In recent years, spraying clothing or gear with the insecticide Permethrin has become a popular way to help reduce the chance of getting Lyme disease. (Permethrin essentially prevents tick bites.)
But if you own pets, beware. The concentration of permethrin used to prevent ticks on dogs (typically 45% or higher) can cause tremors, seizures and, in some cases, death to cats. If you own a dog and a cat and are considering using permethrin-based products on your canine(s), be sure to consult your vet first.
While the concentration of permethrin in sprays intended for clothing and gear is much lower than concentrations meant for dogs (commonly only 1%-5% vs. 45% or higher), it is still a good idea for cat owners to do the following:
- Spray clothing and gear outside and allow it to dry fully before using.
- Never leave permethrin-treated items near where your cat sleeps.
- As an extra precaution, store treated clothing and gear away from places your cat can access (perhaps a cellar, attic, a storage bin, or behind a closet door).
This piece speaks about the above in more detail. I just wanted the hiking community to be aware of the issues.