Q&A – Flea Medicine For Cats And Dogs, Is It Harmful To Birds?


Hello there, Your Parrot Place. Could you help address a question I’ve been thinking about? Is there and should there be worry for pet owners who have dogs and/or cats that use the current flea medicine that is given to the back of the neck, and with petting the dog/cat and then contacting our birds, to the exposure of the pesticide?

I have yet to come across any articles addressing this possible issue. Because I didn’t want to put my birds at danger, I gave my cats flea medication. The vet’s clinic where I bought the flea medicine indicated there was no risk. Because there are so many individuals who take liquid flea medicine and also live with birds, I’d want an answer to this question.


C. Barbara


Greetings, Barbara

Thank you for your excellent question! Because many families have several pets, cat and dog problems do sometimes impact our birds. Personally, I aim to live as organically and “purely” as possible, thus I don’t expose my birds to ANY chemicals or potentially toxic substances. “If in doubt, don’t!” is my mantra. We don’t know much about how pollutants impact birds, but we do know their systems are very sensitive. Because their bodies include air sacs, we must be cautious of airborne poisons. Because they preen every feather on their body on a regular basis, we must be cautious of any chemical residues that may stay on our hands (I’m an obsessive hand-washer!)

I congratulate you for utilizing flea medications on your cats—you can never be too careful. Products that are well accepted by dogs and cats might nonetheless cause issues for our avian companions. Concerning the danger of flea treatments for cats/dogs to birds, I spoke with numerous avian doctors, and the conclusion was that after the pesticide dried, it shouldn’t pose a problem to birds. If wet insecticide comes into touch with a bird, it must be cleansed promptly with bird shampoo or diluted baby shampoo and thoroughly rinsed. So, if you have birds in your home, I recommend employing care and common sense while dealing insecticides for other pets.

“The Bird Lady” by Marilu Anderson

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