Best Food Choices for Hyperthyroid Cats

I have done recent research (1/17/15) into the foods listed below, to be sure they are KELP-free, and they are.  See them listed in bold below.

As a cat lover, animal professional, and a woman who has cared for four cats the last sixteen years, I have learned a great deal in that time.  Namely, I have learned more about hyperthyroidism in cats than I ever wanted to know, because two of my cat companions became hyperthyroid–a common condition in cats as they age.

Aside from making a homemade diet, cooked or raw, it has been difficult to find a quality canned cat food that does not have the seaweed ‘kelp’ in it, which is a problem for hyperthyroid cats.

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, and nothing compares to raw for close to odorless).

Kelp is generally good for us and our pets, as it is full of iodine, which stimulates thyroid activity.  This is good for cats that are overweight, but is not good for hyperthyroidism, 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 Gem, the remaining kitty with hyperthyroidism and FUS-kidney failure, didn’t come easily.  Now there is a prescription diet available that has medication right in the food, which I have no experience with.

Frustrated that I could no longer give Gem frozen prepared raw food because of his complex condition, I began to search.  The fact that most prepared raw food contains kelp, and feeding raw bones was no longer an option (bone-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 a food that met 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 (and 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.

UPDATE 3/13/16: ANNAMAET NOW HAS KELP – IT IS NOT KELP FREE

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.  Generally though, I stay away from dry and lean toward feeding canned or raw, mainly because I notice their coats begin to thin and they throw-up much more.

For canned foods, I used to feed Nature’s Variety regularly, but Weruva is now at the top of my list.  Their food is ‘above and beyond human grade’ and my cats love it!!!

Since 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.

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).

Here are the foods I found and also like:

Freeze Dried:  Honest Kitchen Prowl and most treats with just meat by Bravo, Halo, etc..

Raw:  Aunt Jeni’s Beef contains no bones, Smith Meadows Chicken Hearts (simple and tasty way to increase taurine intake)

Grain Free Canned:

  • Weruva
  • Addiction
  • By Nature (Grain-free canned)
  • Blue Wilderness (Wild Cats, Healthy Gourmet, Wild Delights)
  • 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

Gem’s Recovery from Bladder Stones/Crystals

I adopted Gem in the late Spring of 1997. Within a few months, I began to feel that Gem was lonely. He seemed so, especially when I came home. He ran to the door to welcome me and was so expressive in his affection, I thought some company would be good for him. In August I adopted Clea. Gem was not thrilled. Overtime, they worked out who the top cat was.

At the time, I was learning how to nourish myself with whole foods and holistic medicines, and I was integrating spiritual and metaphysical healing into my life. Part of my daily practice was meditation (and still is). As I sat and practiced body-centered meditations, neighborhood cats began visiting our yard. Within a few months, three males cats became regular visitors, peering in the windows. A feral feline became a regular nightly visitor too. Later I realized she was pregnant. She was searching for food. The cats were attracted to the compassionate energy emanating from our house.

Without going into the entire story of my evolvement into the holistic cat world, I soon became the caregiver of five cats. We were living in a large beautiful house, and there was plenty of room for me to have feral kittens in the back room without involving Gem and Clea, but then there was Nicky.

Nicky was the first feral kitten I socialized. He was not housed in a cage like the other kittens. He was intense, sweet, magnanimous and demonstrative. An Aries for sure.

Well, Gem is a whale of a Pisces and he had no tolerance for Nicky. Soon thereafter, Gem’s urinary issues became full blown. Gem is a water cat by nature, which means that his elemental disposition, where is he strongest and also where he is the most vulnerable, became challenged. Gem and Nicky had urine battles all over my couch. Boy, did I learn a lot about myself, cats, and about Urine stain and odor remover (best stuff is called Oxy Solution from PetSmart).

Gem was taken to the emergency room many times because he was blocked. Initially, he had to be catheterized. For years, this issue went on. At times he was okay, and then he wasn’t. He was hospitalized once for a week. For almost eleven years he has had urinary challenges. This summer Gem had all updated testing done. His sonogram showed a completely clear bladder, no sand, no stones. AMAZING, I was totally astonished, and very happy.

All of last year I gave my Chandra Piedra, and herb from the Amazon, meaning stone breaker. It worked. Amen. The other really good solution for urinary pH imbalance is Uroeze. I found that giving Gem, Treasure Tea which has Chandra Piedra in it and the Uroeze he balanced out.

Last week, Gem began showing signs of urinary upset. I added the Uroeze once to his food and he was fine.