Spot Cat has hyperthyroidism - what should she eat?

Hello everyone,

Following a blood test, our cat, Spot, has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. She's 13 (nearly) and was losing weight whilst eating non-stop, vomiting regularly after eating and generally acting very hyper! For the past week, since she's been taking 5mg a day (2.5mg every 12 hours) of Felimazole, she seems to be back to normal. We chose this drug because she would be able to eat normal food instead of something different to our other cat, Tommy.

My question is the best food to feed her now. Since her liver enzymes were very elevated too, the vet said she needed a special liver food so advised us to feed her Royal Canin Hepatic dry food. I hate the idea of her eating just dry food and so I asked why we could not feed her the raw ground rabbit (no thyroid now of course!) and chicken meat/bones that we supplement with taurine, vit E, salmon oil, vit B and he said she shouldn't eat bones no matter how fine we were grinding them and that she needed a special diet for her liver. I bought a small bag at a big, big price...

I've read that hyperthyroidism can affect liver enzymes so now she's getting treatment for the thyroid, maybe the liver will improve too.

Reading the pack ingredients for the Royal Canin food and finding the first ingredient to be rice, surely that can't be good for her? We've always tried to feed our cats on animal protein alone and generally they've thrived on it. Now I'm faced with this quandry about what to do for the best for her.

Any advice would be welcome regarding food for her in the short and long term and also the drug treatment - anything better out there?


P.S. Photo below of Spot (on right ) and Tommy, working hard as usual!

Many thanks for the info Lynda, maybe will try it if we can't get more of the hairball stuff.

Bon courage....

Hello again Kate,

I buy packets of 15 boulets of Observence for dogs from my vet. I then use minute portions to wrap around the pills, making it go as long as possible as it is quite expensive... 9.80 euros.

There is also Observence for cats but my vet has never had it stock. If you tap Observence TVM on Google, you will find several sites where you can buy it direct for between 6 and 7 euros. If your hairball remedy is cheaper, stick with it. 0ne of the reasons Tinker has to have so many other medications is that the thyroid condition caused him to develop liquid in his lungs and stomach... hence the diuretics and potassium. We discovered this because he began coughing, gained weight and had a swollen abdomen. It was potentialy fatal but we caught it in time.

Anyway good luck with Spot. She should be able to live a normal and contented cat life.

Hi Lynda

Thanks so much for your help and advice. It's wonderful how you're keeping Tinker thriving with all those challenges to his health.

Having read up a lot on hyperthyroidism and getting advice from kind people, I'm now trying to keep the dose as low as possible to keep the symptoms at bay so as not to damage her kidneys from the medication. The blood test in a couple of weeks will tell how she's doing.

I've tried finding "Observance" but can't find a supplier. Can you help?

I've been using a hairball remedy which has a really sticky inside and Spot adores the taste. I cut it into 4 and then put a 1/4 tablet in each piece. Then she gets a 1/4 of a 5mg tablet about 3 times a day and that seems to be working at the moment. May try to reduce this further this week-end to find minimum level.

Looking at homeopathic remedies too to help support her kidneys and liver.

An aside- another thing to get cats or dogs to eat something is Fortiflora probiotic powder - sprinkle it on anything and they lap it up! And it's good for the digestive system too. Keep it in the fridge and although it may go past its expiry date it's not a problem for them. Just means that the probiotics are losing their potency.

Love to you and Tinker & Sooty too,

Hello Kate,
One of my four cats is hyperthyroid. Tinker is 15 now and was diagnosed about three years ago. He displayed all the symptoms that your cat had. I have never changed his diet, infact all four eat the ssme food...but I feed them smaller quantities more often. Before I used to feed tinned meat twice a day. Now I give them tinned food in the morning, same again or dried food at midday, tinned food at 6.00pm and dried food last thing at night. I have had cats all my life and have never used cat food obtained from the vet ...remember vets are there to make money! Always have fresh water available. It is important to have blood tests done at least every six months or if your cat starts losing weight or being sick again. The thyroid gland (which controls the metabolism, as I am sure you know)is surpressed by the drugs but it can keep growing causing the problem to reoccur. Additionally, I believe many of the subsequent problems are caused by the medication. My cat is now nearing the end of his life, according to my vet who said he had months, maybe only weeks to live. Tinker is now taking eight pills a day, 4 Felizamole totalling 15mg, two diuretics, potassium supplement, a booster for kidneys and an anti hypertension. It is costing a fortune but as long as he is not suffering I will continue! In the meantime he eats and plays normally, sleeps alot and it is three months now since the vet said the end was near. I hope all cat lovers know of the product Observance... it is a meat flavoured dough which you wrap around the pill.. and the cat will eat it voluntarily... or at least Tinker does... my older and wiser cat Sooty will have nothing to do with it! If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks all for your feedback. We have to go back for another blood test in a few weeks to see how she's coping with the drugs so we'll have another chat to the vet then.


Hi Kate,

I have hypothyroidism and I’m on a high sodium and low carb diet. I may not be of much help, but I would think that the opposite might help. Low sodium and high carb since her metabolism is high. Also stay away from GMOs (genetically modified organisms, usually corn,rice,and soy products) since these cause organ damage. It is worth a try, but ask a different vet. BTW,spot is so cute!

Hi Kate,

All of our own 8 cats have a biscuit diet, as do those in our Rescue Centre, obviously the smaller the bag, the bigger the price tag, have a look at, and and I'm sure you'll find much better deals

Personally I have no experience of hyperthyroidism and can only say that your vet should be best placed to give advice, if you are not happy with his diagnosis or treatment, why not ask for a second opinion from another vet.

Best wishes