Sergeant’s Green. The day I learned to read reviews first.

11 08 2011

Sebastian was an outdoors cat that adopted us very willingly and soon became outdoors/indoors. One time, having been in the house next door’s yard, which counted with an unkempt shed full of wood and rats, he came back full of fleas. And since I’ve always tried to go for the non chemical approach, I started to look for alternatives to the well known flea control treatments, as Advantage or Frontline. Because, you know, the cat ends up licking his fur, and the chemicals are on the fur… and though the toxins do not kill the cat nor make them sick at the moment, well, who knows what the cumulative effects can be?

Sebastian, in Lafayette, wearing a flea control collar that he lost promptly, one of may things we tried on him.

So off we went to browse for less aggressive alternatives and we found Sergeant’s Green, natural flea and tick control. The idea was interesting, the liquid was made of natural herb oils, including peppermint, cinnamon, cloves, lemongrass and thyme oil. Herbs are well known to carry their oils in order to prevent herbivory, and though fleas are not herbivores, many times what works against one insect will also work against the others. And if it did not work great… at least the cat would smell like heaven! 🙂

So we cam home, talked to Sebastian and applied the liquid in the little tube. Yes, Sebas did not like it much, but I cannot blame him, for the smell was quite strong. He ran away and left the house smelling wonderfully, peppermint, thyme, it was a wonderful smell all around! And I was happy. That is until a few hours later, when I went see him. His hair was greasy, but that was expected since the product is based on oils, but I saw that his neck was getting bright red. By the evening his hair was falling! And the irritation was worse. So I brought Sebastian in the bathroom and shampooed his neck to remove the oils. Suffice to say that I still feel terrible about that. His neck kept loosing hair for some days after that.

I was also quite unimpressed with the costumer support of Sergeant’s, since when I communicated with them about the problem we have had… I don’t know, expecting to give some feedback on their product… I was told that obviously my cat was very sensitive and I should have read that the box said some cat could be allergic to it. Wow. Thank you Sergeant, you were helpful. I went to our trusty internet and I found dozens of bad reviews telling horror stories of screaming cats, hair loss and irritated skin. That was the day I learned to read reviews before buying a product.

So, how did the story end? I went ahead and bought some Frontline. After all, it is an uncertainty if the accumulation of chemicals will ever hurt my cat’s health, but it was very evident that Sergeant’s All Natural was causing a damage in that moment.

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13 responses

11 08 2011
Fire Oak Studio

Wow, perfect timing on this post, Coty. My cat just got fleas for the first time in her very long (15 years) life and we were considering trying that product. She has very sensitive skin. She even gets serious reactions from the chemicals in some litters. I’m really glad you posted this before we bought it.

11 08 2011
Constanza

Oh, wow, Cris, just on time! Yeah, I would not recommend it, especially not for an older cat! Go with the traditional Advantage, which works great. And if you apply only occasionally it will not be a problem for her.

11 08 2011
Connie

I tend to stick with conventional treatments that I can get from the Vet after I’ve had a few bad experiences with flea/tick treatments from the pet store.

Tika would get a really bad reaction, & Skippy has sensitivities that don’t seem to be bothered from Advantage from the Vet.

11 08 2011
Constanza

Yeah, we do Advantage now.

12 08 2011
Edu

Great timing indeed. We just decided to buy some food and a flea treatment for a cat that has been visiting us for a while, quite unfat and flea-ridden. After our last experience going green against bugs (bought a essential-oils laden mosquito repellent that smells great and is utterly useless), I came to the conclusion that plants have no blood, and then absolutely no need to develop defenses against blood-sucking insects. So we went straight to Advantage, after reading all the reviews (not Advantage II, mind you, that apparently has much worse reviews).

12 08 2011
Constanza

Yup… but a lot of the chemicals (in theory) could work against insects in general… Except that don’t. So far our anti-ants spray is working, though, but Advantage is awesome. It works soon and effectively.
Good luck with the cat!

22 11 2011
Andrew

Whoa just in time…. nah just kidding tried this on my dog because advantage made my friends dog ill and I don’t trust chemicals. This stuff smells nice but the verdict is still out on if it works or not no skin irritation tho and no crazy problem as all the people on here stated. So far so good.

23 11 2011
Constanza

That is good to know! I am glad your dog did well, I did not see bad reviews for dogs in general, but for cats it was terrible… and my experience as well.
Thanks for passing by Andrew! 🙂

11 05 2012
ThorsDottir

I wish I’d read the reviews first, too. I tried this on my cat a few days ago and he had a bad reaction, liquid pouring from his nose and foaming at the mouth. I am glad I caught it immediately and was able to wash him several times with grease-cutting dish liquid to remove the oils before his fur began to fall out like I see so many other people have said in the various reviews of this product across the internet. I was also unimpressed with their customer service hotline, my animal and I were both in shock and I wasn’t amused at being told the box said some animals were sensitive. Never again.

19 07 2012
Maria

My cat is about 6 and this works really really well on him. No skin reactions except for a little oily here and there. He’s not allowed outside until the winter though, since our dog almost died from a Frontline reaction and we don’t want to put it on the cat either. So, my cat is really unhappy. He’s miserable because he wants to go out and because he can’t stand the smell and oily feel, I am sure. But he is not scratching and he seems to be flea free. So that’s how it’s going to be until winter. We want to give his system a break from the Fipronil.

25 07 2012
Mary Naomi Puanani Rider

Not only did my cat loose fur after using this product, but even a month later, he has sores that developed within days of applying the product!

25 07 2012
Constanza

ouch! Sorry to hear that! I hope he recovers soon!

25 08 2014
Mercedes Lackey

Well cats and dogs are like people. Some are more sensitive than others, and unfortunately, the only way to find out is to try products. I had to go through four different flea collars for my British Blue before I found one that didn’t give him an allergic reaction (each one used a different insecticide) but you can put anything on our Siamese and he doesn’t care. The Sergeant’s Green drops worked great for a tiny kitten who lives outdoors until she gets big enough to put a collar on.

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