Has your kitty's meow been reduced to a squeak, scratchy rasp or complete silence? Laryngitis in cats can be the result of a number of different underlying causes. In today's post, our Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital vets share more about cat laryngitis symptoms, causes and treatments.
Can a cat get laryngitis?
The larynx of your cat serves a variety of functions, including enabling vocalization, which is why it is also known as the voicebox of your cat. Your cat's ability to meow will be impacted if there is an underlying health issue with the larynx.
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 frequently results from infectious diseases like upper respiratory infections (also known as cat colds or URIs), calicivirus, or rhinotracheitis. Nevertheless, there are a number of other conditions that can make your cat lose their voice, such as:
- 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
What are the most common 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
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
A trip to the vet is necessary if your cat exhibits any of the aforementioned symptoms. In some cases, laryngitis brought on by a viral illness may go away on its own in a few days, but the underlying condition 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.
What is the typical 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.
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.