Feline Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

Feline thyroid cancer symptoms generally appear in older cats. Also referred to as hyperthyroidism in cats, the two cancers associated with thyroid cancer are benign adenoma or malignant adenocarcinoma. The cancerous growths impact the thyroid making it overproduce thyroid hormone causing a number of symptoms.

The key difference between benign adenoma and malignant adenocarcinoma are that the benign tumors do not spread. Benign adenoma occurs in most cases of feline thyroid cancer making the disease easier to treat.

Some pet owners will feel small lumps under the chin towards the neck. If your cat's behavior changes drastically or you feel these small lumps, contact your veterinarian. Treatments can help prolong your pet's life.

Feline Thyroid Cancer Leads to Sudden Appetite Changes

One of the first noticeable symptoms of thyroid cancer in cats is a ravenous appetite. The cat suddenly devours his meals, even if he's been a fussy eater in the past. Most cats in the early stages of feline thyroid cancer will race to the kitchen every time he hears his owner open a cupboard.

Begging for treats and meals may become a new behavior. Some pet owners associate the change in hunger patterns to old age and ignore the sign. It's usually the first visible symptom of thyroid cancer so don't disregard it.

Weight Loss Follows Increased Hunger

Even though your cat is eating more, he'll lose weight. Thyroid tumors affect the metabolism. While the cat may be consuming far more calories, the body is using them up fast. Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are frequently noticed. Many cats will become alarmingly thin. Weight loss is actually the first sign most pet owners really notice.

Energy Levels Increase

As the thyroid produces more hormones, the cat becomes extremely energetic. An older cat who loved to lounge around and sleep all day may suddenly take to running around with feline thyroid cancer. Running from room to room, up and down stairs and getting into kitten-like mischief becomes a new activity.

Water Intake and Urination Changes

Feline thyroid cancer may affect the kidneys. If this happens, you'll notice your pet drinking more water than normal. As a result, the cat urinates frequently and may even begin urinating outside of his litter box.

This can also be a sign of feline diabetes. It's best to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible and have tests performed to rule out diabetes over thyroid cancer. Both conditions can be treated.

Changes to the Hair Coat

You may notice your cat's fur becomes dull and lacks any luster, even when brushed out or washed. Some cats shed excessively and begin losing clumps of hair. Bald spots may appear. Changing the diet will not improve the condition of the cat's fur at all.

High Blood Pressure and Heart Rhythm Changes

Cats with thyroid cancer tend to have high blood pressure. Increased activity also increases the heart rate. Many cats develop heart murmurs. After running around, you may notice your cat pants heavily or struggles to breathe. If this happens, immediately contact your veterinarian. Left untreated, the walls of the heart can thicken leading to heart failure.