How to tell if your cat has hyperthyroidism

Could your cat have hyperthyroidism? We've asked vet and PetPeople columnist Alison Logan for her top five symptoms to look out for

They're eating all the time, but still losing weight
Polyphagia - weight loss despite an increased appetite - is a classic sign of feline hyperthyroidism. Your cat is ravenous, eating all the food you give them and demanding more, yet losing weight, and perhaps not the fussy cat she once was. You may think your cat is well because of her 'healthy' appetite, but she isn't.

They have a serious thirst on them
Seeing my cat drinking for minutes at a time from our dogs' water bucket rang alarm bells for me. An excessive thirst characterises many problems, such as kidney disease, but coupled with polyphagia raises a suspicion of hyperthyroidism and/or diabetes.

Their heart is thumping
You may feel your cat's heart beating very rapidly indeed when you lay a hand on his chest - too fast to count. Having an overactive thyroid makes the heart work too hard. This is the main reason for the urgent need to diagnose hyperthyroidism as early as possible, in order to reduce the chances of heart failure and hypertension developing.

They're scruffy
There is a particular haunted look about a cat with hyperthyroidism, and the coat is unkempt - he looks scruffy. You might only realise this has happened when you look back at old photographs. This may not be a simple ageing, but a sign of hyperthyroidism.

Diarrhoea, vomiting or both
If you experience this, along with any of the above, it's a bad sign. If you don't know where your cat toilets, keep an extra careful eye on their behaviour for any signs of diarrhoea.

If your cat is showing any of the signs mentioned be sure to consult your vet immediately.

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