Hypothyroidism in cats is rare but when it does occur it can produce a number of symptoms including noticeable weight gain. Here our Bedford vets share some of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism in cats and how it can be treated.
Hypothyroidism in Cats
Your cat's thyroid hormones regulate many processes in their body, including controlling their metabolic rate.
Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by an insufficient production of essential thyroid hormones due to an underactive thyroid gland. If your cat produces too much thyroid hormone, then your feline friend is suffering from hyperthyroidism.
Causes of Hypothyroidism in Cats
Hypothyroidism is rare in cats, typically only occurring in cats who have undergone surgery or iodine therapy as a treatment for hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). That said, in rare cases the condition may be caused by cancer, iodine deficiency or congenital disease (thyroid gland abnormalities).
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Cats
If your cat has hypothyroidism their metabolism will slow and you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Intolerance to cold temperatures
- Hair matting
- Neurological changes
- Unkept appearance
- Weight Gain
- Mental dullness
- Hair loss / Excessive shedding
- Low body temperature
Treatment for Cats with Hypothyroidism
In many cases treatment is not required for cats with hypothyroidism. That said, if your cat's symptoms are severe your veterinarian may prescribe synthetic hormone supplements, and schedule follow-up examinations including blood tests to monitor your cat's hormone levels and general health.
Your vet may also recommend feeding your cat a reduced-fat diet while they are recovering from hypothyroidism. Cats typically recover well from hypothyroidism, with a notable improvement in their health seen in just a short amount of time.Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.