The Danger of Amitraz Poisoning in Cats

Amitraz is a chemical compound commonly found in tick preventatives. It is used in topical medications, tick collars, and other medicines. While not incredibly common, amitraz poisoning can happen and is a serious danger in advanced cases. Here, a Cedar Park vet advises you on the causes, symptoms, and treatment for this hazard.


Improper use of a medication containing amitraz is by far the most common cause of poisoning. If the dose is exceeded for a cat, poisoning can result. Another common way it occurs is when a product meant for dogs is accidently used on cats—always make sure you’re aware of the dosage and usage requirements of the pet medications you’re using.

Sometimes poisoning can occur when a cat comes in contact with a dog that was recently treated with an amitraz product, especially if a topical medication was applied to the dog and then the cat rubs against the animal. Use caution when applying medications containing amitraz to either cats or dogs.


Symptoms of amitraz poisoning include weakness, reduced movement, incoordination, and a slow heart rate. Depression, low body temperature, vomiting and diarrhea, and an increase in urination may also result. If left untreated, a case of amitraz poisoning can result in severe damage or even death. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat exhibits any of these symptoms—time is of the essence.


Once your cat is at the vet’s office, blood or other tests may be needed to determine the nature and amount of exposure. If you know what product that caused the poisoning, bring it along for positive identification. Your veterinarian will bathe and clean your cat if amitraz is present on the skin or fur. If amitraz was ingested, your vet might have to induce vomiting, put your cat on fluid therapy, or give him activated charcoal to absorb the poison in your cat’s stomach.

Don’t hesitate to rush your cat to your Cedar Park vet’s office immediately if you suspect or witness amitraz poisoning. Prevent this hazard by closely monitoring your pets if they have been treated with products containing amitraz, and always make sure you’re aware of the proper dosage and usage guidelines.


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