Although the names Advantage and Advantix may sound similar, the products are certainly not the same and can be confused easily with each other. This can lead to complications that could be potentially lethal for cats. While both Advantix and Advantage have the same purpose – to control fleas – there is a major difference between the two treatments. Here, we look closely at the differences so that you can have a clear idea of which is the right product to meet the needs of your furry friend without causing any kind of danger.
Main Differences Between Advantix And Advantage
The main difference that you need to be aware of is that Advantage has formulas that have been approved for use in both cats and dogs while Advantix is only suitable for use in dogs. If you give Advantix to a cat by accident, it causes permethrin toxicity, an emergency condition that requires a trip to the vet.
What is Advantage?
Advantage is a solution that is applied topically to a cat or dog’s skin once monthly. It guards against flea infestation, killing fleas that are already on your pet and preventing further infestation. Advantage contains imidacloprid, which is its active ingredient. If you have a cat, you may wish to read our review of the best flea treatments for cats.
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What Is Advantix?
Advantix is another topical solution that prevents and treats biting flies, ticks, fleas, lice in dogs and mosquitoes. It contains two active ingredients – imidacloprid and a second ingredient, permethrin, which can be deadly to cats. While dogs are able to metabolize permethrin, making it safe for them to use, cats are unable to metabolize permethrin and it will cause toxic effects if they are exposed to it. For further guidance, please read our guide of the best flea treatments for dogs or our review of dog flea collars when choosing a specific treatment.
Cats can be exposed to the dangerous effects of Advantix in several ways, not only if it has been applied directly to their skin. If they make close contact with any dog within 48 hours of their treatment or if they groom a dog’s fur following an application they could also be at risk of developing toxic effects.
What Symptoms Are Seen From Advantix Exposure?
If a cat has been exposed to permethrin in Advantix the symptoms will usually show up in a few hours, however, in some cases, it could take as long as 3 days for symptoms to appear. The sigs of exposure include:
- Loss of appetite
- Poor coordination
- High body temperature
If left untreated, cats can die from permethrin exposure.
How Can Permethrin Toxicity Be Treated?
Treatment for Permethrin toxicity is treated by decontaminating the skin through bathing, controlling for seizures and tremors, and then supportive care. Intravenous injections will be given to administering medications that can control the symptoms and then intravenous fluids will be given so the cat can stay hydrated.
Their vital signs are continuously monitored and they are kept in a safe environment to avoid the cat harming themselves while they are disoriented and uncoordinated. The tremors can last as long as 72 hours although will usually stop after 12-24 hours. With early treatment, the chance of making a full recovery is very good.
How To Prevent Permethrin Exposure
If you live with both cats and dogs in your home, avoiding treating your dog for fleas using Advantix is not advisable since an accident could occur. Whether that be accidentally applying the wrong topical solution to your cat or whether the cat has close contact with a dog that has been treated, it just isn’t worth taking the risk, particularly because there are numerous other options for flea control treatments available.
If you choose to use Advantix for your dogs and also have cats, you should always make sure that you only apply the solution to your pet when your cat has no access to your dog or to the area in which the treatment is taking place until the medicine has been fully absorbed into your pet’s skin. You will know when the medication is fully absorbed since the oily appearance will have disappeared from their fur. Once this has occurred, you can allow the cat back into the room.
Also, always check the labels of any product that you use very carefully and take the time to read the small print to make absolutely certain that you are using the right product on the right pet.
If in doubt, always choose Advantage as this product is safe for use on both cats and dogs and will ensure that your pet is not put at risk of developing any unwanted symptoms.