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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21055
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My sister has a cat that is 15 years old. She told me today

Customer Question

My sister has a cat that is 15 years old. She told me today she was told her cat has a 8.5 T4 score-but yet she did not put her cat on medicine. Is she killing her cat? How long could her cat live like this? She is afraid to put her on medicine because of side effects. She said the vet told her they will run bloodwork again in 8 weeks as kidney, heart, bp all checked out fine. I don't agree with my sister. I'm not sure what to tell her. Is her cat in danger? Could she die?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 9 months ago.

Hello, and welcome.

It's very kind of you to be concerned about your sister's cat. A T4 score of 8.5 is high and indicates hyperthyroidism. This condition is not uncommon in cats of this age and can easily be managed with medication in pill form (methimazole/tapazole), which is a tiny pill, easy to hide in a treat or crush and put into a small amount of a favorite canned cat food. This medication can also be compounded into a liquid suspension with a palatable, flavored base that is tasty to cats. In addition, it can be compounded into a cream or gel to rub inside the pointy part of the cat's ear and absorbed by the skin.

If there is any doubt as to the validity of the test, a Free T4 is recommended as the next step.

If the cat is hyperthyroid, the cat definitely needs to be put on medicine, to lower the thyroid level. Hyperthyroidism can adversely affect the cat's kidneys, heart, and blood pressure and starting the cat on medication now, if hyperthyroidism is suspected, due to the blood results reading, going 2 months until further testing can adversely affect the cat's health.

All medications carry side effects and some cats experience them and some do not. I, personally had a hyperthyroid cat who was also diabetic. He got 1/2 of a methimazole tablet twice daily and experienced no side effects.

If your sister's cat is also exhibiting outward symptoms of hyperthyroidism, like always seeming hungry, yet losing weight, vomiting more than usual, hypervocalizing, mainly at night, having an unkempt looking coat, drinking more than usual, then, the cat needs medication.

There is also a food made by Science Diet, called y/d which is made for hyperthyroid cats.

Here is more information about this disease:

I hope your sister makes the right decision and all will be well with her kitty!

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, and I will be glad to continue.

Warmest regards,

Expert:  Cher replied 9 months ago.

Hello again,

I'm just checking in with you to find out how your sister's cat is doing and also if you found my answer helpful. If you did, please let me know or provide a positive rating, as this is the only way I receive credit from the site, for my assistance.

Even after rating, we can continue our conversation at no additional charge, so please feel free to rate and ask any further questions you may have.

Warmest wishes,


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