Purry Paddy and Hyperthyroidism in cats


My Paddy was a huge purrer. He purred so loudly that he was once broadcast over the police radio in Stockholm.

I had scooped him up to bring him in one evening and walked past a police car parked in our street. The two police officers (who had just been winding up a call-out and were ready to drive off) heard him purring as I walked past, couldn’t believe how loud he was, and came over to cuddle him. They had cat-loving colleagues, so let them listen to him via the radio!

As he got older and sicker his purr dimmed somewhat but you can see from this video (taken about two weeks before he died) that he was still an epic purrer, even at 19 years of age.

When I took this he had not eaten for days, as used to happen more and more often. I used to try and tempt him (as can be seen from all the food scattered around him on the newspaper) but one day he decided he was hungry and was so delighted by his food that he was rumbling away while he ate. He used to really love food!

Paddy and my previous cat Tusse died of hyperthyroidism, a common ailment in older cats. Because I had already been through it with Tusse, I recognised the symptoms in Paddy so we could get him on medication very early, which made a huge difference. He managed to live another 8 years. But this is a progressive disease and in the end their organs cannot cope with the added pressure placed upon them by a steadily increasing metabolism. Having said that, if you recognise the signs early, hyperthyroidism can be managed for years. Both my cats were on tablets for it, had blood tests every six months and their medication adjusted accordingly. I let them eat whatever and whenever they wanted, because their metabolisms were so high and they were constantly hungry. This is an illness that does not manifest in loss of appetite, but one of the symptoms is loss of weight.

Symptoms to watch out for are

  • dramatic weight loss
  • constant hunger
  • sometimes increased thirst
  • increased heart rate
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • restlessness
  • irritability and grumpiness
  • oversensitivity to heat and obvious discomfort in hot weather
  • greasy coat
  • crying more often than usual.

I very seldom take videos – I have probably only ever taken three or four. But I took this one because my ex husband and I had agreed to take a joint decision on euthanasia and I took this for him to see that it was not time yet. I am so very glad I did because this little clip is so very Paddy. He was such a special character.


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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