Pyrethrin and pyrethroid use on cats

The issue

The APVMA has received enquiries about exposure of cats to insecticide products containing pyrethrin and the potential for pyrethrin-toxicity following exposure.

There are nearly 200 insecticidal products containing pyrethrins registered for use in Australia, including powders, sprays and shampoos. Of these, around 50 are registered for use on cats.

General information and guidance

  • pyrethrins are insecticidal substances produced from the Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium flower that may be toxic to cats at high concentrations
  • pyrethroids, including permethrin, are synthetic forms of pyrethrins that are toxic to cats at high concentrations
  • there are no products registered for use on cats in Australia that contain high concentrations of pyrethrins or pyrethroids
  • always read the label—the instructions for use, and any warnings or use restrictions, on the approved labels of products are there to protect you and your cat from harm
  • adverse experiences can be reported to the company named on the label or to the APVMA

Registration of pyrethroid product

A description of the APVMA’s role in the review and assessment of pyrethroids and pyrethrins.


An outline of the toxicity of pyrethroids and pyrethrins to cats.

Guidance for cat owners

What you can do to ensure the safety of your pets.

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