Feline Discrimination: How BAYER Sticks It To Cat Owners

Packaging is where the profit is. Fact. I've come to the conclusion that products are little more than incidental accessories devised to convince us we need to spend gobs of money on the materials they come wrapped in. I came to understand this over the weekend when, for the first time, I purchased flea medication for all my animals at once.

If you have dogs and/or cats, then chances are you’ve gone through the same rigmarole of determining which flea medication works the best. (You’d think it would be cut and dried, but it SO is not!) Of course, as anyone with even two simultaneously working synapses knows, flea collars are pointless and that dreck made by Hartz you find in grocery stores is not only ineffective, but might even be detrimental to the pet. The only viable option is to get your flea meds from your veterinarian. I use Advantage.

Now, I always thought Advantage was so gawd-awfully expensive because it’s the best and made by pharmaceutical giant Bayer. But… no. Despite it’s ridiculous price tag, the drug itself probably costs next to nothing. The evidence supporting my claim is below.

On the left is a single 4.0ml tube of Advantage Blue (for dogs over 55 pounds).
Cost for the single dose (averaged from a four dose pack) is about $13.

On the right are five 0.8ml tubes of Advantage Purple (for cats over 10 pounds).
Cost for all five tubes is about $58.

The single tube of Advantage Blue holds precisely the same amount as the five tubes of Advantage Purple, but costs $45 less. The exact same chemical formula is used for both dogs and cats, so the only explanation is that the price of the drug itself is negligible and I just chucked some very pricey bits of plastic in the trash.

Of course, it’s effectively impossible to measure out five 0.8ml doses from the 4.0ml tube, so unless you’re able to see your cats as lab rats and your dogs as Guinea pigs, Bayer pretty much has you by the short hairs. Considering the active ingredient in Advantage is chlorinated nicotine, I suspect most pet owners are disinclined to conduct dosing experiments.

So there you go. If you’re a cat owner and you use Advantage, you’re being corn-holed on your flea medication and there’s nothing you can do about it. Don’t go changing brands, though. The others are priced just as high but contain formulas that dilute the super-effective imidacloprid with the highly unpredictable permethrin (a primary pesticide in RAID Roach Killer).

Perhaps we could look for a way to recoup the money. I wonder if there’s a futures market for blister packs and plastic applicators…

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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23 Responses to Feline Discrimination: How BAYER Sticks It To Cat Owners

  1. Laurie says:

    Breaking down the one tube to multiple doses can be done.
    We use Revolution (similar product) on the feral cats/kittens we trap in my rescue group. It soon became clear that three kitten doses = 1 cat dose. I do extract kitten doses from one adult tube, because the packaging (in both boxes) says what the kitten dose is, and I cut down the top of the adult tube enough to get a slim (1cc) syringe in the top (sans needle) and draw off the needed dose(s). Then it's a matter of saving any remaining amount in something airtight till you need the next dose.

  2. Lurkertype says:

    Yep, yep. we buy both purple and orange (Miss HRT is petite) so we get double-screwed.What have you heard about Revolution?

  3. Kirk says:

    Huh. I thought of beakers and test tubes and eye-droppers but the simple answer of a graduated syringe completely escaped me. Thanks! :)So, do syringes have ml increments in addition to cc, or is there more math involved there?

  4. Kirk says:

    "What have you heard about Revolution?" Not much, but maybe Laurie will tackle that question as well.

  5. Laurie says:

    The size of syringe I use holds a total of 1ml or 1cc (I forget which) and is marked off in tenths like this.

  6. Laurie says:

    Revolution may be a Canadian brand, but it's multi-purpose. It guards against fleas, mites and certain worms. And it's a once-a-month treatment, like Advantage. On even the most flea-infested kittens I took out of the boxcar colony, it killed all the fleas dead within 24 hours.

  7. Kirk says:

    "ml = cc"Did not know that… feeling pretty stupid today.A quick look at the Wiki for Revolution's active ingredient, selamectin, indicates the fleas get the drug from feeding on the pet's blood. That's a no-go for me, as Marley has a very severe flea allergy. A single bite can cause him great distress, so his vet recommended a med that doesn't require a blood-meal to be effective, thus the Advantage.

  8. Laurie says:

    We used Revolution and Advantage interchangeably on the two cats at the boxcars who had Flea Allergy Dermatitis for the past year and a half and it kept them well in that environment. But that may be different from what Marley has.

  9. Ross says:

    Stop by any drug store and ask for an 1ml infant syringe – they have boxes of 'em that they give out with baby medicines and will probably be fine with handing one or two over to you free of charge.

  10. MrsPeel says:

    you know, I have been wondering about this, as we had to deflea our Liara a bit over a month ago, and now we should give a booster, as told by the veterinary…only I see stuff at the supermarket cheaper (way cheaper) than what they sold us at the vets…now you scared me: I reckon the ONLY thing they sell here is premethrin based….

  11. Laurie says:

    The vet just gives me a few as well, any time I need them.

  12. Lurkertype says:

    That's what the chart at the vet said, but I wanted to hear about it from a real person. We have several months more of the Advantage, so we might switch or not. It costs $2 more.

  13. Lurkertype says:

    Don't use the grocery stuff! It doesn't work and it's bad for critters.

  14. Laurie says:

    Aren't HRT and TK totally indoor cats? We don't bother at all once the cats are indoors for good, because there's no flea risk any more.

  15. Kirk says:

    "Aren't HRT and TK totally indoor cats? We don't bother at all once the cats are indoors for good, because there's no flea risk any more." It's rough when you have both cats and dogs. All of our cats are indoor cats, but the dogs go outside and there are many outdoor cats in our neighborhood. I worry that fleas will jump on the dogs and ride them into the house…

  16. Laurie says:

    That makes sense.

  17. Cat says:

    With 4 cats we get shafted too…I'd never thought of using a syringe to dose it out to cats from the dog tubes. Good info!!

  18. Lurkertype says:

    In a climate in which it rarely gets below freezing, plus outdoor kittehs, raccoons, possums, mousies, and lots of vegetation, we have to keep them dosed. HRTortie in particular, with her floof, is very sensitive to flea bites.

  19. MrsPeel says:

    Lurkertype: I dont think you got me in that comment:the stuff we gave our cat is the one the vets give and sell.but I'm afraid that stuff, the very expensive, here in the UK, the one all vets give, which is the SpotOn Frontline, is premethrin based.I haven't bought anything yet, but what I saw was that all the stuff they sell everywhere is premethrin based in this country……I know it was forbidden for the manufacture of head lice remedies for kids a while ago here in the UK, but I have also used that in my daughter's hair for 2 years constantly….

  20. Lurkertype says:

    ah! I was confused, sorry.

  21. If I may please? We are on our third bottle, with 99.996% success.

  22. They're the company that gave us Zyklon B so I'm not surprised that they're screwing you on the bug juice.

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