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What are signs of thyroid problems in cats

Symptoms may include the following:


Weight loss

Frequent vomiting or diarrhea

Frequent spitting up or regurgitating food

Unusual hair loss

Vomiting or diarrhea

Unintentional weight loss, loss of muscle tone


Breathing problems

Abnormal breathing pattern

Excessive panting



Loss of appetite

Loss of motivation

Decreased skin elasticity or roughness

Unkempt coat


Lack of grooming


Difficulty adjusting to new surroundings

Causes of thyroid disease in cats

Although it is commonly believed that thyroid disease is caused by a decline in thyroid hormones, this is not entirely true. It is more likely that the body’s use of thyroid hormones is already diminished before the thyroid disease is even diagnosed. This is because there are numerous other factors that can trigger thyroid disease in cats.

The primary causes of thyroid disease in cats are:

Immune system infections

Metabolic diseases

Hormonal disorders

Dietary deficiencies


Other diseases


Hypothyroidism is one of the most common causes of thyroid disease in cats. Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for hypothyroidism in cats and it is a progressive condition that can lead to other complications.

Treatment options

If you suspect that your cat has hypothyroidism, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. If your cat has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your veterinarian will likely recommend regular visits to monitor the condition and to make sure that the condition does not worsen. Your veterinarian may also recommend supplements for your cat as well.

Veterinarians who treat cats for hypothyroidism often recommend prescription medications. These medications have the side effect of causing weight gain, which is not ideal for cats.

Your veterinarian may also recommend a less-expensive supplement called desiccated thyroid, which is made from pigs’ thyroid glands. This supplement can be given to cats who do not respond to prescription medications.


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Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid glands in the neck develop abnormal tissue and produce too much thyroid hormone, causing bodily functions to speed up. The underlying cause is unknown but in rare cases cancer can cause the condition. When the thyroid glands don’t produce enough hormone it’s known as hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. As a naturally occurring condition, this is very uncommon in cats, although it may be seen as a consequence of some treatments, and responds well to thyroid supplements. What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism? Read more

Apathetic Hyperthyroidism. Not all cats are created equal and your kitty may be one who likes to buck the trend. A small percentage of cats who develop hyperthyroidism go the exact opposite route with symptoms, and show a decreased appetite, lethargy and depression instead of behaving like a hyperactive hummingbird. This is called apathetic hyperthyroidism, and is no less serious than the typical version. Read more

And, what is so unique to this feline problem is that the underlying problem is that of a benign, functional, thyroid adenoma, meaning the over-grown, overactive thyroid tissue is not a malignant problem, and the remaining gland itself remains totally normal. Read more

Some rare cases of hyperthyroid disease are caused by malignant tumors known as thyroid adenocarcinomas. Although the cause of feline hyperthyroidism is not known, possible contributing factors include deficiencies or excesses of certain compounds in the diet and chronic exposure to thyroid-disrupting chemicals in food or the environment. Read more

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