Diet Recommendations for Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Since canned food is believed to be one of the main causes of hyperthyroidism in cats, making several diet adjustments may work both in the prevention and the treatment of this feline health condition. More precisely, it seems that the risk of developing thyroid tumors increases by 3 times if the diet mainly consists of canned food.

Links between Hyperthyroidism and Canned Food

Isoflavones or BADGE (bisphenol-A-diglycidyl ether) is the main substance suspected of causing hyperthyroidism in this case. This compound is used for lining of aluminum cans with pop-top lids. If the canned food is rich in oils or fats, isoflavones will most likely get transferred into it.

Soy is also suspected to increase the risk of developing hyperthyroidism. Since this is also present in many canned cat foods, it needs to be avoided.

Foods to Exclude from the Diet

If you want to continue feeding your cat with canned food, you need to learn which type of canned food is safer. Isoflavones levels seem to be abnormally high in foods based on:

  • Salmon
  • Seafood
  • Whitefish

In fact, BADGE levels in the foods listed above are 12 times higher than in dry or non-seafood products. Therefore, the latter should represent the food of choice.

Other foods that need to be excluded from the diet of cats suffering from hyperthyroidism are:

  • Bamboo shoots
  • Cabbage
  • Cassava
  • Garlic
  • Lima beans
  • Millet
  • Onions
  • Sorghum
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips

The effect of the foods listed above on hyperthyroidism is still studied, but it is a known fact that these foods are able to pose other health threats.

Recommended Foods for Hyperthyroidism in Cats

When making diet adjustments for a cat suffering from hyperthyroidism, you first have to focus on the foods that need to be excluded from the diet. Next, you need to increase the amount of healthy food, or even base the entire diet exclusively on this.

Beef and poultry consumption leads to a lower risk of developing hyperthyroidism. Make sure that foods based on these types of meat abound in the diet of your cat.

Herbs for Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Besides changes in the diet, you can also try homeopathic treatments for your cat. Some of the herbs and plants believed to have a great effect on hyperthyroidism include:

  • Astragalus
  • Bladderwick (kelp)
  • Chamomile
  • Lycopus
  • Zingiber

Astragalus is mainly prescribed for hyperthyroidism, but it is also able to stabilize blood pressure and blood sugar levels. If you decide to complement the diet of your cat with another alternative treatment, then the herbs listed above represent a proper choice.  

Deficiencies Connected to Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Certain minerals and more importantly, their deficiency, play a very important role in the development of hyperthyroidism in cats. Iodine, in particular, is linked to this health problem. Hence, you need to make sure that the food that is given to your cat contains plenty of iodine.

Selenium makes thyroid hormones less toxic, so proper amounts of this element also need to be found in the food of your cat. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and arachidonic acid do not allow the thyroid cells to grow abnormally. Such deficiencies also need to be addressed in order to decrease the effects of hyperthyroidism in cats or even to prevent this health condition.