what to feed cats with thyroid problems

by Anais Trantow Published 2 years ago Updated 1 year ago

Diet Recommendations for Hyperthyroid Cats. When selecting a food for a cat with hyperthyroidism, look carefully at the ingredient list. Ingredients that include quality meat or meat by-products are optimal. The primary source of protein should not come from vegetables and grains, although these can be a subsequent protein supplement.

It is best to feed: Canned or raw diets, that contain little to no fruits, vegetables, or grains. Any canned cat food is better than any dry, which contains too much carbohydrate and plant-based protein.

Full Answer

What is the best cat food for thyroid issues?

  • High-quality, natural ingredients. One of the primary goals of changing your cat’s diet to support his hyperthyroidism treatment is to help him regain his health. ...
  • Rich in animal protein. ...
  • Energy-rich. ...
  • Higher moisture levels. ...
  • Complete and balanced. ...

What are some healthy foods for cats?

Jan. 4—As the acute need of providing food and shelter to the homeless and hungry population in Richmond grows, several philanthropic individuals have stepped up to the plate to try and fill the need. In recent months, several attempts to create food programs for the needy and homeless have been shut down by the Madison County Health Department.

Do cats need soft food or hard food?

The vet told us that soft food was better than hard food for our cats. We asked our vet for more information. She went on to explain that for years, scientists thought that the crunchy, hard food would help pets maintain strong teeth. Recent studies show that there is no correlation between cats eating hard food, and having healthy teeth.

What is the best cat food for kidney problems?

What’s The Best Food For Cats With Kidney Disease?

  • Choose Foods That Are Low In Phosphorus. As kidney function declines, phosphorus is one of the things that doesn’t get filtered out. ...
  • Reduce Inflammation With Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Many cats with kidney disease develop nephritis, which is inflammation of the kidneys. ...
  • Good Foods Give Your Cat Extra B Vitamins. ...
  • Hydration Is Essential. ...


How can I help my cat with thyroid problems?

How is hyperthyroidism in cats treated? One way to treat a cat with hyperthyroidism is with an oral medication that contains methimazole. The medication can be given life-long or to stabilize the cat before other treatment options, such as radioactive iodine therapy or surgery.

How can I fatten up my cat with hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroid cats need high calorie and high protein diets to reduce the rate of weight loss and muscle wasting that accompanies the disease. Thyroxine (the major hormone produced by the thyroid gland) is one of numerous counter-regulatory or anti-insulin hormones.

What can I feed an older cat with hyperthyroidism?

Many hyperthyroid cats that are being treated with radioactive iodine therapy, methimazole or thyroidectomy can benefit from eating a high-protein, high-energy food like Instinct by Nature's Variety Original grain-free chicken recipe wet cat food or Tiki Cat Hanalei Luau wild salmon grain-free wet cat food.

Can hyperthyroidism in cats be treated with diet?

Hyperthyroidism in cats can often be managed through an iodine-restricted prescription diet from your vet. Iodine intake is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, so the goal of an iodine restricted therapeutic diet is to help reduce the production thyroid hormones by reducing iodine in your cat's diet.

What can I feed my hyperthyroid cat to gain weight?

Wet, or canned, cat food is the most recommended form of diet. Canned/wet cat food helps cats by getting more water into their systems. Cats fed canned food have a higher total water intake than cats fed dry food, even when they have free access to water. Cats evolved in desert environments and have a low thirst drive.

Can I feed my hyperthyroid cat chicken?

#2 Best Non-Prescription Pick: Open Farm Cat Food This food addresses hyperthyroid cats' needs in several ways. It's a relatively calorie-dense food made primarily from Humanely Raised Chicken. These ingredients provide highly-digestible and species-appropriate nourishment to support muscle mass.

Is Tuna Good for hyperthyroidism in cats?

Don't use fish prepared for humans or fish-based cat foods as your cat's primary diet. If you feed your cat tuna fish, use chunk light in water rather than albacore, which has higher mercury levels.

What foods are good for hyperthyroidism?

Foods to eat if you have hyperthyroidismnon-iodized salt.coffee or tea (without milk or dairy- or soy-based creamers)egg whites.fresh or canned fruit.unsalted nuts and nut butters.homemade bread or breads made without salt, dairy, and eggs.popcorn with non-iodized salt.oats.More items...•

Is Fancy Feast high in iodine?

