Feeding My Hyperthyroid Cat
“What’s the best diet to feed 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:
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
- Plastic food and water bowls (replace with glass, ceramic or metal)
- Storing food in plastic containers
- Ultra-high or ultra low iodine diets
Note: Ill cats can’t afford to miss meals. If 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.