If your cat has become unusually quiet or sounds hoarse, don't be surprised to discover she may have laryngitis. Treating cat laryngitis depends on its cause but often includes minimizing your cat's stress, feeding her soft food and administering medications.
Signs of Laryngitis
Part of your cat's respiratory tract, her larynx covers her trachea when she swallows food, to keep it out of her windpipe. When the larynx's mucous membranes become inflamed or irritated, she has laryngitis. Symptoms of laryngitis include a hoarse cry and voice loss, as well as difficulty breathing, coughing, drooling and frequent swallowing in an attempt to clear the airway.
Causes of Laryngitis
A cat may develop laryngitis various ways. The most common reasons for laryngitis in cats are chronic coughing and excessive crying, which strain the vocal cords. Other common causes include:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Polyps and benign growths
- Smoke inhalation or toxic fumes
- Allergic reactions
- Stomatitis, an inflammation of the mouth's mucous membranes
A cat with laryngitis should see the veterinarian for treatment because severe cases can cause a potentially dangerous blockage of the trachea.
Curing Cat Laryngitis
Treating laryngitis depends on the underlying cause. In the case of a cat who has irritated her larynx from excessive crying, that means minimizing her anxiety. If a significant change has occurred in her environment, she'll need time to get used to it. Feeding her a healthy diet, keeping her litter box clean and giving her ample attention and play time will help minimize her stress level.
If a medical reason is behind your cat's laryngitis, such as an infection or an allergic reaction, the vet will likely prescribe medication to address the cause of the inflammation. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and pain medication may be helpful in a variety of combinations, depending on your cat's condition. You can provide supportive care to soothe her throat. Give her access to fresh, clean water and feed her a bland, soft diet to minimize irritation to her throat. Try to minimize her stress and keep her indoors while she recovers.