minoxidil toxicity in cats

Minoxidil® Toxicity in Cats

Did you know that Minoxidil® is very poisonous to cats? Minoxidil® is a topical solution used to promote hair growth in people. These medications have become very common and popular over the past 5 years.

According to the fall ASPCA newsletter, six cases involving Minoxidil® exposure were reported since 2001. Exposure ranged from cats accidentally walking through the spilled solution to owners actually applying medication to their pets in areas of hair loss. Of these cases, four of the cats died and two cats fully recovered after very aggressive treatment. Unfortunately, cats lack the specific enzyme necessary to break down this drug making them more susceptible to toxicity than dogs.

Minoxidil® exposure can result in lethargy, hypotension, pulmonary edema, damage to the heart muscle and death from cardiac failure. Initial signs of lethargy generally begin within 12 hours and heart damage occurs 3-4 days following exposure.

What to Watch For




Home Care and Prevention