
*Phenothrin (CAS# 26002-80-2) 85.7%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-151
Hartz Advanced Care  2 in 1 Flea & Tick Cat Spray
*Tetrachlorvinphos: (CAS# 22248-79-9) 1.08%
Other Ingredients: 98.92%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-126
Hartz Advanced Care 3 in 1 Flea & Tick Drops for Cats (More Than 10 lbs.)
*Phenothrin (CAS# 26002-80-2) 85.7%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-151
Hartz Advanced Care 2 in 1 Flea & Tick Powder for Cats
*Tetrachlorvinphos: (CAS# 22248-79-9): 3.3%
EPA Reg. No 2596-78 
EPA Est. No. 11715-TN-1
Hartz Advanced Care 4 in 1 Flea & Tick Drops Plus+ for Cats and Kittens (10 lbs. or Less)
*Phenothrin (CAS# 26002-80-2) 85.7%
(S)-methoprene (CAS# 65733-16-6) :2.9%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-148
Hartz Advanced Care 2 in 1 Flea and Tick Dip for Dogs and Cats
*Pyrethrins (CAS# 121-29-9) 0.33%
*Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical* (CAS# 51-03-6) 0.67%
N-Octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboximide (CAS# 113-48-4) 1.11%
Other Ingredients: 97.89%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-56
EPA Est. 2596-NJ-1
Hartz Advanced Care 4 in 1 Flea & Tick Drops Plus+ for Cats (More Than 10 lbs.)
*Phenothrin (CAS# 26002-80-2) 85.7%
(S)-methoprene (CAS# 65733-16-6) 2.9%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-148
Hartz Advanced Care 2 in 1 Rid Flea Cat Shampoo
*D-trans Allethrin (CAS# 584-79-2) 0.109%
N-Octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboximide (CAS# 113-48-4) 0.151%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-124
EPA Est. 2596-NJ-1
Hartz ADVANCED CARE 2 in 1 Flea & Tick Collars for Cats*
*Tetrachlorvinphos (CAS# 22248-79-9) 14 55%
Other Ingredients: 85.45%
*Blue, Pink, Purple, White, and White Snap Collars and Reflecting Collars
EPA Reg. No. 2596-63
EPA Est. No. 2596-NJ-1
Hartz Advanced Care 2 in 1 Rid Flea Carpet Powder For Dogs and Cats
*Pyrethan 0.10%
*Piperonyl Butoxide, Technical* 1.00%
*Equivalent to 0.8% (butylcarbityl) (6-propylpiperonyl) ether and 0.2% related compounds
EPA Reg. No. 9591-164-2596
EPA Est. No. 11715-TN-1
Hartz Advanced Care 3 in 1 Control Collar for Cats
*Tetrachlorvinphos (CAS# 22248-79-9) 14.55%
(S)-Methoprene (CAS# 65733-16-6) 1.02%
Other Ingredients: 84.43%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-139
EPA Est. No. 2596-NJ-1
Hartz Advanced Care 3 in 1 Carpet Powder
Hartz ADVANCED CARE 2 in 1 Cat Spray
*Tetrachlorvinphos: (CAS# 22248-79-9) 1.08%
Other Ingredients: 98.92%
EPA Reg. No. 2596-126
EPA Est. No. 2596-NJ-1
Hartz Advanced Care 3 in 1 Home Spray
(S)-Methoprene (CAS# 65733-16-6) 0.01%
*Permethrin (CAS# 52645-53-1) 0.28%
EPA Reg. No 2724-401-2596
EPA Est. 2596-NJ-1
Hartz Advanced Care 3 in 1 Cat Spray  


"Read the Label First" Interactive Pesticide Product Label:

**Please Note: This label is only an example, and should not be intended to represent a complete pesticide product label. Our opinion is that despite label recommendations, Hartz fails to include vital information in it's labeling, such as *known and reported* adverse reactions (but are not included in the warning on the labeling), and *other or inert ingredients* disclosure (which Hartz has never been required to disclose under the EPA's "Confidential Business Information" (CBI) protection act).

More about CBI:



* Rabon is an organophosphorous pesticide, also known as Tetrachlorvinphos
* Permethrin is a pyrethroid ester insecticide
* Phenothrin is a pyrethroid ester insecticide
* D-Phenothrin is also Sumithrin, a synthetic Type I pyrethroid insecticide
* D-trans Allethrin is a pyrethroid ester insecticide (synthetic)
- Methoprene is an IGR (insect growth regulator)
- D-limonene is a botanical insecticide
- Lanalool, d-lanalool are citrus extracts/derivatives, natural or synthetic

Inert Ingredients:

* About Inert Ingredients

The Secret Ingredients in Pesticides: Reducing the Risk

Botanical Insecticides: more on D-Limonene, garlic extract, citrus extracts, citronella oil, tea-tree-oil, eucalyptus oil, other essential oils toxicosis:

CatHelp-Online strongly recommends against using "natural" products, garlic, botanical or essential oils and other such formulated products for treating fleas and ticks in pets. Research and published studies suggest these products are ineffective against flea control, and many of these compounds are known to cause serious reactions in pets, particularly cats, including severe reactions leading to death.


* D-limonene is a monocyclic terpene of citrus fruit skin, has insecticidal properties

* Concentrations of d-limonene beyond those specified by the manufacturer may result in toxicosis in cats (by miscalculation or overzealous use).

