I brought my 18 year-old cat to the vet because she was getting a little thin. She was otherwise just as affectionate, playful and voracious as she had always been. The vet diagnosed her with hyperthyroidism and prescribed 2.5mg of felimazole twice a day.

Approximately a month after starting this treatment, my cat's lower body suddenly became paralyzed and she now completely refuses to eat. I immediately went back to the vet. She said it had nothing to do with the treatment and recommended I euthanize or, if I refused, that I should continue the treatment supplemented with pain-killers.

The official sources I found for this treatment don't list paralysis as a side-effect although I did find pet-owners who had the same experience on related forums.

I first got my cat when I was only 10 and I care very deeply for her. I know she doesn't want to live in pain but I also know she doesn't want to die. She wants to play, chase after strings and climb on my shoulders. I want nothing more than for her to be healthy again.

Should I discontinue the treatment against the vet's recommendation? Is there any way for her to recover?

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    Is it possible for you to get a second opinion at another vets office, it would be good to get a diagnosis as to why she is paralyzed as it could be a number of things. Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 1:08
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    You've done the research and there really isn't any reason to think there's a link between the felimazole and your cat's new symptoms. 18 years is very old for a cat and just like in people of advanced age, things start going wrong. As suggested by Rebecca, if this vet can't give you a useful diagnosis then a second opinion might help. But it could take more advanced (and expensive) procedures like MRI/CAT scans to track down these conditions.
    – brhans
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 11:57
  • @brhans your opening comment is not correct see in the post "although I did find pet-owners who had the same experience on related forums" Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 12:04
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    Your cat has lived a long life, and is very clearly suffering now. Even if there was some possible treatment, realistically your cat is an elder, and probably would not live that much longer with such a bad illness, even with treatment, anyways. So I know it is very hard, but if I were you, I would take the vet's advice. I'm very sorry.
    – Kai
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 16:23
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    @RebeccaRVT have you tried doing physical therapy exercises? It's low-likelihood but will improve their quality of life regardless. You can find some details here (handicappedpets.com/physical-therapy-for-pet-paralysis) or (healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/01/26/…) and elsewhere online.
    – khu
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


It sounds like your cat had a stroke. This isn't an uncommon at that age. I had that happen to a dog and a parakeet. The parakeet was paralyzed from the neck down and yet he still ate, drank, sang, and enjoy his neck pets. Just because he's paralyzed doesn't mean he's not happy. I'd keep giving him his pain meds and not worry about euthanasia until he looks unhappy and suffering.

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