This recipe has an iodine content of 0.95 parts per million on an as fed basis. Due to your pet's diagnosed condition, we recommend consulting your veterinarian to ensure this would be a good fit for your pet's current treatment plan.

How can I treat my cats hyperthyroidism naturally?

Feline hyperthyroidism natural treatment options are often considered by pet owners. Some of these treatments include switching your cat to a raw food diet, giving them special vitamins and supplements, and/or switching to special natural pet foods.

Are cats in pain with hyperthyroidism?

Unfortunately, this means that many pet owners leave feline hyperthyroidism untreated. Doing so can cause pain and anguish for the cat. Feline hyperthyroidism is treatable and can be completely cured if spotted early.

Why are cats with hyperthyroidism always hungry?

Combatting Weight Loss Hyperthyroid cats break down the protein in their own muscles to fuel their bodies' increased metabolism.

Why do cats with hyperthyroidism lose weight?

These cats lose weight because their hyperthyroidism accelerates their metabolic rate and body's energy expenditure; they are burning up their food calories faster than they can consume their daily meals. It's important to realize that hyperthyroidism is a catabolic state.

What food is good for hyperthyroidism?

Foods to eat if you have hyperthyroidismnon-iodized salt.coffee or tea (without milk or dairy- or soy-based creamers)egg whites.fresh or canned fruit.unsalted nuts and nut butters.homemade bread or breads made without salt, dairy, and eggs.popcorn with non-iodized salt.oats.More items...•

Can you reverse hyperthyroidism in cats?

Radioactive Iodine Therapy is considered the best option for treating feline hyperthyroidism by many veterinarians. The treatment involves a single shot followed by few days of monitoring by a veterinary professional. In most cases, only one treatment is needed to cure feline hyperthyroidism.

How can I gain weight with hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism usually increases your appetite. If you're taking in a lot more calories, you can gain weight even if your body is burning more energy. Make sure you eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and work with a doctor on a nutrition plan.

How to help a cat with hyperthyroidism lose weight?

To help your cat restore his healthy body weight, look for a calorie-dense diet. Fat is the richest source of calories for cats and it is most biologically valuable when it comes from animal-based ingredients.

Why is my cat hyperthyroid?

Environmental risk factors may play a role in predisposing a cat to hyperthyroidism and high levels of dietary iodine may be involved. The exact cause for hyperthyroidism in cats is unknown, though research is being conducted to better understand the role of dietary iodine as an influencing factor.

How to tell if a cat has hyperthyroidism?

Unexplained weight loss, increased thirst, and poor coat condition are all potential signs of hyperthyroidism. Before you panic and rush your cat to the vet, know that hyperthyroidism is a serious condition, but it is also very treatable and is completely curable in most cases. Don’t delay in seeking treatment for your cat because he could develop serious complications but rest easy knowing that there is a highly effective form of treatment that could cure your cat in as little as one to two weeks. Add to that a high-protein, energy-rich diet and your cat will be good as new in no time.

What is the best food for cats with hyperthyroidism?

This Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Entrée is a good option because it is rich in animal protein and high in both fat and calories.

Where is the thyroid gland located in the body?

In humans, the thyroid gland sits in the lower front of the neck. It is part of the adrenal system that secrets hormones which help regulate essential bodily functions like metabolism, growth, and body temperature. Unlike humans, cats have two thyroid glands. They too are located in the neck and play a role in regulating the metabolism.

What happens when a cat gets older?

As cats get older, they tend to become less active and may not eat as much. Over time, you may even notice weight loss and loss of muscle mass. Before you just write these symptoms off as normal for an older cat, take a moment to learn about a condition that commonly affects cats 12 years and older – it’s called hyperthyroidism.

What is the minimum amount of protein for kittens?

Here are some of the requirements for a cat food to receive our recommendation: A source of high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient. At least 30% crude protein for kittens and at least 26% for adults. A minimum of 9% crude fat for kittens and adults.

What are the symptoms of a dog with thyroid disease?

Symptoms are typically related to this excess: excessive hunger, weight loss, restlessness, yowling, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart disease. ( Dogs also develop thyroid disease, but in the opposite direction. They are more prone to hypothyroidism, a deficiency of thyroid hormone.)

What is the disease of cats?

The disease itself, hyperthyroidism (hyper = too much, thyroid = a hormone-making gland) is seen mostly in older cats – usually in cats aged 10 or older. Thyroid hormone regulates the body’s basic metabolic rate. Too much of it is a lot like drinking too much coffee, it speeds up every reaction in the body.