* In the early 1980s, the National Animal Poison Control Center reported toxicosis associated with d-limonene administration in cats

* Toxicosis - d-limonene-based insecticidal shampoo (specifically Pure o' Flee - by PurePet Inc, Livermore, Calif.) toxicosis noted in cats

* Veterinarians must try to determine cholinesterase concentrations in blood when suspecting d-limonene toxicity in pets

* Signs of d-limonene toxicosis may be mild and include hypersalivation, ataxia, hypothermia, and hypotension. However, as in the cat reported here, severe idiosyncratic reactions may develop, resulting in septicemia and acute collapse. Intensive supportive care, along with treatment for sepsis, is imperative.

Citrus extracts, citrus oils toxicity:

* Toxicosis resulting from citrus oil extracts is most likely in cats - Cats died at the recommended concentrations of the preparation containing crude citrus oil.

* Cats treated with excessive amounts of citrus-based insecticides tend to display ataxia, central nervous system depression (or generalized paralysis), and at least in the case of d-limonene, profound hypothermia when exposed to high rates of exposure.

* Cats exposed to crude citrus oil products may die after a period of central nervous system depression.

* Cats given excessive exposure to the spray containing linalool, d-limonene and piperonyl butoxide were recumbent for up to 6 days after topical application.

Garlic, citronella oil and eucalyptus oil toxicosis:

* Two dogs suffer adverse reactions, one death: In common with other essential oils such as melaleuca oil, eucalyptus oils contain monoterpenes. Those found in eucalyptus oil are the pinenes 1,4-cineole and 1,8-cineole. Melaleuca oil products deteriorate over time due to the oxidation of terpenes to the aromatic terpene p-cymine.

* Adverse reactions reported in dogs and cats after dermal exposure to melaleuca oils include ataxia, incoordination, weakness, tremors, behavioural disorders and depression.  Similar central nervous system symptoms could be expected following sufficient dermal absorption of eucalyptus oil.

* Combination products causing adverse reactions: Products containing tea tree oil, permethrin and piperonyl butoxide:  reactions are considered to be related to use of the product, probably the  permethrin component, but as mentioned above, melaleuca oils have been associated with ataxia, incoordination, weakness, tremors and depression.  Cyclic terpenes, the predominant active ingredients of melaleuca oil, can enhance absorption of other chemicals and they may have enhanced absorption of the permethrin and piperonyl butoxide components of the products.



Organophosphate Toxins:
Poisons on Pets-Health Hazards from Flea and Tick Products:

About Synthetic Pyrethroids:

Permethrin Toxicosis:

Tea Tree Oil Toxicity in Cats:

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Dangers and Warnings for Cats:

Tee Tree Oil Toxicity:

Beyond Pesticides:

AVMA comments on permethrin toxicosis:

What You Should Know About Flea and Tick Products:

EPA Office of Pesticide Programs Contacts:

EPA National Pesticide Information Center:

Hartz- The Complete Story:

Flea Control Products: What the Commercials Don't Tell You:

Warning: Kids, Certain Pets Should "Flea" From Collars:

Flea Medications for Dogs Can Pose Deadly Risks to Cats:

Acute necrotizing dermatitis and septicemia after application of a d-limonene-based insecticidal shampoo in a cat
Justine A. Lee, DVM; Jeanne B. Budgin, DVM; Elizabeth A. Mauldin, DVM, DACVP
(JAVMA-July 15, 2002 (Volume 221, No. 2)
Chlorpyrifos poisoning overlooked as potential diagnosis
David Villar, DVM, PhD
Thomas L. Carson, DVM, PhD, DABVT
JAVMA-October 1, 2002 (Volume 221, No. 7)
Nicholson SS. Veterinary Dermatology 1995:6:139-143
Veterinary Toxicology, Beasley V. (Ed.) International Veterinary Information Service, Ithaca NY (www.ivis.org), 1999: A2608.0899
Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Oil Poisoning in three purebred cats. Bischoff K, Guale F Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 10, 208 (1998)
Villar David, Knight Michael J, Hansen Steven R, Buck William B. Toxicity of Melaleuca Oil and Related Essential Oils Applied Topically on Dogs and Cats. Vet Human Toxicol 1994: 36:2
Jaggy A, Oliver JE. Chlorpyrifos toxicosis in two cats. J Vet Intern Med 1990:4:135-139
Levy JK. Chronic chlorpyrifos toxicosis in a cat. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1993:203:1682-1685
Frank AA, Ross JL, Sawvell BK. Toxic epidermalnecrolysis associated with flea dips. Vet Hum Toxicol 1992:34:57-61
Hooser, SB. A dermal study of d-limonene in cats (abstr). Vet Hum Toxicol 1985:28:300
Rachofsky MA, Chester DK, Read WK. Toxic epidermal necrolysis. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 1989:11:840-845
Fritsch PO, Ruiz-Maldonado R. Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. In: Freedberg IM, et al eds.
Fitzpatrick's dermatology in general medicine V. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999:644-654
Hink WF, Fee BJ. Toxicity of d-limonene, the major component of citrus peel oil, to all life stages of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides Felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). J Med Entomol 1986:23:400-404
Hooser SB, Beasley VR, Everitt JI. Effects of an insecticidal dip containing d-limonene in the cat. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1986:189:905-908
Hooser SB. D-limonene, linalool, and crude citrus oil extracts. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1990:20:383-385
Powers KA, Hooser SB, Sundberg JP, et al. An evaluation of the acute toxicity of an insecticidal spray containing linalool, d-limonene, and piperonyl butoxide applied topically to domestic cats. Vet Hum Toxicol 1988:30:206-210
Nicholson, SS. Toxicity of insecticides and skin care products of botanical origin. Vet Dermatol 1995:6:139-143
Hooser SB. Citrus insecticide hazardous to cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1984:184:236-237
Frank AA, Ross JL, Sawvell BK. Toxic epidermal necrolysis associated with flea dips. Vet Hum Toxicol 1992:34:57-61

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