Best Foods for Hyperthyroid Cats

As a cat lover, a woman who has cared for four cats the last fourteen years, and an animal professional, I have learned a great deal about caring for cats.  In the last two years, namely, I have learned about hyperthyroidism in cats, because two of my cat companions became hyperthyroid–a common condition in cats as they age.

Besides making a homemade diet, cooked or raw, it has been difficult to find a quality canned cat food that does not have the ingredient kelp in it.

By quality, I am referring to foods that are grain free or well balanced, that support superb feline health, bring shine and luster to their coat, and keep fecal odor to a minimum!  This last factor is definitely important when living space is in close quarters (fyi–high quality grain free and raw foods lessen odor).

Kelp is one type of seaweed, and is generally good for us and our pets, as it stimulates thyroid activity.  This is good for cats that are overweight.  But this is not good for a hyperthyroid cat, in fact it makes the condition much worse.  Due to being overwhelmed with two of my cats passing this year and moving to a new home with my remaining two, finding brands ideal for hyperthyroid cats came to me slowly.

Frustrated that I could no longer give Gem, my cat with borderline hyperthyroidism and FUS, frozen prepared raw food anymore because of the kelp and bone in it (bone or calcium fuels crystals/stones to form in cats with FUS), I was desperate to find canned food that would nourish him without activating either condition, and meet all of my above mentioned criteria.  I spoke of my frustration to Pennye, an owner of The Big Bad Woof.  She directed me to Annamaet’s new cat food, Chicken & Fish-antibiotic, hormone and gluten free food made specifically without kelp with cranberries and DL-Methonine for bladder health.  I don’t feed my cats dry food for many reasons, but I was happy to know about this food and decided to take some samples home and try it out anyway.

I have been feeding Gem and Rosie small amounts of Annamaet every day and they love it, and Gem is doing well with no urinary issues. For canned foods, I used to feed Nature’s Variety, but Weruva is now at the top of my list.  Their food is ‘above and beyond human grade’ and my cats love it too!!!

Hyperthyroidism is one of the top five reasons cats visit the vet.  I thought cat food manufacturers would make food without kelp, but the majority of them don’t, especially the healthier ones.  Thanks so much to these conscious pet food companies who do, and many thanks to all those that operate with the animals best health in mind.

May your cats be thoroughly fulfilled and nourished, a major task for a cat guardian if the cat has thyroid challenges.

Wendy Groomes
Shared from our Nourishing Kitty Blog

After writing this I decided to do some research to see exactly which cat foods in our store (BBW) are kelp free.  There are many foods that are kelp free (listed below), but not many that meet all of my standards listed above (i.e., healthy coat, minimal odor).

Freeze Dried: Honest Kitchen Prowl

Grain Free Canned:
Weruva, Addiction, By Nature, Blue Wilderness, Go, Evo, Verus, Wellness Healthy Indulgence, Nature’s Variety Homestyle

Grain Free Dry:
Evo, Go, Taste of the Wild, Legacy

Regular Canned:
California Natural, Blue Spa Select, Evolve, Innova,

Regular Dry:
Fromm, Health Wise, California Natural, Blue Spa Select, Sammy Snacks

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Date: Friday, 10. June 2011 14:47
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Nutrition, Pet Wellness

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  1. 1

    Thank you for this article. I plan to prepare the food myself for my hyperthyroid cat. I have read raw (human quality) beef; and chicken stock with poached chicken. Do you have any further ideas? What are your comments on Quinoa ? Thank you in advance.

  2. 2

    Hi Karen–I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. I haven’t done much research on home cooking for hyperthyroidism in cats. Though I know my vet totally advocates it. I believe each cat and each case is unique and a vet’s advice is important. I take my cats to a holistic vet, where raw foods and natural supplements are the primary means to their health and longevity.

    My one cat Clea had chronic pancreatitis in addition to her thyroid being out of balance. We used homeopathy, herbs, and medications, and I was always working with food for her because she got very very picky, so I fed her whatever she would eat within reason.

    I know Quinoa is an excellent source of protein. Years ago, I used to give my cats oatmeal, which they loved, when I prepared all their raw food. That was before raw bones were advocated. My cats loved them too.

    Depending, on the cat and their likes, grains are fine, especially gluten free ones like Quinoa. I tend to feed more protein, especially wet sources, such as raw because cats get so much moisture from it, which they need (85% in their diet).

    How old is your cat and have they been on raw food before?

  3. 3

    My cat has just been diagnosed with hyper T so this brought me to your website, I took the list of foods you suggested but i just wanted to let you know that EVO dry has Iodine in the Herring & Salmon Formula Dry Cat Food, Weight Management Dry Cat Food, Turkey & Chicken Formula Dry Cat & Kitten Food and so does all the canned food.

  4. 4

    Hi Samantha,

    Wow that is so surprising to me. When I look at the ingredients I don’t see Iodine listed? I am on their website looking…can you direct me to where you see it listed?

    I may contact them to confirm. Thanks for your response. I will edit the list to reflect this.


  5. 5

    Thanks for this article. My 14 yr old cat has been ill with hyper-T and was diagnosed a couple of days ago. She’s taking medication now. She also has urine crystals, but they are not severe. I opted to not put her on a urinary food because they are all filled with gluten, etc., & after researching, I decided to try a food grain free as well as gluten free. I want to switch her back onto a Blue Buffalo. It seems since I took her off of BB a couple months ago, her symptoms worsened. I just purchased BB’s new Wilderness Mature in dry and canned – he was using a different BB product before. She’s used to eating dry, but I want to transition her to eating mostly the canned Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature because of the better moisture content of can foods. Also she will not eat most fish, she likes poultry flavors, mostly chicken.

  6. 6

    I just realized that while the Blue Buffalo Wilderness canned food does not have kelp, the dry does.

  7. 7

    Please could you provide a list of canned food which may help my hyperthyroid cat. He also suffers severe constipation, which I now have under control.
    Please could you respond to me at my email address.
    Thank you.

  8. 8

    I’m holding a can of Nature’s variety homestyle in my hand and it has both kelp and potassium iodide added as does the regular Nature’s variety canned food.

  9. 9

    Markkie – thanks for the update. This post is from 2011 and it is very likely that Nature’s Variety has re-formulated this product and added those two ingredients.

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