Permethrin on clothes: safe for cats?
July 2, 2012 3:19 PM   Subscribe

If I treat clothes with Permethrin, let them completely dry outside (for three days), will they then be safe for cats to be around?
posted by Marered to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IANA veterinarian, but the conventional consensus (first link goes to a manufacturer's FAQ) seems to be that wet peremethrin is very bad for cats but its OK when its dried:

Can I use Permethrin on my cat or dog?
Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Treatments are registered with the US EPA for use on outer clothing and personal gear items, such as sleeping bags, tents and netting. There are other Permethrin formulations registered for use on cats and dogs. Be sure to read the product label to ensure the product can be used on pets. Do not expose cats to wet Permethrin as it affects their central nervous system. This is not true with dogs, horses, or cows. Cats can be around Permethrin treated fabrics once the application has dried.

Do I have to worry about using it around my pets?

... Although there are Permethrin sprays specifically sold for use on dogs, these products should never be used on cats. Because of their grooming habits and slow metabolism of Permethrin, cats are much more susceptible to toxicity from Permethrin. Again, once the Permethrin has dried on any fabric, toxicity should no longer be of any concern.

posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 3:53 PM on July 2, 2012

Permethrin breaks down in sunlight it is possible that any Permethrin you treat your clothes with will be gone in three days exposure to sunlight. Whatever is left is highly toxic to cats. That said most flea and tick collars have permethrin in them to some degree. Best to ask a vet
posted by pdxpogo at 3:54 PM on July 2, 2012

IANA vet, but my cat nearly died from permethrin (after some time with IVs and stuff she survived and has had no permanent damage) and it would be the absolute last thing I tried. If you want to use it, I'd take extreme precautions -- not hold the cats while I wore the clothes, and keep them in places the cats cannot get at (whether clean or waiting to be laundered). I'd probably also wash them separately, just in case -- watching Matilda convulse as I sped to the emergency vet was a really, really upsetting experience and I would not like that to happen again.
posted by jeather at 6:10 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

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