Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. If your cat is vomiting there could be several underlying causes. I guess the first thing I would want to check is the thyroid level, since I have definitely seen cats that were at one point “controlled” on a specific dose of medication no longer be controlled, and the dosage has to be adjusted. This is why we always recommend rechecking thyroid levels yearly, even in hyperthyroid cats that are clinically doing well.

If the thyroid levels have recently been checked and are stable, then I’d start looking for other causes, such as GI disease. Other possibilities include kidney disease, which can definitely cause vomiting and typically goes along with hyperthyroidism (as well as just being a geriatric cat). Always a good idea to check liver values as well, as liver disease is a common problem in older cats too.

So since your cat is hyperthyroid the first step to diagnosing causes of vomiting is running full blood work – complete blood count, chemistry panel, and urinalysis – to look for some of the things I mentioned above. If nothing turns up, imaging with x-rays or ultrasound or both will likely provide a lot more information. Good luck.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

The important thing to know is that hyperthyroidism is not a death sentence! Most hyperthyroid cats do very well and can live another 5 years or more when they receive appropriate treatment. However, some cats continue to have health problems or even develop new ones as time goes on.
The swollen thyroid can put pressure on the windpipe and esophagus which can cause a cough, wheezing, breathing difficulties or swallowing difficulties.
When severely stressed, some cats with hyperthyroidism will develop severe respiratory distress, rapid breathing, and panting; in addition, these cats may eventually become extreme weak or even collapse from exhaustion and shortness of breath.
How is hyperthyroidism in cats treated? One way to treat a cat with hyperthyroidism is with an oral medication that contains methimazole. The medication can be given life-long or to stabilize the cat before other treatment options, such as radioactive iodine therapy or surgery.
If the illness keeps progressing despite the treatment recommended by the vet, or if the condition is discovered late, the cat might struggle with weight loss, kidney problems and even vision loss during the advanced stages of hyperthyroidism. Heart problems are also quite common and can become fatal.
Thyroid enlargement can cause difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, as a result of the thyroid gland directly compressing the swallowing organs.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Fever, chills, cough, sore throat. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in the upper stomach. Numbness, tingling, or burning in your hands or feet. Severe skin rash or itching.

Many hyperthyroid cats that are being treated with radioactive iodine therapy, methimazole or thyroidectomy can benefit from eating a high-protein, high-energy food like Instinct by Nature`s Variety Original grain-free chicken recipe wet cat food or Tiki Cat Hanalei Luau wild salmon grain-free wet cat food.
Cats afflicted with hyperthyroidism usually develop a variety of signs that may be subtle at first but that become more severe as the disease progresses.
The typical cat with hyperthyroidism is middle-aged or older; the average age of affected cats is approximately 12 years. Only about 5% of hyperthyroid cats are younger than 10.
Signs of anxiety in a cat – including pacing, yowling for no apparent reason, and restlessness – are a common symptom of feline hyperthyroidism. This is due to increased stimulation in the nervous system which is a common occurrence in cats with feline hyperthyroidism.
In recent years, feline ages and life-stages have been redefined, cats are considered to be elderly once they reach 11 years with senior cats defined as those aged between 11-14 years and super-senior cats 15 years and upwards. When caring for older cats it sometimes helps to appreciate their age in human terms.
Despite the increase in food consumption that virtually always accompanies hyperthyroidism, these cats are simply unable to meet their daily caloric and protein intake needs. Hyperthyroid cats need high calorie and high protein diets to reduce the rate of weight loss and muscle wasting that accompanies the disease.
Stage III: This stage describes a tumor larger than 4 cm but still contained in the thyroid (T3) with no spread to lymph nodes (N0) and no metastasis (M0). Or, any localized tumor (T1, T2, or T3) with spread to the central compartment of lymph nodes (N1a) but no distant spread (M0).
As cats age, their metabolism changes, and their bodies lose muscle mass. Your feline may be feeling hungrier to keep up with these changes. Your veterinarian can help determine the amount of fats, proteins, amino acids, and carbohydrates your cat should ingest daily to help lessen the cries for more food.
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause respiratory muscle weakness and decrease pulmonary function. Hypothyroidism reduces respiratory drive and can cause obstructive sleep apnea or pleural effusion, while hyperthyroidism increases respiratory drive and can cause dyspnea on exertion.
This is sometimes referred to as having an underactive thyroid. When hypothyroidism is present, there may be several changes that might occur. Some people may experience changes within the upper airway that lead to difficulties breathing during sleep.
Thyroid crisis (also called thyroid storm) is a sudden worsening of hyperthyroidism symptoms that may occur with infection or stress. Fever, decreased alertness, and abdominal pain may occur. People need to be treated in the hospital.
Try avoiding higher-iodine foods, such as including processed and packaged items, if you have hyperthyroidism. Talk with your doctor or dietitian about any immediate and long-term food changes, as well as possible calcium or Vitamin D supplements you may need.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem. This medicine may cause hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone in the blood).
Symptoms of too much methimazole in cats? Symptoms of excessive amounts of methimazole may include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, decreased appetite, facial itching, and changes in blood work.
If you are wondering, “Is cooked chicken good for cats with hyperthyroidism?” the answer is yes. Apart from chicken, there are also other fresh foods to feed your hyperthyroid cats such as turkey, lamb, and pork. Though these foods cannot prevent hyperthyroidism in cats, they are high in protein and low in iodine.
It may be best to avoid:

