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Does anyone know what causes hyperthyroidism in cats? Is it brought on my diet, lifestyle? Since I've had 3 cats over the years diagnosed with it, I'm wondering if there is something I can do differently that would prevent the cats from getting this disease in their senior years.
 

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There is some connection between cats that eat diets of mainly fish or foods with fish ingredients.

Do these cats that have been diagnosed recently eat a lot of fish?

There is also a recent finding that the pop-top cans of cat food have some type of special lining in them which has been linked to hyperthyroidism.
 

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Some fish

Yes, my cats get fish food mixed in with their dry sometime. Yes, I read about the lining in a post Dr. Jean had for someone else. If it is the fish then I'll stop feeding them fish. Thanks
 

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Oh, i bet they'll be upset! I have read that several times, but maybe Dr. Jean can confirm??

Do all 3 of them eat fish? If so, maye that IS the cause.
 

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sometimes

Well, of the 3 I only have one left. The others passed away, 1 last year and the other 7 years ago. My Chester, who passed away last year actually died of cancer of the mouth. Something that my vet confirmed was pretty common with white cats. He was 16.

I give them the fish mixed with the dry food some time. Because I know how they want to get hooked on the fish, I don't give it to them everyday. I only give tuna when I need to hide medication. Usually it's some other type of fish or seafood. They love the Fancy Feast fish and shrimp mixed with the dry. It's so strong tasting, I can mix just one little can in with 6 cups of dry and they are happy. Then I add some meat based food to moisten it more. Remember, I have a lot of cats to feed!! HA! I know when people see 6 cups of dry they are going to wonder if I'm feeding domestics or wild cats.
 

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Hyperthyroidism is not caused by just one thing. The links that have been found are from excess iodine (apparently common in cat foods, but hard to test for), pop-top cans, and fish or giblet flavor cat foods.

However, there is clearly a lot more to it than diet. In the first vet clinic I worked at after school, the senior vet had noticed that most hyperthyroid cats had good teeth; and in general that was true. Not every one, of course, but a large proportion of cats that ended up hyperthyroid when they were older, had exceptionally healthy gums and teeth throughout their lives. So there is clearly a strong genetic component operating here, too.

I'm assuming that because foods like Friskies and Fancy Feast are, by far, the most commonly fed canned foods, and many of their flavors contain giblets and/or fish, that the white can lining they use may be more highly associated with developing the disease. I have been playing telephone tag with the study's author for several weeks; he's been out of town. I'll try him again soon!

Small cans are generally produced in different factories than the large cans, with different liners, so there could be some weird, complex interaction that is triggering the problems.

I'll let you guys know as I find out more!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Whoohoo! My Levi's teeth are *horrible*. I hope that's a good sign :wink: . He's getting older, so I always worry a bit about him getting age-related illnesses.
 

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.

if it does have something to do with feeding fish type foods, that's the only type of food flavour my cat will eat 8O
 
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