Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used in various forms by many women, including creams, gels, sprays and patches. However, accidental exposure of cats to these hormone replacement products can cause serious illness. Cats are easily poisoned by these products.
Hormone replacement products can also be poisoning to dogs. If you would like to learn how they affect dogs, please visit this page in the petMD health library.
Symptoms associated with hormone replacement poisoning will vary depending on the sex of the cat.
There is also concern that prolonged exposure to HRT products could cause bone marrow suppression leading to aplastic anemia (a severe blood disease) and possibly mammary tumors (breast cancer.)
Hormone replacement therapies are used in women to replace estrogen and treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings and bone loss. HRT medications are commonly supplied as creams, gels, sprays or patches. Women are often advised to apply the medication to the wrists, inner elbows, or legs.
Cats typically become exposed by licking the HRT medication from a woman’s skin. They may also be exposed by chewing on or licking discarded patches.
Diagnosis relies on the appearance of expected clinical signs and known (or suspected) exposure to an HRT product. Estrogen levels can also be measured in the blood to confirm the diagnosis, if necessary.
Symptoms are often reversible by eliminating further exposure to the medication. However, symptoms may take months to resolve completely in some cases.
The genitalia of a female; found on the outside
The term for an animal that is ready to mate with a male or in estrus
The wasting away of certain tissues; a medical condition that occurs when tissues fail to grow.
A condition of the blood in which normal red blood cell counts or hemoglobin are lacking.
The type of female hormone produced in the ovaries that contributes to sex drive and female characteristics