What to Feed a Cat With Hyperthyroidism? – Guide for Pet Owners

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

what to feed a cat with hyperthyroidism

Feline hyperthyroidism is one of the most common health problems in cats. It is a disorder wherein the thyroid gland of cats secretes extra hormones. These excess hormones would then cause health issues such as vomiting and weight loss.

Therefore, it’s just normal for a pet owner to ask, “what to feed a cat with hyperthyroidism?”

The best food to feed a cat with hyperthyroidism is food that is low in iodine.


Do Hyperthyroid Cats Need Special Food?


Hyperthyroid cats need special food because of their condition. The recommended food for cats with thyroid problems is high in protein yet low in carbohydrates, iodine (around 0.32 ppm) and phosphate.

It is acceptable to feed your feline products containing at least 30% protein and less than 15% carbohydrates.

Thus, pate is a better choice for your cat than gravy food due to the latter’s higher carbohydrate content.

If you are wondering, “Is cooked chicken good for cats with hyperthyroidism?” the answer is yes. Apart from chicken, there are also other fresh foods to feed your hyperthyroid cats such as turkey, lamb, and pork.

Though these foods cannot prevent hyperthyroidism in cats, they are high in protein and low in iodine.

You can also use these ingredients to make homemade cat food and spark your creativity as a pet owner. Some known recipes include broths, soups, and meatloaf.

However, it is a big no to make your fur baby eat fish because they hold toxins that could add up to hyperthyroidism.

Aside from fish, you should also look out for canned foods with BPA, soy, and liver.

List of Hyperthyroid Food for Cats


A good diet is a must-have for cats that have hyperthyroidism. In this article, we listed some cat foods for your consideration:

1. Hill’s Prescription Diet Thyroid Care


Both the wet and dry food of this brand are highly recommended for cats with hyperthyroidism and have proven effective three weeks after consumption.

It has limited iodine to make sure that the thyroid gland will not produce an excess amount of thyroid hormones. Aside from these, it also contains high-quality ingredients to provide other nutrients your feline needs.

2. Instinct Original Chicken Canned Cat Food


This cat food is an excellent option for your cat after its radioactive therapy. This contains rich raw meat protein without any corn, soy, or preservatives.

It also has high moisture and low carbohydrates and could help your cat gain more weight.

However, be careful and only feed your cat this if you are a hundred percent sure their kidney is healthy.

3. Feline Natural Chicken and Venison Feast Cat Food


This cat food is one of the great choices for cats that are recovering from hyperthyroidism therapy. It has a low amount of carbohydrates, rich in protein, and has high-quality natural ingredients.

Just like the Instinct product, this is also not advisable for cats who have renal disease.

Why is Diet Important for Cats With Hyperthyroidism?

A thyroid gland can be found in a cat’s neck, which produces hormones. One of these hormones is called thyroxine, and it helps in the metabolism and body regulation of cats.

When the cat’s thyroid gland produces a higher amount of hormones, this indicates that they have hyperthyroidism and could experience weight loss, diarrhea, and other health problems.

This occurrence calls for the implementation of a diet for hyperthyroidism in cats.

Treatment for Hyperthyroid Cats

Natural hyperthyroid treatment for cats encompasses what you feed your pet. Some examples of it are changing your pet’s diet to raw food or non-prescription low iodine cat food and giving it additional supplements like vitamins.

Though this treatment may sound appealing, it is vital that you take your pet to the vet instead of relying on dietary adjustment as a cure. While changing cat foods can have some benefits, its efficacy is not proven like medical procedures, especially if you buy low-quality products.

The following treatments are recommended by specialists to treat hyperthyroidism:

  • A medicine with methimazole will halt the excess production of hormones by the cat’s thyroid gland. Although this treatment does not ensure a cure, it helps keep hyperthyroidism in check.
  • Surgical thyroidectomy. This treatment provides a high probability of cure in the long run by taking off the thyroid gland, but it also poses side effects.
  • Radioactive iodine therapy. The treatment uses radioactive iodine, which will be implanted in the cat’s blood. Using this treatment guarantees a huge possibility of cure and fewer health risks.
  • A cat hyperthyroidism diet includes iodine management. According to several studies, this treatment is a way to manage the disease but has been questioned by some researchers due to possible consequences on cats’ long-term health.

Consider all these treatment options for your hyperthyroid cat with your trusted veterinarian. Doing so will help you decide which option is the best for your cat’s condition.

How Often Should You Feed a Cat With Hyperthyroidism?

Usually, cats with hyperthyroidism will want to consume more food than their body needs.

This is why you should monitor your cats’ diet at all times and make sure not to overfeed them. Regular yet small meals throughout the day is more advisable.

If we follow recommendations for regular cats, kittens may eat three to five times a day, while adult felines will be okay with one to two meals daily.

That said, it’s best to ask your vet this question.

What Hyperthyroid Diet for Cats to Gain Weight?


To fulfill your cat’s nutritional requirements, it is better to feed them wet cat food than dry food. Also, note that protein will help increase weight.

The following are some foods I’ve tried to fatten up my cat:

  • Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original grain-free chicken recipe wet cat food
  • Tiki Cat Hanalei Luau wild salmon grain-free wet cat food.

Related: Read now the sufficient amount of wet food for your cat.


Felines with hyperthyroidism need extra attention and care. That’s why it is essential to know the right diet for them. This leads us to ask, “what to feed a cat with hyperthyroidism?”

As a cat owner, you can prepare natural homemade food with the attributes we mentioned above. With medical treatment and prescribed cat food, there is a high possibility that your feline will be able to live a better and healthier life despite its thyroid problem.

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