Has your cat's meow become nothing more than a squeaky, scratchy rasp or complete silence? Laryngitis in cats can be the result of a number of different underlying causes. In today's post, our Dallas vets share some information about cat laryngitis.
Can a cat get laryngitis?
Your cat's larynx has a number of jobs including allowing your cat to vocalize, which is why the larynx is also referred to as your cat's voicebox. If there is an underlying health condition affecting your kitty's larynx your cat's ability to meow will be affected.
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.
What causes cat laryngitis?
Cat laryngitis is often the result of infectious diseases such as upper respiratory infections (cat cold or URI), calicivirus, or rhinotracheitis however there are a number of other conditions that can cause your cat to lose their voice including:
- Inhaled irritants, such as smoke or dust
- Throat cancer
- Paralysis of laryngeal nerve
- Blockage in the larynx
- Growth in the throat (benign, cancerous
- Eosinophilic granuloma complex
- Object lodged in the throat
What are the most common cat laryngitis symptoms?
The symptoms of laryngitis that your cat displays will depend upon the underlying cause but may include:
- Noisy breathing
- Dry, harsh cough that may be painful
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lowered head while standing
- Bad breath
- Changes in your cat's vocalizations
- High-pitched breathing
- Increased effort to breathe
- Open mouth
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 is showing any of the symptoms listed above a trip to the vet is in order. While in some cases laryngitis caused by a viral illness may clear up on its own within a couple of days, the underlying cause could be serious and may require 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.
What is the typical 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.
A good way to help your cat feel more comfortable as they recover from laryngitis is to run a humidifier at home and gently clean away any eye or nasal discharge from your cat's face using a soft damp cloth. Boosting your cat's immune system through improved diet and supplements may also be recommended.
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.