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Dr.Fiona , Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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6 month cat ingested RID(lice)shampoo!has smokers cough&low

Resolved Question:

6 month cat ingested RID(lice)shampoo!has smokers cough&low appetite!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!

I would like to help you and Scooter with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

How many hours ago since he consumed the shampoo?

How much shampoo?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
60 hours ago&him licking off self!tried rincing him but took off on me!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.
So, you washed Scooter with this shampoo?

Might I ask why?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
dummy me!my 5 year old girl contracted it!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.
I have a 5 yr old daughter, too and understand about lice! ;-)

Ok - lice are species specific. That means that a cat cannot give it to a human or vice versa. So, there is no need to treat Scooter, even if he does cuddle up on your daughter's pillow.

Unfortunately, RID shampoo contains Piperonyl butoxide (4%)and 0.33% pyrethrins. Cats are VERY sensitive to pyrethrins. They can be fatal to cats! They can absorb them through their skin. So, whether Scooter licked much of it off himself or not, he will still have absorbed this drug into his body.

Cats are very sensitive to this type of insecticide, and kittens are even more sensitive. Common symptoms of poisoning are:

- if a cat licks the product, he may drool due to the bitter taste

- vomiting
- twitching of the ears and facial muscle
- whole body muscle tremours
- wobbliness
- seizures
- death

Symptoms usually start within hours of application, but it can take up to 24 hours for them to show up.

For cats that have progressed as far as seizuring, the prognosis is guarded, but with prompt veterinary care, they might survive.


I would never use a pyrethroid product in this cat again as he is obviously sensitive to it. This type of insecticide is present in some flea sprays and powders, but please avoid them. Advantage or Frontline as they are sooo much safer in cats the pyrethrums!

If you are absolutely unable to get to a vet, for now, I would BATHE him again with dish washing liquid (Dawn would be perfect if you have it). You need to get every drop of this product off Scooter.

In order to flush the toxins from Scooter's body, it will help to get him to drink. What you can do is try to get some calories into him in a liquid form - that way he is getting nutrition at the same time as fluids.This will prevent him from developing low blood sugar.

I suggest opening a can of tuna *in water* and offering the liquid.

Also, you can mix Clam Juice with some water to encourage him to drink (if you have any in the house; it is used when making Ceasar's I think).

You could try Lactose Free milk (Lactaid is the Canadian brand). Whiskas makes a tetra pack of "Kitty Milk" that is lactose free milk with flavouring added.

You could try getting some human baby food in meat flavours (check that there are no onions or garlic in the ingredients) and mix that with warm water and offer that, or syringe it in little bits into your cat's mouth. Beech Nut makes a line of baby food that has nothing but meat (beef, chicken, turkey or veal) in it.

If you cannot find this, you could find another meat baby food - just read the label carefully to be sure there are no onions, onion powder, garlic, or garlic powder in it.

Offer him some canned cat food, and mix it with water to make a slurry if he won't eat it.

Boil a chicken breast and then put it in the blender with water to make a baby-food consistency gruel to offer.

Monitor your kitten closely for tremours, shaking, drooling, wobbliness, or any other abnormal behaviour. Do see a vet the moment they open if Scooter shows any of this!

Good luck with him, and please let me know what happens!

If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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