Do cats get laryngitis?

Do cats get laryngitis? Yes, cats do get laryngitis which is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the larynx. Normally the cause is excessive meowing or a chronic cough. Both of these cause a strain on the vocal cords. The signs of laryngitis include a loss of voice and hoarseness.

Cat Coughing
Cat Coughing. Photo: Warren Photographic.
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Laryngitis can also be connected to other illnesses such as tonsillitis, pneumonia, inhalant allergies, tracheobronchitis, throat infections and sometimes but rarely tumors in the throat.

If the cause is excessive meowing the owner and veterinarian will have to decide why the cat is doing this. It may be due to anxiety or distress. Therefore the cause of the anxiety or distress must be removed. There are several reasons why a cat might have a chronic cough. The cat’s owner will need to investigate with the help of their veterinarian.


Coughing can be caused by a respiratory infection and inhaled irritants such as cigarette smoke or chemicals, foreign object such as dust and food particles, an overly tight collar, an allergic reaction or growths in the bronchial tubes. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose the cause of the cough through the type of cough that he or she has.

For example, sporadic coughing combined with weight loss and lethargy might be caused by heartworms or lungworms. Coughing is self-perpetuating. When a cat coughs the bronchial tubes are irritated and the mucus lining is dried out which lowers the resistance to infection which leads to further coughing.

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