More Food Choices for Hyperthyroid Cats

IMG_0021Recently, I have been happily and sincerely considering the curious results I am having with feeding my cat, Gem, raw organ meat (specifically raw kidney and raw heart from a local organic farm).  Since I have added this into his diet his hyperthyroid symptoms are minimally presenting!

About a month ago, I made an appointment to take him to the holistic vet (also a seasoned homeopath) because he has been so out of balance.  She saved his life two winters ago, since that time he has been on an herbal formula for the thyroid and a homeopathic for his heart (given as needed).

Because of what happened to Gem while taken western meds and the effect they had Cleopatra when she was alive, we are completely interested in routes that provide less stress and better results.  Pilling Gem everyday, two times a day is stressful for me and him.  I don’t have difficulty with it, but sometimes my schedule is so busy I forget, plus he hates it, though manages it well.  Additionally, as of late he seems to be increasingly desirous of more and more food.

Working at a holistic pet store that partners with many local organic and anti-biotic free farms, I am privy to lots and lots of choices all the time.  Lately, we have had frozen raw kidneys available.  I began feeding kidneys for the first time last year, mostly cut-up chicken hearts on top of Honest Kitchen–they gobble right up!

My vet has always said food is the best medicine.  Over the years, I have attempted to feed the best quality food possible.  With Rosie and Gem both having heart murmurs and my new kittens (a year old this month) who were under nourished when I took them in (Isis is now 7 pounds) and always hungry, I am constantly considering their diet and how I may enhance their health and well-being.

In feeding Gem kidney (lamb) and I noticed right away that he seemed different–more relaxed and more satisfied.  He has put on weight, is less hungry, his coat is smoother and he seems better overall.  So I canceled his appointment with the vet.  I am curious though, to see if his thyroid levels have come down, so we are going in late July.

Why would feeding kidney and heart help Gem?  In holistic and Chinese Medicine, you feed the body that which it is deficient it.  In this case, Gem has a heart murmur and he has had bladder/kidney imbalances since he was a kitten, in addition his  hyperthyroidism, which was under 5 (though his levels were going up!).

Since the thyroid and the kidney are part of the endocrine system, and thyroid imbalance stems either from the kidney or the pancreas, it makes sense that feeding Gem kidney meat would influence his overall wellness and his thyroid (endocrine).  Additionally, mucus is considered dampness in Chinese Medicine and cooked food (canned) may contribute to dampness (see food chart on home page to learn more about food and their temperatures).

I feed the other cats raw diets with crushed bone, but Gem can’t have the bone, so the organ meat has been a perfect way to nourish him.  He is becoming renewed, though I do have mixed feelings about furthering Gem’s life and well-being from the auspices of a slaughtered lamb (feeding fresh organ meat puts me more in touch with the animals that are killed so they may eat).

I hope this information is helpful.

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Why I Care For & Feed Cats Holistically

My Rosie Posie

Several years before I graduated from massage school (1995), I began learning how the foods I ate impacted my health, for better and worse. A nutritionist discovered I was allergic to wheat, corn, and most gluten’s, and had a high sensitivity to sugars, which expressed in the form of hypoglycemia, Candida and immune compromised conditions. These factors and others led me to learn about natural foods and supplements.

As I began to nourish myself, whole foods (and healing) became primary, as a means to recover. Adding whole grains, dark leafy greens and meats without antibiotics into my diet, literally changed my addictive living patterns, and shifted my entire life experience into a grounded sense of well-being and embodiment. During this time I adopted two cats, Gemstone & Cleopatra. I hadn’t had any animals in my life since I was nineteen, and it was then, at age thirty-two (1997) I began to mother myself (meaning nourish in every way) and my new adoptees at the same time.

I adopted Gem first and Clea several months later.  When I arrived to pick Clea up from the shelter, she was quite ill.  She had an upper respiratory infection, which I knew nothing about.  With antibiotics in hand, to address the congestion and literal snot running out of her nose, the attendant handed her to me and said she would be fine.

