Cat diagnosed with hypercalcemia

Our question this week was:

My cat is suffering from Hypercalcemia, and I was wondering if his high intake of cheese (a particular favourite of his) could possibly be a cause?

Joolz (UK)


Hi – thanks for your email.

As you probably know, hypercalcemia refers to an abnormally high blood concentration of calcium. There are many causes for hypercalcemia and there are also some causes for false positive results. Your question is: is feeding cheese a possible cause for a high blood calcium level? I’d say the answer is no.

Here is some information from our article on the site about Hypercalcemia in Cats that might be helpful.

Some relatively common (and benign) situations can cause erroneously high blood calcium concentrations to be reported by the laboratory depending on the analyzer used. Examples include blood samples with high fat content (lipemia) due, for example, to collection of blood soon after a meal or release of hemoglobin from the red blood cells during processing of the blood (hemolysis). Certain anticoagulants and detergents used to clean laboratory glassware also may cause erroneously high blood calcium concentrations to be reported. In these situations, the blood calcium concentration should be determined again using a properly collected blood sample that is free of lipemia and hemolysis.

Dehydration is a common clinical situation that can result in mildly increased blood calcium concentration. Blood calcium concentration should be re-evaluated after the patient has been rehydrated by intravenous or subcutaneous (under the skin) administration of fluids.
Other medical causes include: