Hyperparathyroidism in Cats: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Cat owners are increasingly faced with the problem of poor health and unusual behavior of Pets. This can often indicate those or other infringements of work of the cat’s body.

Unfortunately, every year more and more members of the cat family are susceptible to endocrine diseases due to improper nutrition and improper care. One of these pathologies is hyperparathyroidism in cats, which occurs due to a lack of calcium in the cat’s body.

The reasons for the development of hyperparathyroidism

For normal development and growth of a cat, the diet menu should consist of dishes saturated with calcium and phosphorus in a ratio of 1:1. Unfortunately, most Pets are offered an unbalanced diet, with a minimum of calcium and a maximum of phosphorus. Improper feeding leads to metabolic disorders and a decrease in the level of calcium in the blood.

To maintain the necessary amount of calcium in the blood serum, the parathyroid hormone absorbs calcium from the animal’s bones and subsequently releases it into the circulatory system. As a result, the cat’s skeleton becomes very weak, the bones grow poorly and become brittle.

Secondary hyperparathyroidism in domestic animals can develop due to both a lack of calcium and its poor absorption by the cat’s body. Calcium can be poorly absorbed in the body of feline representatives due to diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or thyroid gland, as well as an excess of fluoride, phytin, magnesium and vitamins A and D. Lack of calcium in the cat’s body can also be associated with the rapid growth of the animal.

Symptoms of hyperparathyroidism

Both adult cats and small kittens from several weeks old face this insidious disease. The disease develops gradually. At first, the pet feels discomfort, slight pain in the bones, leads a sedentary lifestyle — constantly sitting or lying down. If the animal is in severe pain, it may hiss and even bite.

In the active phase of the disease, cats and dogs develop lameness, and their bones become very soft. High activity of the cat often leads to multiple mini fractures.

The main symptoms of endocrine disease are:

  • passivity;
  • hiss;
  • severe pain in the bones and muscles;
  • abrupt change or violation of the growth of teeth;
  • deformation of the pelvic bones;
  • chest changes;
  • stool and urine retention;
  • paralysis of the limbs;
  • bloating.

As soon as the first signs of hyperparathyroidism appear, it is necessary to urgently contact a highly qualified veterinarian.

Diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism

To make an accurate diagnosis, a visual examination of the pet and a conversation with the owner about the animal’s behavior and diet are carried out. The unbalanced diet is evidenced by the constant use of milk porridges, baby meat puree, fatty meat and industrial food of poor quality. With an incorrect diet, the kitten does not get all the necessary minerals and the right amount of phosphorus and calcium.

To confirm hyperparathyroidism in a cat, an x-ray examination is performed. In endocrine diseases, the following can be clearly seen on the x-ray: low bone density, curvature of the spine, pathological mini-fractures and tail creases. After confirming the exact diagnosis, a course of treatment is prescribed depending on the age of the pet, the course of the disease and the condition of the sick animal.

To establish an accurate clinical picture of the disease, laboratory tests are prescribed to determine the hormonal state of the parathyroid gland and the level of phosphorus and calcium ions in the blood. Laboratory tests, radiography, examination and consultation with the owner of the animal allow you to determine the exact diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Modern methods of treatment of hyperparathyroidism

The treatment method directly depends on the stage and severity of the disease. There are primary and secondary alimentary hyperparathyroidism in kittens and adult cats, each of which requires its own specific treatment regimen.

Treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism

When the first symptoms of the disease appear and the diagnosis is made, a diet consisting of ready-made food, including an optimal ratio of minerals and vitamins, is prescribed. In some cases, a diet menu is made up of natural products. But in this case, strict observance of all proportions is required, which is very difficult for the owner.

Dietary nutrition for a certain time contributes to the favorable formation of the skeleton and the development of animal bones.

In primary hyperparathyroidism, surgical intervention is indicated. A qualified doctor prescribes surgery to remove the damaged lobes. The surgical method will minimize the production of parathyroid hormone and thereby reduce the level of calcium in the blood. After the operation the animal is under the supervision of a veterinarian to monitor calcium levels.

Treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism

Secondary hyperparathyroidism in kittens is divided into food and kidney. Each type involves its own treatment method. If diffuse bone thinning, reduced shadow intensity, and sub-periosteal bone fractures are detected during the x-ray, it is recommended to limit any movement of the animal in the first place.

The pet is placed in a cage or box for up to 1 month, at least. Then a strict diet menu is developed, consisting of balanced food. Ready-made industrial food containing essential nutrients (phosphorus, vitamin D and calcium) is an excellent option.

Treatment of food hyperparathyroidism is carried out by medication. Vitamin and calcium supplements are prescribed for the best assimilation of dietary food. To improve the condition of the bones shows the drug hondartron and travmatin.


Food hyperparathyroidism is usually accompanied by severe constipation. Therefore, to soften the consistency of feces, vaseline oil, lactulose or other effective drugs are prescribed, depending on the condition and age of the animal. To improve peristalsis of the stomach, eliminate gas formation and bloating, carminative drugs containing simeticone are prescribed.

Secondary renal hyperparathyroidism should also be treated with a diet menu, medications, and vitamins. The only condition is that the diet should be designed in such a way as to reduce the level of phosphorus in the blood, and drugs — to reduce the absorption of phosphorus from the gastrointestinal tract.

Thus, hyperparathyroidism in kittens and adult cats is accompanied by a metabolic disorder associated with excess phosphorus, lack of calcium, and vitamin D deficiency in the cat’s body.

Serious hormonal disorders that occur in the body of feline representatives negatively affect the condition of the bones. Timely and high-quality treatment of the insidious disease will save the life of a kitten and adult cats for many years to come.