Minoxidil Warning

September 2005

Spanish Translation / Traducción Español

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Minoxidil is the ingredient in popular hair growth formulas such as Rogaine. It is the active ingredient which can revitalize hair follicles and promote the re-grown of hair in a percentage of balding men and women.

As cat exhibitors, we routinely use human shampoos and conditioners to maximize the presentation of our show cats... and while many human hair care products are perfectly safe to use on cats, Minoxidil is NOT one of them!

Minoxidil Is Poisonous To Cats!

Since 2001, six cases involving minoxidil exposure in cats were reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). These included cases of intentional applications to areas on the animals' bodies that had lost fur, as well as accidental exposures via licking or walking through the solution.

Of these cases, four of the cats died, while two fully recovered after prompt and aggressive veterinary treatment.

Very small amounts of Minoxidil can result serious problems or death

Symptoms of Minoxidil Toxicity

  • Lethargy
  • Severe drop in blood pressure
  • Accumulation of fluid in the lungs
  • Damage to the heart muscle, which can result in cardiac failure and death.


Lethargy and a drop in blood pressure typically develop within about 12 hours
~
Cardiac problems generally occur three to four days following the exposure
unless treatment is sought quickly

Cats may be especially sensitive to the adverse affects of Minoxidil because they lack a specific enzyme necessary for breaking this drug down in their bodies.

Prevention

  • Never apply minoxidil products to your cat
  • Human application of Minoxidil should occur in a room that is not accessible to cats
  • Do not allow cats to lick treated areas
  • Clean up any spills thoroughly and promptly.

If Exposed

If you suspect that your cat has come into contact with a minoxidil-containing preparation, immediately contact your veterinarian or the APCC's 24-hour emergency hotline at (888) 426-4435.

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