Like the soothing notes of a melody, your cat’s meow is unique and communicates so much.
But what happens when that usual meow dwindles to a scratchy whisper or disappears entirely? In such cases, your cat could be dealing with laryngitis.
This comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate these uncertain waters. We’re drawing upon our expertise and understanding of your concern for your beloved cat. to provide insight into feline laryngitis.
We’ll explore its symptoms, causes and treatments that can help your kitty find its voice again.
What Is Laryngitis In Cats?
Laryngitis is a condition that affects your cat’s voice box or the larynx.
It causes the larynx and the throat to be inflamed and painful which makes 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.
It also helps to ensure that food and liquid don’t venture down the wrong path
If your always noisy cat has suddenly gone quiet for the day, it could be due to laryngitis.
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 the chest
- Feline cold
- Physical obstruction in the throat
- Growth in the throat
- Allergies and irritants
- Tumor in the larynx
- Trauma to the throat
- Paralysis of laryngeal nerve
As you can see, it can be difficult to ascertain the underlying cause of your cat’s laryngitis without a thorough examination at the vet.
Symptoms Of Laryngitis in Cats
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, these are the common laryngitis symptoms that your feline friend can exhibit:
- Noisy breathing
- Weak or squeaky 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
Given that there are many possible causes of laryngitis in cats, the vet will go through a series of tests to try and diagnose the root cause.
The initial step is a thorough physical examination. The vet will check your cat’s throat, look for signs of discomfort and listen for abnormal sounds.
This inspection is critical to gauge the overall health status of your pet and determine the need for further tests.
X-rays And Scans
If the vet still requires a clearer picture of your cat’s condition, imaging techniques such as X-rays or scans will be required.
These methods offer an in-depth view of your cat’s larynx and surrounding structures.
Blood Tests And Biopsies
Blood tests and biopsies might be carried out for a detailed analysis.
Blood tests can reveal any infection or inflammation present, while biopsies can help identify the presence of cancerous cells.
How Do You Treat Laryngitis In Cats?
The treatment of laryngitis in cats largely depends on the underlying cause and its severity.
Medical intervention is often necessary and might include antibiotics for bacterial infections.
Corticosteroids might also be given to help reduce inflammations in your cat’s throat.
If the condition stems from physical obstructions, trauma or growths, surgical measures may be required to restore the normal function of your cat’s larynx.
How Can I Make My Cat Feel More Comfortable?
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 add some quality broth to 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.
If your cat is fine with wet food, you can heat up its wet food just a little bit to make it more aromatic to your cat.
Provide More Drinking 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 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.
Is Cat Laryngitis Serious?
Laryngitis can be life-threatening 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 faster 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can My Cat Recover From Laryngitis?
It usually takes about a week or two for your cat to fully recover from a mild case of laryngitis. If the underlying cause is more severe like cancer, prompt treatment is essential for a good prognosis.
Is Laryngitis Contagious In Cats?
It 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.
Can My Cat Catch Laryngitis From Humans?
Your cat cannot catch laryngitis from humans. Laryngitis in cats and humans often stems from similar root causes such as viral or bacterial infections but the specific pathogens involved are usually species-specific.