What is the chemical in pop top cans?

Further research suggests that one factor may be the chemical BPA (bisphenol A and similar compounds) found in the lining of pop-top cans that can leach out into the food and cause toxicity. However, there are at least 25 different types of can lining, and no answer on which ones may be harmful.

Why do cats sleep on carpets?

Since cats often sit and sleep on carpets, sofas, chairs, and mattresses, their exposure would naturally be high and prolonged. Normal grooming activity would also cause the cat to ingest a fairly large amount of dust. This may explain the increased risk of hyperthyroidism in indoor cats.

When was thyroid disease first diagnosed in cats?

Overview of Thyroid Disease in Cats. Feline thyroid disease has risen to epidemic proportions since it was first diagnosed in 1979. It's a worldwide phenomenon, although it’s decidedly worse in the US than other countries.

Is it bad to feed dry food?

However, it is not a good idea to feed only dry food. There are many common health issues associated with dry food: obesity, diabetes, urinary tract disease, constipation, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Can cats get thyroid problems?

Ripping out your carpets and throwing away your furniture probably isn’t practical.

What is the connection between cat nutrition and health?

While there are numerous papers discussing the connection between feline nutrition and health, few are as good as "The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats" by Dr. Debra L. Zoran of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. In this article Dr. Zoran notes that "although cats have adjusted to most manufactured diets, the limitations of substituting animal-origin nutrients with plant-origin nutrients in foods formulated for cats are being increasingly realized.” 1 In this same article Dr. Zoran points out how diets with inappropriate amounts of carbohydrates and plant based protein are likely responsible for obesity, hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver syndrome), inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes in cats.

What hormones increase circulating glucose levels in cats?

Other counter-regulatory hormones that similarly contribute to increasing circulating glucose levels include glucagon, epinephrine, cortisol and growth hormone. As a result of the counter-regulatory effect of thyroid hormones, cats with hyperthyroidism frequently develop glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

What happens when you have high insulin levels?

The chronically elevated levels of insulin that occur with hyperinsulinemia lead to persistent lipogenesis and the ongoing production of fat. Simply put, carbohydrate intake leads to insulin release which leads to fat accumulation.

How does insulin work?

Insulin's job is to control the level of glucose in the blood stream. Insulin's role in health is critical as excessive glucose levels, as occur with untreated diabetes mellitus, are toxic. Insulin release is triggered by increases in the glucose level in the blood. In response to increasing levels of insulin in the blood, glucose is removed from the blood stream and stored in the form of either glycogen in muscle and liver tissue, or fatty acids in adipose (fat) tissue. Elevated levels of insulin in the blood stream called hyperinsulinemia occur following the consumption of many forms of carbohydrate. Persistently elevated levels of insulin in the blood stream ultimately lead to down-regulation of the insulin receptors causing insulin resistance that if untreated often progresses to type II diabetes. Because of insulin's potent induction of fat storage, hyperinsulinemia is also a potent cause of obesity.

Why do carbohydrates cause obesity?

Diets high in carbohydrates stimulate regular spikes in circulating insulin levels that lead to the storage of circulating fatty acids in adipose (fat) tissue. This process is a major factor in the weight gain that leads to obesity.

How does insulin release occur?

Insulin release is triggered by increases in the glucose level in the blood. In response to increasing levels of insulin in the blood, glucose is removed from the blood stream and stored in the form of either glycogen in muscle and liver tissue, or fatty acids in adipose (fat) tissue.

Why does my cat have diarrhea?

Dietary intolerance is an important non-immune cause of gastrointestinal tract symptoms (eg, vomiting and diarrhea) in cats. It can be caused by a variety of additives in cat foods including artificial colors, flavors and preservatives as well as the actual protein and carbohydrate sources utilized in the diet.

What is fancy feast cat food?

This food allows you to feed your cat well for about the price of Fancy Feast. It’s made with easily-digested protein from chicken and turkey, doesn’t contain any no-go ingredients, and is low in carbohydrates to accommodate diabetic or prediabetic cats.

Can cats regain muscle mass?

Likewise, a good old-fashioned diet can help your cat maintain or regain muscle mass, but it will do nothing to put out the hyperthyroid fire. Hyperthyroidism is a progressive and eventually fatal condition, so it’s vital to explore other treatment routes in addition to giving your cat the best food you can find.

