If your cat's meow is only a scratchy rasp, squeak, or is completely silent, they may have laryngitis. Today, our Mooresville vets talk about laryngitis in cats, including its symptoms, causes, and treatments available.
Laryngitis in Cats
Your cat's larynx has various jobs including letting your cat vocalize, which is why the larynx can also be called your cat's voicebox. If there is an underlying health condition affecting your feline's larynx their ability to meow will be impacted.
If your cat is diagnosed with laryngitis, it means their larynx has become inflamed as a result of irritation, illness, or a blockage within the throat.
The Causes of 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 also various other conditions that can make your cat lose their voice including:
- Blockage in the larynx
- Inhaled irritants, such as smoke or dust
- Object lodged in the throat
- Eosinophilic granuloma complex
- Paralysis of laryngeal nerve
- Growth in the throat (benign, cancerous
- Throat cancer
Signs & Symptoms of Laryngitis in Cats
The laryngitis symptoms your cat displays will depend on the underlying cause, but could include:
- Dry, harsh cough that may be painful
- Bad breath
- High-pitched breathing
- Changes in your cat's vocalizations
- Noisy breathing
- Open mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lowered head while standing
- Increased effort to breathe
If your cat's laryngitis is being caused by a virus or cat cold they may also exhibit common cold symptoms such as:
- Lack of energy
- Discharge from eyes
- Watery eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
If your kitty is displaying any of the symptoms detailed above you should bring them to the vet. In some cases where laryngitis is caused by a viral illness it might clear up on its own within a couple of days, but the underlying cause could be serious and may require veterinary attention.
It's important to remember that a sore throat can also cause breathing difficulties and an inability to eat, both of which are symptoms that deserve immediate veterinarian care.
Treating Cats With Laryngitis
The treatments used for your cat's laryngitis will depend upon the underlying cause.
If your vet detects a buildup of fluid in the larynx, they may prescribe a diuretic. If your kitty is showing signs of pain, your vet might provide them with a mild painkiller.
In cases where a foreign body is lodged in your cat's throat, surgery may or may not be needed to remove the object, but once the object is removed your feline friend should be able to meow again.
If your cat's loss of vocalizations has been caused by eosinophilic granuloma, your kitty might be treated for parasites since this condition is often an exaggerated immune response to insect bites. Corticosteroids or steroids could 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. Your vet might also recommend boosting your cat's immune system with an improved 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.