Hyperthyroidism, a relatively common condition in cats, has a large effect on the animal’s overall health. Cats with this condition have too much thyroxine in their body, which results in a number of different symptoms, most notably a loss in weight. However, despite this weight loss, cats with hyperthyroidism often also have a big appetite. A cat with the condition might also be thirsty all the time, urinate more frequently, and have diarrhea. Other signs may include the cat being overly active and shedding more than in the past.
Cats of all breeds may become hyperthyroid. However, the condition is rare in younger cats, instead typically affecting cats that are older than ten years of age. Most commonly, cats that develop hyperthyroidism are twelve to thirteen years old.
Upon diagnosing a cat with hyperthyroidism, a veterinarian might recommend medication to help regulate the cat’s hormones. In some cases, injections with radioactive iodine or surgery might also be considered as treatment. If a pet owner suspects that his or her cat is hyperthyroid, he or she should take the cat in to a veterinarian for testing and evaluation.