I brought Clea home, put her in a room away from Gem and called the vet.  I was directed to bring her in immediately.  Once examined, the vet hospitalized Clea because she was so ill.  The Humane Society ended up paying for the bill– I’m sure they regretted adopting her out after that.  Once released to come home, I noticed that her stool was bloody.  I had an immediate gut reaction and decided I had had enough of treating Clea with such extreme means.  I was going to take care of Clea and Gem the same way I cared for myself–holistically!  Ten days on antibiotics in isolation was too much for a five month old kitten, who had just lost her mother and her sister.

Clea’s immune system was overloaded.  I was concerned and found a local well-respected holistic vet to take her to.  During the appointment, Dr. Pitcairn’s book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, was a suggested read.  I picked it up right away and also found Anitra Fraizer’s book, The Natural Cat (the holistic CAT bible).  We began working to heal Clea’s gut and immune system.  Clea had developed herpes in her eyes from the upper respiratory infection.  After changing her diet and adding supplementation, the herpes didn’t return.

We changed Clea’s diet to raw.   Gem switched over to a raw homemade diet too and Clea’s stool normalized immediately.  With each fresh meal, I watched their coat’s turn into thick beautiful fur.  Shedding became a past time.  Their dispositions were calmer.  They used the litter box less, and there was much less odor when they did!  It was so nice to see the evolution of wellness take place with the feline beauties in my care.

All of this was enough to convince me that holistic remedies were the way for me to nourish the beautiful babes in my care.

Later I learned raw bone (calcium) was not so good for Gem because of his predisposition to urinary crystals and stones.  So I only give him raw meat with no raw bones, and mostly canned food.

Middle Aged Cats on Meds

Can you believe I have four cats and each one of them now needs specific supplements and medication, every day! It’s really a full time job, and yet, I’m happy to be of service to them. They are my family.

Gem and Clea just turned thirteen this spring, and Bear and Rosie will be twelve in the fall. Over the last year Gem and Bear have developed conditions that needed addressing, while Clea’s ongoing Hyperthyriodism challenges us all, at times to the extreme (she has me almost every night).  Last but not least, Rosie’s congenital heart murmur hasn’t gotten worse since she was a kitten, though the cardiologist this year said it is slowly progressing, yet still no need for western meds. The herbal formula, Rx for Pets: CV Formula, taken daily with CoQ10 is working just fine.

The good news is we are managing and doing quite well, thanks to my ingenuity and constant desire to try new supplements, and thoroughly trust my intuition and the multi-dimensional layers that go into holism (energy first, body second). And many thanks to Bruce for being their beneficiary for the last year and the veterinarians and tech professionals who have been caring for my babes too.

Since I have been giving Clea lots of extra care over the last year, Gem has become even more jealous or insecure than he was before (now clarified as an enlarged heart!). As my first cat and a Russian Blue, he really doesn’t like sharing me with the other cats. Astrologically, Gem has a natal Saturn-Mars opposition conjunct the nodes in early cardinal degrees, that means, he is being impacted by the Grand Cardinal Cross now, enhancing his need to be authoritative and dominant–Mars NN! Last year he developed a rash on his belly that turned quite bad, for six months. I also found out he has asthma and more recently found out he has a heart murmur too. The rash has flared up a little this spring, but as long as I don’t give him any warming foods, like chicken or lamb, and take care of his Asthma with a 1/4 tablet of Thymus extract to boost his immune system he is okay. Thymus extract increases respiration and specifically helps Asthma.

Over the winter Bear got quite ill, vomiting and a high fever for several days. I gave him homemade chicken broth with vitamin C and homeopathy and he was better quickly. Then before he was to have dental extractions, his blood work showed a deficiency in potassium. His kidneys needed support. We put him on Standard Process Feline Renal Care, which he loves eating, but he still wasn’t improving. So he is also taking Rx for Pets: Amino B & K and his dandruff is gone, he sleeps less, and his entire body looks and feels better. Before he was bloated and started getting lumps. Now he is happy and looks quite sleek.

Clea of course is getting her Chinese herbal formula, Four Gentlemen and Methamazole, both twice a day. You can read more about how we have treated Clea’s hyperthyroidism and chronic pancreatitis on my earlier post.

Bye for now!