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Help, My Cat Has Laryngitis!

Help, My Cat Has Laryngitis!

Has your cat's meow become hoarse and squeaky? Or has your feline friend lost their meow altogether? Read on to learn more about cat laryngitis from our Memphis vets, including signs, causes, and treatments.

Can a cat get laryngitis?

Yes! 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.

Why has my cat got 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
  • 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

What are the most common cat laryngitis symptoms?

The symptoms of laryngitis that your cat displays will depend upon the underlying cause. If your cat has laryngitis you may notice a range of symptoms including:

  • 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

Cat laryngitis caused by a viral infection or 'cat cold' can lead to symptoms more like a human cold, such as:

  • Watery eyes
  • Discharge from eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • 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 cat laryngitis treatments are available?

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 has lost their voice due to 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.

How can I help my cat feel better as they recover from laryngitis?

Running a humidifier at home can help to soothe your kitty's throat as they recover. It may also be helpful to gently clean away any eye or nasal discharge from your cat's face using a warm damp cloth.

Your veterinarian may also recommend taking steps to help boost your cat's immune system, such as switching to a higher-quality food or adding supplements to your kitty's diet.

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 has lost their voice it's time to see the vet. Contact a PetVax Complete Care Centers location near you to book an examination for your kitty.

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PetVax Complete Care Centers is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Memphis companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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