FELINE RESPIRATORY DISEASE COMPLEX (FRDC)
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx (“voice box,” vocal cords) that causes a change of or loss of voice in cats. There can be many causes. Some cases are caused by infection (viral, bacterial); others are simply the result of excessive meowing (e.g., in Siamese cats). Laryngitis unaccompanied by fever or other signs of illness usually needs no treatment and clears within about five to seven days.
Laryngitis that does not heal rapidly, is accompanied by signs of illness, or seems to cause excessive discomfort to your cat requires the help of a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. In rare cases cancer of the larynx or paralysis of the vocal cords may cause laryngitis, and early diagnosis can be important for successful treatment.
Most respiratory diseases, if neglected, can progress to pneumonia or other serious conditions involving the respiratory system. Be sure to have your cat examined by a veterinarian in the presence of any of the following signs: persistent nose or eye discharge, difficulty breathing, fever, or any signs you do not feel confident about.
For other causes of respiratory diseases, see toxoplasmosis and Lungworms.