Cats who are suffering hyperthyroidism can still have healthier, happier lives when their owners are knowledgeable about their disease, including its proper dietary management. Below, you will be able to learn some helpful hyperthyroidism management tips regarding what you should give your cats with hyperthyroidism and why it is such a very important part of disease management.
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Best cat food if your cat has hyperthyroidism
The best food for cats with hyperthyroidism is cat food with a high energy level and protein level. Senior cats with hyperthyroidism need similar food to what a kitten needs. Buy foods with over 50% calorie content from protein. A meat-based food with no protein fillers such as potato.
What’s the Ideal Food for Cats with Hyperthyroidism?
Most feline nutritional experts recommend a high-moisture and low carbohydrates diet in cats. Canned, or wet cat food is considered as the highly recommended type of diet for feline hyperthyroidism. Wet/canned food can help your cat get more water into his system.
Cats fed with canned food also have a much higher total water intake compared to cats fed with dry food or kibble, even if they have unlimited access to fresh water. Naturally, cats evolved in dry environments like the desert and have a very low thirst drive. That is why their natural diets of rodents and birds provided the moisture they needed in order to survive.
Having said that, modern house cats who are often fed dry kibble feed are a bit behind on the right water level intake. For cat owners who are away during the day, feeding your cat multiple small portions of canned food is not practical. Experts recommend cat owners to feed their feline friends canned wet food in the morning and at night to meet most of the caloric needs of cats and leave some kibble for daytime nibbling. and leave some dry food for daytime nibbling.
Cat Food Criteria for Feline Hyperthyroidism
If your cat has hyperthyroidism, you should find a food that’s higher in calories and lower in carbohydrates than average dry foods. There are no clinical data to prove that fruit, vegetables, grains, or soy are detrimental to cats who suffer from hyperthyroidism. If you opt to avoid these certain ingredients for your own reasons, then you should consider reviewing the ingredients list before giving a particular food to your hyperthyroid cat.
The topic of ideal diets for hyperthyroid cats is highly controversial. You will have to come up with the right decision about what’s best and not for your cat. According to experts, it’s best to opt for cat foods that replicate a cat’s natural prey to maintain his nutrient balance.
Video: Hyperthyroid Cats and Food
How to Evaluate a Dry Food for Your Hyperthyroid Cat
If your cat likes dry food, make sure to visit the manufacturer’s website or read the label to know the calorie content in every cup of food.
What to Look for in a Hyperthyroid Cat Diet?
Cats suffering from hyperthyroidism usually have an overactive metabolism that prevents them from maintaining muscle mass, and most cats with this disease are seniors. According to experts, senior cats need high energy and protein levels, similar to what kittens need. When these nutritional needs are not met, chances are they might lose their muscle mass.
You need to choose foods with over 50% calorie content from protein. The most ideal protein sources are highly digestible and species-appropriate. Your cat needs a meat-based diet with no high-protein fillers such as potato protein, high protein, corn gluten, and wheat gluten meal.
If you prefer to feed your cat dry food, then choose the one with less than 10% carbohydrate content. Hyperthyroidism can raise the blood glucose level of your cat and this usually leads to an impaired glucose resistance and insulin resistance. This is then a prediabetic state. Let’s say this will not advance to diabetes mellitus, cats withy hyperthyroidism are very sensitive to sugar, which is why they need a controlled level of dietary carbohydrate.
Common Questions About What Food to Give Cats with Hyperthyroidism
What is the Best Food to Feed a Cat with Hyperthyroidism?
Most hyperthyroid cats are being treated with thyroidectomy, methimazole, and radioactive iodine therapy can be able to benefit from a high-energy and high-protein diet. Hyperthyroid cats are very sensitive so it’s best to ask your vet for the safest and most effective cat food options. Your vet will assess the nutritional needs and preferences of your cat to come up with the right diet and medication.
How Can I Help My Cat with Hyperthyroidism?
Your trusted vet may recommend the following for your hyperthyroid cat:
- Specialized treatment
- Medication – Your vet can prescribe anti-thyroid drugs that reduce the release and production of thyroid hormone
- Radioactive Iodine Therapy – If this therapy is available in your area, it is considered as the best treatment for cats with hyperthyroidism
- Dietary Therapy
What Should A Hyperthyroid Cat Not Eat?
It’s very important to know that cats who are under hyperthyroidism treatment such as an iodine-restricted diet can’t be given anything other than the food your vet prescribed. This means you are not allowed to give your cat treats, human food, and no hunting or scavenging should take place during the treatment period.
Your trusted vet can certainly help you with the appropriate diet for your hyperthyroid cat at all recovery stages. And once the thyroid levels of your cat have been normalized under radioactive iodine therapy, thyroidectomy, or methimazole, and your cat has already regained his normal weight, his diet must be adjusted to meet his maintenance needs.