Feeding My Hyperthyroid Cat

The best diet for your hyperthyroid cat satisfies his/her nutritional requirements as an aging carnivore recovering from a muscle-wasting disease, and avoids chemicals that may contribute to thyroid disease. We encourage you to read cat food labels and consider these guidelines.

It is best to feed:

Cat

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. Meat by-products are fine for carnivores: they’re simply protein sources such as organ meats and entrails that people don’t find appetizing. Gravy foods tend to be high in carbs, so pates are a better choice.

Motivated clients may check out the website, which gives nutrient breakdown of various prescription and over-the-counter diets in the link “Protein/Fat/Carbs Chart”. It turns out that many of the otc canned diets have an acceptable composition of these, and are reasonably low in phosphate, i.e.:

  • >40% meat protein (>12g/100 kcal)
  • <10 % carbohydrates
  • 50 % fat
  • <250 mg/100kcal phosphate

Note: these percentages are based on dry matter, metabolizable energy, unlike those on the can label.

It may be best to avoid:

  • SOY-containing foods
  • BPA in canned food linings
  • Fish
  • Plastic food and water bowls (replace with glass, ceramic or metal)
  • Storing food in plastic containers
  • Ultra-high or ultra low iodine diets
  • y/d® diet, Hills®

Note: Ill cats need to eat as much as they possibly can. Offer food ad lib, andif you have a cat, heavy or thin, that refuses new diets, stick with what they’ll eat best. Sometimes gradually transitioning them from less-than-optimal diets to more nutritionally suitable ones works. However, if your cat refuses to eat anything but fish-containing foods, for example, then offer fish.

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