Basics of Hyperthyroidism in Feline Pets

Hyperthyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders in cats, just as in humans. This health condition can affect cats of all ages, genders, and breeds.

An overactive thyroid gland causes hormonal imbalance and, consequently, many other metabolic issues. Should you notice significant changes in your kitty pie’s appetite, energy levels, and weight, schedule an appointment with the vet for clarification.

Early testing and treatments can save your fluffy friend from developing other secondary health problems. At the same time, consider being equipped with cat insurance NZ so handling unplanned vet costs is much easier.

Contemplate purchasing cheap cat insurance, so your furball is covered for basic health benefits at least. Meanwhile, read this article to learn the basics of hyperthyroidism in feline pets.


This disorder is characterized by an overproduction of the thyroxine hormone. Although it affects cats of both genders, it is highly prevalent in grown and senior cats. Hyperthyroidism can occur in kitties as young as ten, and the average age of onset can be between twelve and thirteen years.

While Adenoma (Functional benign enlargement) is one of the common causes of hyperthyroidism in cats, thyroid carcinoma, i.e., thyroid cancer, is a rare cause. Many kitties suffering from this condition have both of their thyroid glands’ lobes affected.


The most common red flags associated with this health issue are –

  • Increased thirst/appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased shedding
  • Poor coat
  • Vomits
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Panting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Increased urination


Many treatments are available but talk to your vet for the best course of action that hopefully sets your frisky feline onto the path of health and happiness.

1.Dietary changes

Sometimes a change in diet can recalibrate the thyroid and restore the hormonal balance. Specially formulated prescription diet is one thing you should discuss with your vet. Also, seek advice on reducing the intake or elimination of iodine-containing foods in your cat’s regular diet.

2.Hormone inhibitors

Specific medications alter hormone production; your vet may recommend using them for the rest of your cat’s life. Although they can be effective, there can be multiple side effects due to regular use. For instance, vomiting, appetite loss, face swelling, itching, rashes, depression, and bleeding are common adverse health reactions in cats due to drug intake. The vet will likely adjust the dosage over time to suit your fluffy friend’s health needs. Periodic re-examination is hence critical to your feline’s health.


Radioactive iodine is administered through an injection to a cat suffering from hyperthyroidism. It concentrates within the thyroid gland and destroys the tissues responsible for hormone overproduction.

Kitties often receive this treatment only once and are required to be hospitalized for monitoring until their pee and poop are free of radioactive material. This therapy may not be available in all pet clinics, and your vet will assess the pros and cons of this procedure to determine if it is the right solution for your cat.


Surgery can be suggested in specific cases, like where the cats have benign tumors on one or both thyroid lobes. Surgical removal may hardly fix the problem and can trigger several other health problems, especially in older pets. Calcium metabolism problems can be one of the consequences of the surgery.

Your vet is the best person to guide you on what is right and wrong for your furball. So, follow what they say and consider being prepared with cat insurance in NZ so that dealing with unexpected vet costs need not be financially cumbersome.

Cheap cat insurance can cover a cat’s basic medical care during testing times of health at affordable costs. So, why would anybody not contemplate purchasing a policy?

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