Does Hill's Pet Nutrition treat hyperthyroidism?

Prescription or not, food is not a cure for hyperthyroidism. Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s y/d prescription diet is revolutionary in its ability to reduce disease symptoms, but it’s not a complete solution to thyroid disease. Likewise, a good old-fashioned diet can help your cat maintain or regain muscle mass, but it will do nothing to put out the hyperthyroid fire. Hyperthyroidism is a progressive and eventually fatal condition, so it’s vital to explore other treatment routes in addition to giving your cat the best food you can find.

Can cats eat soy?

The Best Cat Food For Hyperthyroidism Is Soy-free. Avoiding soy never hurt any cat and it could help to control hyperthyroidism. The connection between soy and hyperthyroidism isn’t clear, but we know that soy consumption may have a significant effect on the amount of thyroid hormone a cat’s body produces.

Do senior cats need more protein?

Hyperthyroid or not, senior cats need more protein and calories than they did in middle age. In fact, senior cats may need as much protein as growing kittens. Without enough protein to satisfy that elevated metabolism, cats’ muscles weaken and deteriorate. Hyperthyroidism turns that metabolic fire into an inferno and emaciation is almost inevitable.

Can cats eat canned food?

Like those who eat fish-based food, cats who eat canned food are at an increased risk of developing thyroid conditions including hyperthyroidism. Canned cat food is frequently contaminated with BPA, a chemical that alters thyroid function.

Does Hill's diet help with hyperthyroidism?

There’s only one cat food on the market that can treat hyperthyroidism. That food is Hill’s Prescription Diet Thyroid Care. Though it can’t prevent disease progress, its low iodine content helps to limit the amount of thyroid hormones that flood your cat’s body.

How does hyperthyroidism affect cats?

As hyperthyroidism accelerates their metabolic rate and body's energy expenditure, cats lose weight. In effect, they burn up their food calories faster than they can consume them. Deceivingly, when hyperthyroid cats first lose weight, most retain their "belly" and may even score higher than an ideal body condition score.

What is the most common endocrine disorder in cats?

One of the most common medical issues seen in small animal veterinary practices and the most common endocrine disorder in cats is feline hyperthyroidism. In addition to traditional medications and treatments, dietary choices can also aid a suffering feline.

Why does my cat lose weight?

In hyperthyroidism, a cat's body consumes its own muscle tissue in order to derive the protein its needs to sustain a carnivorous life.

Do cats lose muscle mass?

Like human beings, cats lose muscle mass as they age. This is a condition independent of their thyroid status. Additionally, cats' ability to digest protein is compromised as they age. Research has shown that geriatric cats seem to have nutritional requirements similar to kittens.

Does dry cat food help with diabetes?

Additionally, because most hyperthyroid cats have or will develop diabetes, a diet low in carbohydrates will benefit the cat's insulin activity and help stabilize his/her glucose metabolism. In general, many varieties of dry cat food are very high in carbohydrates.

Do cats need protein?

Cats require a large amount of protein in their diet. When considering dietary adjustments, it is imperative to ensure that the hyperthyroid cat receives as much protein as possible so as to maintain muscle mass.

Can cats have diabetes?

Unfortunately, despite successful treatment of hyperthyroidism, the side effects of insulin resistance may worsen and cats may go on to develop diabetes despite not having had the condition at the time of diagnosis.

What are the ingredients in a tyroid diet?

First 5 Ingredients: Water, Pork Liver, Pork By-Products, Chicken, Corn Flour. While this food is pushed as an alternative to lifelong medication, radioiodine treatment, or a thyroidotomy, it’s not a cure for hyperthyroidism. It starves the thyroid of fuel, but it doesn’t slow down the progression of a thyroid tumor.

How much protein is in canned cat food?

The canned food is about 27% protein, 24% carbohydrate, and 49% fat. This isn’t an ideal calorie distribution for any cat, much less a senior with a propensity to lose muscle mass. Senior cats require high-quality protein to maintain healthy muscle mass, and this diet just doesn’t offer what they need.

What is the best food for a cat?

Choose foods composed of over 50% calories from protein. The best protein sources are species-appropriate and highly digestible. Your cat requires meat-based food with no high-protein fillers like pea protein, potato protein, wheat gluten, and corn gluten meal.

Does Hill's cat food help with thyroid?

