Is your kitty's meow sounding more like a scratchy squeak? Or has your cat lost their voice completely? Laryngitis in cats can be due to a number of reasons. Here, our San Gabriel veterinary team explains cat laryngitis symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Is it possible for a cat to get laryngitis? Yes! The larynx of your cat performs several functions, including allowing your cat to vocalize, which is why the larynx is also known as your cat's voicebox. If your cat's larynx is affected by an underlying health condition, his or her ability to meow will suffer.
If your kitty is diagnosed with laryngitis it means that your cat's larynx has become inflamed due to irritation, illness, or a blockage within the throat.
Causes of Cat Laryngitis
Cat laryngitis is frequently caused by infectious diseases such as upper respiratory infections (cat cold or URI), calicivirus, or rhinotracheitis, but there are several other conditions that can cause your cat to lose their voice, including:
- Inhaled irritants, such as smoke or dust
- Blockage in the larynx
- Object lodged in the throat
- Paralysis of laryngeal nerve
- Growth in the throat (benign, cancerous
- Eosinophilic granuloma complex
- Throat cancer
Cat Laryngitis Symptoms to Watch For
The symptoms of laryngitis that your cat displays will depend upon the underlying cause but may include:
- Changes in your cat's vocalizations
- Dry, harsh cough that may be painful
- Noisy breathing
- Lowered head while standing
- Open mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- High-pitched breathing
- Increased effort to breathe
- Bad breath
If your cat's laryngitis is being caused by a virus or cat cold you may also notice symptoms of a common cold such as:
- Watery eyes
- Discharge from eyes
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
If your cat exhibits any of the above symptoms, a trip to the vet is in order. While laryngitis caused by a viral illness may resolve on its own within a few days in some cases, the underlying cause may be serious and necessitate veterinary care.
It's important to keep in mind that a sore throat could also lead to difficulties breathing and an inability to eat, both of which are symptoms that deserve immediate veterinarian care.
Cat Laryngitis Treatment
Treatment for your kitty's laryngitis will depend upon the underlying cause.
If your vet detects a buildup of fluid in the larynx a diuretic may be prescribed. If your kitty is showing signs of pain your vet may prescribe a mild painkiller to help your cat to feel better.
In cases where a foreign body is lodged in your cat's throat surgery may or may not be required to remove the object, but once the object is removed your feline friend will be able to meow again.
If your cat's loss of vocalizations has been caused by eosinophilic granuloma your kitty may be treated for parasites since this condition is often an exaggerated immune response to insect bites. Corticosteroids or steroids may also be prescribed for this condition.
Running a humidifier at home and gently wiping away any eye or nasal discharge from your cat's face with a soft damp cloth can help your cat feel more comfortable as they recover from laryngitis. Improving your cat's immune system with a better diet and supplements may also be advised.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.