Ultra-high or ultra-low IODINE diets: both excesses and deficiencies in iodine lead to thyroid disease. Fish and kelp contain a lot of iodine. Hill`s y/d® is iodine deficient.

Feline hyperthyroidism natural treatment options are often considered by pet owners. Some of these treatments include switching your cat to a raw food diet, giving them special vitamins and supplements, and/or switching to special natural pet foods.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat of 15 years male was diagnose with hyperthyroidism started coughing tonight for about 10 minutes an then stopped.
ANSWER : A. If your cat is vomiting there could be several underlying causes. I guess the first thing I would want to check is the thyroid level, since I have definitely seen cats that were at one point “controlled” on a specific dose of medication no longer be controlled, and the dosage has to be adjusted. This is why we always recommend rechecking thyroid levels yearly, even in hyperthyroid cats that are clinically doing well.

If the thyroid levels have recently been checked and are stable, then I’d start looking for other causes, such as GI disease. Other possibilities include kidney disease, which can definitely cause vomiting and typically goes along with hyperthyroidism (as well as just being a geriatric cat). Always a good idea to check liver values as well, as liver disease is a common problem in older cats too.

So since your cat is hyperthyroid the first step to diagnosing causes of vomiting is running full blood work – complete blood count, chemistry panel, and urinalysis – to look for some of the things I mentioned above. If nothing turns up, imaging with x-rays or ultrasound or both will likely provide a lot more information. Good luck.

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

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Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. Would a male cat be affectionate to another male cat or would a female be more affectionate
ANSWER : A. The sex of the cats is less important than the personality of each cat. If the cat you have at home is already a strong-willed cat, another cat like that will lead to a lot of confrontations as they both try to be in charge and an older cat shouldn’t be matched with a rambunctious younger cat. If you keep in mind what your cat’s basic nature is, you’ll find a good match. I’ve always had multiple cats and rarely have a problem integrating a newcomer.

Q. How should I interpret my cat’s tail movements?
ANSWER : A. Our feline friends express themselves in many different ways, including through the use of their tails. Most pet owners pay close attention to a happy or excited dog, but they are sometimes less attentive to the posture and movement of their cat. Here are some of the most common cat tail behaviors, and the underlying emotion behind each action:

A flicking tail: Many anxious, nervous or stressed cats will hold their tail in a low position and flick it quickly back and forth. This is often referred to as angry tail, and a pet owner or veterinarian should be on guard for any possible aggressive or defensive activity. If a cat is moving their tail slowly, and not exhibiting the flicking motion, then this cat is at a much calmer state.

Vertical position: Most of the time when a cat is holding their tail in a straight, vertical position this is indicating curiosity and a playful mood. A cat chasing after a laser pointer or playing toys will often have their tails in a vertical position showing their enjoyment. This position also helps with balanced movements. In contrast, if the tail is in the vertical position and the cat’s back is arched with pinned back ears then this could demonstrate a feeling of being threatened and thus result in defensive or aggressive behaviors.

The Tucked Tail: Similar to a dog, a tucked tail often indicates submission or fear. Your cat is conveying upset feelings and should most likely be left alone. This tucked tail appearance can also make a cat look smaller and less threatening to an aggressive cat.

The Tail Twine: Cats will often hook their tail around another cat’s tail, owner’s legs or other objects to show a friendly and affectionate nature. They are also trying to indicate whether they want to receive affection from their owners, be fed or have playtime.

The next time you are home with your feline companion take note on how they express themselves through their tail movements, their ears, body posture and vocalization. You can start to better understand their needs and wants, in addition to what makes them uncomfortable or happy. Cats will surprise you with their array of emotions and varied expressions they can express.

Q. Male neutered cat [1 1/2 years old] has just started trying to spray everywhere around the house. Nothing is coming out. No recent changes.
ANSWER : A. Changes in urinary habits can be caused by a number of things, especially in neutered male cats. Attempting to urinate or have accidents in places other than the litter box can often be a sign of a urinary tract infection, or crystals and debris in the bladder causing problems. Pets may need to go more frequently, may dribble or urinate in small amounts more often, may have accidents or may have blood-tinged or cloudy urine.Infections are usually treated with medications and changes to the diet, however in some cases of large stones or crystals surgery may be needed.

Male cats can also experience urinary blockage. This is due to a unique anatomical part or the urethra that forms a U-shape before exiting the body in male cats. If a cat has crystals or other debris in the urine, it can block at this point preventing urine from being able to exit. Cats may attempt to urinate without producing anything, may become very vocal (indicating pain) or may have a hunched back, full abdomen or pain in the abdomen (protecting the very full bladder). Urinary blockage IS a medical emergency so if suspected, your vet or local emergency clinic should be contacted immediately. Treatment usually involves a hospital stay and catheterization of the bladder to remove the blockage and allow urine to drain followed by medications and a change in diet to prevent further problems.

It is best to try and collect a sample of urine and make an appointment for your cat if he has had a change in urinary habits. If you do suspect a blockage, then contact your vet ASAP is best.

Q. My cats nose is stopped up on antibiotics. She has a loss of appetite, acting normal though. Is 3 ounces of can food enough in 24h? 9 pound cat
ANSWER : A. Cats with stopped up noses tend to eat much less, as you’ve noted, because they can’t smell their food as well. And the smell of food is pretty important to a cat’s appetite. You can start by warming up the food in a microwave – not too hot, test it yourself by putting your finger right in the center, as the temperature of microwave food can vary – as this will intensify the smell and hopefully make your cat more interested.

Saline nose drops, like those that are used on little kids, are safe to use on a cat to clean the discharge that is dried around and in the nose. There’s a brand called Little Noses that’s available in the U.S. That I like. You can put it on a q-tip and try to remove the debris. Humidifying the air with a humidifier can help as well, or you can put the cat in the bathroom and run the shower enough to generate steam. Don’t use “real” nose drops like Neo-synephrine or anything else like that – cats quickly build up resistance to them.

A 3 oz can of food is an OK amount in 24 hours, but do try the techniques above to help your cat get more interested in food. You might also try some baby food – no garlic or onions in the ingredients – as cats usually really like the taste of it.