Your cat’s thyroid gland is mainly responsible for regulating metabolism. Whenever this gland becomes underactive, metabolism will decrease and hypothyroidism will occur. Hypothyroidism is pretty rare in cats.

Cause

Ironically, it is treatment for hypothyroidism in felines which mainly causes cats to develop hypothyroidism. The gland can become underactive if the treatment is too successful. The disease may also develop if your cat doesn’t have enough iodine in his diet.

Signs

Different areas of the body can be affected by hypothyroidism in cats. Lethargy, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight gain are some of the most common signs. You may also notice that your cat’s hair is drier or thinner than normal. A slower heartbeat may also develop as a result of this condition.

Diagnosis

Hypothyroidism in cats can be diagnosed quite easily. Your vet will perform one of several blood tests to check for the level of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is the cause when these hormone levels are too low. Sometimes a mass can develop on the gland which the vet can detect via palpation.

Treatment

Treatment for hypothyroidism in cats is fairly straightforward. Supplemental hormone medications are the main course of treatment. These pills are taken orally one or two times a day on a daily basis.

Your cat’s weight will determine the correct dosage for this medication. The condition won’t go away if the dosage given is too low. Conversely, hyperthyroidism will develop if too much medication is given. Thyroid hormone levels will need to be checked regularly until the correct dosage is determined.

Author: Darrin Swain