Laryngitis In Cats: What Should You Be Aware Of?

Laryngitis in cats

Are there days when you wake up feeling like your voice sounds weaker than usual? Your throat feels sore and tight plus you’re coughing as well.

This condition is called laryngitis and your cat can get it too.

Has your cat lost its meow recently? It isn’t taking a vow of silence or undertaking a silent protest against you for making it go on a diet.

A cat that has lost its voice or suddenly has a raspy meow is an indication of laryngitis and it’s something not to be taken lightly.

What Causes Laryngitis In Cats?

Laryngitis is a condition that affects your cat’s voice box also called the larynx. It causes the larynx and the throat to be inflamed and painful which makes meowing or any form of vocalization painful for your cat.

Sort of like having a bad sore throat for humans.

Your cat’s larynx functions the same way as humans. When air passes through the cat’s throat, it causes the larynx to vibrate which in turn creates sound.

There are a few cat breeds that vocalize a lot more than others. Cats like the Maine Coon, Siamese and Tonkinese love to chat with their owners. On the other end of the spectrum, cat breeds like the American Shorthair, Bengal and Cornish Rex are known to be quiet cats.

Regardless of breed, not hearing your car meow at least once a day should trigger your alarm bells.

What Causes Laryngitis In Cats?

A cat’s laryngitis can be caused by a number of reasons and is often the result of upper respiratory infections.

The upper respiratory system of the cat is an important part of its anatomy as it involves the cat’s breathing, oxygen regulation and removal of gaseous waste from its body. It also helps to trap and expel foreign bodies, support a cat’s sense of smell and vocalization.

Therefore, upper respiratory tract infections in cats can cause a large amount of discomfort and inconvenience to the cat.

Your cat’s laryngitis can be caused by the following reasons:

  • Infection in your cat’s chest
  • A common cold for cats
  • Physical obstruction in the throat
  • A Growth in the throat
  • A tumor in the larynx
  • Paralysis of laryngeal nerve
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Smoke or dust inhalation
  • Cat’s immune system is compromised

As you can see, it can be difficult to ascertain the underlying cause of your cat’ laryngitis without a thorough examination at the vet.

Symptoms Of Laryngitis in Cats

sick cat laryngitis

Your cat will show symptoms rather quickly as this condition is due to an upper respiratory tract infection. Depending on how severe your cat’s laryngitis is, there are the common cat laryngitis symptoms that your feline friend can exhibit:

  • Coughing
  • Noisy breathing
  • Weak or raspy vocalization
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal discharge
  • Labored breathing

If you do notice any of the above cat laryngitis symptoms, it would be in your cat’s best interest to see the vet as soon as possible for a proper examination and diagnosis.

Diagnosing Cat Laryngitis

Your vet will start off the diagnosis with a complete body check of your cat to make sure that your cat symptoms aren’t due to another underlying cause.

A blood test needs to also be done to check the vitals of your cat’s organs and hormonal imbalance. An endoscopic examination or x-ray will most probably be done to check for any blockages by a foreign body, tumors or inflammation in your cat’s throat.

What Are The Typical Cat Laryngitis Treatment?

The treatment that is proposed by the vet will depend on the underlying cause and severity of your cat’s laryngitis.

If there is a growth or foreign blockage in your cat’s larynx or throat, your cat might have to undergo surgery to remove the blockage. Growths will be further sent to the lab to determine if its cancerous or not.

If there’s a build-up of fluid in your cat’s larynx or lungs, your vet will prescribe the use of diuretics for your cat to pass out the excess fluids easily.

For non-severe upper respiratory infections, a course of antibiotics and cold medication will often do the trick.

How Can you Make Your Cat Feel Comfortable At Home?

There are a couple of things that you can do at home to make your cat feel more comfortable and help with the recovery process.

Use A Humidifier

You should keep the air in your home moist and not dry. Dry air can worsen the upper respiratory infection or make a sore throat feel harsher.

This is why when we get a cold or bad throat, it is always good to keep our passageways moist.

Soften Your Cat’s Food

If your cat is on a dry food diet, eating will be a very painful experience. You don’t want your cat to start starving itself because it is too painful to eat. Your cat can suffer from liver failure if it doesn’t get enough food.

Start feeding your cat good quality canned food so that it is easier for your cat to swallow. You can also mash up the food into smaller pieces to make it easier for your cat.

It might be too difficult to switch your cat over to a wet food diet right away if it’s fussy. The best thing to do is to eat a good quality broth in your cat’s dry food.

Homemade tuna water or tuna broth is a good choice as most cats can’t resist the stinky smell of tuna. Your cat might not have the best of appetites under the current conditions so the smell of tuna can help stimulate its appetite.

Provide More Drinking Water

cat drink water

Cats aren’t the most regular of water drinkers and it needs to be drinking often to moisten up their passageways.

Make sure to change up your cat’s drinking bowl every few hours as most cats don’t enjoy drinking from a stale and stagnant water source.

Make Your Cat Comfortable

Don’t agitate your cat during this period as it needs rest to recover. Cleaning your cat’s nose of any discharge with a warm towel can help it breathe better.

Your cat might be feeling more needy and insecure during this period. Make sure to give it all the attention that it wants to let your cat know that you’re there for it.

Can A Cat Recover From Laryngitis?

The sooner your feline friend gets the necessary medical attention for its laryngitis, the faster it can recover. It usually takes about a week or two for your cat to fully recover from a mild case of laryngitis.

However, if the underlying cause is more severe like cancer, quick treatment is essential for a good prognosis.

Is Laryngitis In Cats Deadly?

Yes it can be deadly in cats if the cat’s throat or trachea gets too swollen and it becomes too difficult for the cat to breathe or eat normally.

Any upper respiratory tract infection that is left untreated for too long can cause serious complications over the long term and affect your cat’s quality of life.

If your cat has a cancerous growth in its throat, the quicker the vet can remove it and start your cat on the appropriate course of medication, the greater the chance of your cat making a full recovery.

Blockages caused by foreign bodies in your cat’s throat can dampen your cat’s appetite and cause it to not eat. Any cat that does not want to eat is in serious danger of dying.

Immediate vet attention is required if you suspect that your cat has laryngitis.

Is Laryngitis Contagious In Cats?

It largely depends on the underlying cause of the laryngitis. If your cat’s laryngitis is caused by a viral infection, there is a probability of passing on the virus to other cats.

If you have more than one cat at home, it would be best to isolate the infected cat until you can ascertain the underlying cause.


We love our cats and want the best life for them. Therefore it is always good to being your cat to the vet when you notice persistent symptoms.

A condition like laryngitis in cats can be treated effectively if medical treatment is promptly provided for.