Bob Martin have removed the last of their on-animal flea medicinal products containing permethrin (including flea collars) from supermarkets, to reduce the risk of “misuse and misunderstanding” around the active ingredient.

This decision was achieved following the International Cat Care (ICC)‘s campaign last August to re-classify all permethrin-containing flea treatments as NFA-VPS as to ensure pet owners receive verbal advice from a vet, pharmacist or suitably qualified person before purchase, provided the requirements for supply are met.

Permethrin poisoning is the most commonly reported poisoning in cats worldwide; it often occurs as a result of mistakes made at the point of purchase by pet owners who accidentally mix up treatments for cats and dogs, or are simply unaware of the dangers involved with the use of dog treatments on cats.

In 2013, the VPIS saw 57 cases of cats being poisoned by permethrin products, ranking fourth most common agent the VPIS was consulted about in cats after ‘Unknown agent’, Lilium species, and benzalkonium chloride (note: this number represents a 50% decrease in cases compared to 2012).