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Help! My Cat Has Laryngitis

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 Southgate veterinary team explains cat laryngitis symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Can a cat 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

Infectious diseases such as upper respiratory infections (cat cold or URI), calicivirus, or rhinotracheitis frequently cause cat laryngitis, but several other conditions can also 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
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Growth in the throat (benign, cancerous
  • Eosinophilic granuloma complex
  • Throat cancer

Symptoms of Cat Laryngitis

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
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your cat, you should take them to the vet. Some cases of laryngitis caused by a viral illness may resolve on their own within a few days, but veterinary care may be necessary if the underlying cause is serious.

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.

Treatment for Cat Laryngitis

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.

To help your cat feel more comfortable as they recover from laryngitis, run a humidifier at home and gently wipe their face with a soft damp cloth to remove any eye or nasal discharge. You may also be advised to improve your cat's immune system with a better diet and supplements.

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.

If your cat is showing symptoms or behaviors of laryngitis that you are concerned about, visit our hospital in Southgate for care.

New Patients Welcome

Southgate Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Southgate companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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