The recipe is clinically proven to improve thyroid health in three weeks when it’s the only food a cat eats. In addition to restricted iodine for hyperthyroidism control, the food is formulated with S+OXSHIELD, which Hill’s says can help to prevent urinary crystals.

Is cat food good for hyperthyroidism?

It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The best cat food for hyperthyroidism is rich in species-appropriate protein, low-carbohydrate, and is free from ingredients that contribute to thyroid disease. Iodine management can also help.

Does hyperthyroidism cause diabetes in cats?

Hyperthyroidism raises your cat’s blood glucose levels and often leads to insulin resistance and an impaired glucose tolerance. This is a prediabetic state. Even if this doesn’t advance to full diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroid cats are sensitive to sugar and require controlled levels of dietary carbohydrate.

Does canned cat food cause thyroid problems?

Since iodine is central to thyroid function, this may be part of the connection, but it’s not clear that iodine content is the only problem.

Why is hyperthyroidism a problem in cats?

Hyperthyroidism is a common condition in older cats because of an excess of circulating thyroid hormone, called “thyroxine.”. The thyroid gland, located in the neck, is responsible for the body’s metabolism.

Where is the thyroid gland located in cats?

The thyroid gland, located in the neck, is responsible for the body’s metabolism. This is why one of the first signs of thyroid disease may be a change in weight – weight gain if the thyroid is underactive and weight loss if the thyroid is overactive. In cats, an underactive thyroid is extremely rare. However, an overactive thyroid is quite common.

Why is it important to monitor cat weight?

Because metabolism is altered in hyperthyroidism, it’s important to monitor your cat’s weight and muscle mass. Even after treatment it may take a long time to reverse weight loss and muscle loss that occurred before your cat’s diagnosis. This can best be done by monitoring your cat’s body condition, muscle condition, and weight.

Can cats have thyroid problems?

However, an overactive thyroid is quite common. Many older cats with overactive thyroids have actual enlargement of the gland which can be felt in the neck by your veterinarian. Other than unexplained weight loss, your cat may also become more restless, hyperactive, vocal, and extremely hungry!

Does iodine prevent thyroid hormone production?

In order to produce thyroid hormone (thyroxine), the body needs a supply of iodine. If we restrict iodine , production of thyroxine decreases. Therefore, by using the veterinary therapeutic diet that is currently available and restricted in iodine (the only source the body has of iodine) this will prevent the thyroid from making thyroid hormone.

Can you medicate a cat every day?

For example, some families can’t medicate cats every day, so a more permanent solution such as radioactive iodine treatment or surgery may be best.

Does diet help with hyperthyroidism in cats?

Additionally, diet may play a significant role in managing the disease, whether as a sole treatment or as an adjunct tool to address changes in your cat’s body related to hyperthyroidism. Blog written by Dr. Daisy Spears in conjunction with Dr. Linder.

Can cats with hyperthyroidism eat canned food?

What NOT To Feed Cats With Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is unfortunately common in older cats – and many believe that it is linked to the foods they eat. In fact, some studies have linked certain feline commercial diets directly to this disease. A common diet traditional veterinarians recommend for a hyperthyroid cat is a prescription canned ...

Can cats eat dry food?

In reality, no dry food should be fed to cats – especially those with this disease. The high amount of carbohydrates in kibble is detrimental to a kitty’s health, causing all sorts of disease. Questions remain about what exactly to feed a hyperthyroid cat – though we do have a suggestion below.

Is soy a carbohydrate for cats?

Although considered protein , soy acts as a carbohydrate in our cats’ bodies and has a direct link to thyroid damage. If you have a kitty with hyperthyroidism, we recommend contacting Fetching Foods and speaking with them about custom formulating a low iodine, fish & soy free food for your sweet babe.

Is fish flavored cat food bad for cats?

Basically – there are toxins in fish flavored cat foods that are contributing to the epidemic of feline hyperthyroidism. Avoid them at all costs. Steer clear of foods with soy. Pet food companies commonly use soy as a filler ingredient for protein. It’s a cheap replacement and damaging to our cats’ health.

Is MeO PBDE in cat food?

The study states: “The present study suggests that pet cats are exposed to MeO-PBDEs through cat food products containing fish flavors and that the OH-PBDEs in cat blood are derived from the CYP-dependent demethylation of naturally occurring MeO-PBDE congeners, not from the hydroxylation of PBDEs. “ ¹.

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