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Coloma's avatar

Has anyone treated a cat with hyperthyroidism holistically/herbally?

Asked by Coloma (47110points) March 17th, 2010

I am wondering if anyone has any successful experiences with managing an overactive thyroid in their cat through alternative appraoches. My cat is unable to tolerate the preferred medicine and I am not wanting to do the radioactive iodine treatment due to his advancing age.

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10 Answers

chicadelplaya's avatar

I have a good friend who has done so. PM me and I’ll try and connect you with her if you like. Love to your kitty!

lillycoyote's avatar

My cat had hyperthyroidism and I didn’t treat him herbally. But I was able to give him his methimazole, the standard medication, in a transdermal gel that I had made at a compounding pharmacy. They put it in syringes, without the needle, and it allowed me to get the dose just right and to not have to pill him twice a day. I just rubbed it into the inside of his ear. You have to wear a glove or finger cot, so you don’t absorb the medication through your own skin. It was better for both of us, not having to pill him 2x a day.. Hyperthyroidism is pretty serious, I personally wouldn’t mess around with herbal remedies on this one, but you might consider working with your vet on working with a compounding pharmacy. What exactly is the issue as far as your cat not “tolerating” the medication? I’m assuming it’s methimazole? Getting the dose right can be difficult.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, it was the Methemizole that my cat had a reaction to. It was intolerable for him, something like 4% of cats cannot tolerate it. He was on about a quarter of a syringe per day, forgot the cc’s. after the 4th day he was hyper and obsessively grooming himself, his skin was inflamed almost like a case of hives it seemed. Stopped the drug and he recovered in several more days. It was a very bad experience for him.

He is in good spirts, weight down from last year but not horrible. Rare vomiting, sleeping more but still emotionally happy and moderately active. I am just not thrilled with such an invasive and expensive treatment as the radioactive iodine, so hoping to find other treatments that will, at least, keep him more comfortable and perhaps help.

I am feeding him Evo cat food at this time.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m sorry about your kitty. My Bugsy was 16 when he developed hyperthyroidism and my biggest problems were getting the dose right and having to chase him around the house and wrestle him to the ground to pill him. He never would fall for that “pill in the food” trick. He just ate around it, licked the food off the pill. The transdermal gel was a godsend for both of us. I was hoping the tolerance issue was more a matter of dosing. Bugsy lived another two years after his diagnosis, to 18, still not long enough. I loved that cat. He was one of a kind, as I’m sure yours is too. I wish I could help more. I hope you find something that works.

Coloma's avatar

Awwww…Mr. Bugsy.

syz's avatar

Based on my 20+ years of experience in the veterinary field, I do not encourage the use of holistic or herbal treatment of any serious medical issue.

cazzie's avatar

Wow. Your cat has the same disease I have. In humans there are certain veg that can calm some function of the thyroid down and avoiding ANYTHING with iodine in it (like seafood) is important, but there is no substitute for the meds. I’m on the same drug as your kitty, as a matter of fact. I’ve been battling this for 15 years or so and learned there really is no ‘herbal-holistic’ magic cure. The disease is caused by a immune reaction they really have no idea how it happens or how to cure, so management is our only option.

Can some type of antihistamine or steroid be given with the anti-thyroid drug to help your cat with the skin inflammation?

I know it sounds weird to compare conditions with a cat, but I just wanted to let you know that herbal remedies won’t cut the mustard with this condition, be it Cat or Human.
Best of luck to you and your beloved pet.

Response moderated
syz's avatar

@Petcompanion I disagree. Cats in the wild merely lived much shorter lives.

Coloma's avatar


I agree that holistic treatments absolutely have their place alongside many of the traditional medical approaches. I am glad this has worked for your kitty. I also agree that many traditional vets will dismiss and minimize holistic approaches, some are open to both or whatever combo measures may be employed for total health and well being.


A shorter lifespan is true for all wild animals opposed to domestics from cats to horses.
I also beleive as @Petcompanion said though, that animals do have a 6th sense when it comes to forging for beneficial nutrients and instinctively know that certain things are helpful for them.

I watch my geese foraging for dandelions, clover, wild sorrel, miners lettuce and many healthy native plants and rejecting many others that might look good to my eye.

Animals do have a hieghtend and intrinsic sensibility that most humans have lost.

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