Feline Throat Problems Hoarseness Feline Nasalthyroidcat Voice Problems

What Can Make A Cat Hoarse?

Cats, like humans, have very distinctive “voices.” Some are extremely loud, while others can be quite soft or barely audible.

Whether you have a very vocal cat, or one that only meows occasionally, if they start to sound hoarse, there are several reasons that may be the cause of their vocal problem.

Some of the most common causes are:

* An upper respiratory infection, especially if your cat has a history of respiratory ailments. Sneezing and coughing will accompany the hoarseness because the infection inflames the nasal cavities and throat.

* A past history of (chronic) herpes virus infections. Repeated bouts with the virus can damage the nasal passages, making it easier for infections to occur in the upper airways. The inflammation from the infection can cause hoarseness. Accompanying symptoms include: sneezing, nasal discharge, and nosebleeds.

* Hyperthyroidism. In some cases, elevated levels of the thyroid hormone (T4) will cause a hoarse “meow.” If your cat is eating normally or more than usual but losing weight, they should be tested for hyperthyroidism.

* Oral or nasal cavity polyps. Benign polyps are quite common in cats and can cause hoarseness, ear infections, sneezing and coughing.

* Oral or nasal cavity tumors. Cancerous tumors in the pharyngeal or laryngeal areas can cause hoarseness.

* Though very rare, laryngeal paralysis has been found in cats exhibiting hoarseness. The folds of the larynx do not pulling back and open up properly while breathing.

* Exposure to rabies. Rabies can lead to laryngeal paralysis. (Unless your cat has been in contact with a rabid animal, this is not a likely cause of hoarseness.)

* A foreign body/object lodged in the oral, nasal or pharyngeal cavities. A foreign body that gets stuck in one of these regions will cause inflammation and infection that can lead to hoarseness.

Prompt medical attention is the only way to determine the exact cause of your cat’s hoarseness. If your veterinarian discovers that your cat is suffering from an upper respiratory or herpes virus infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. Your cat should recover its full vocal capabilities with no residual complications.

For hyperthyroidism, your veterinarian will perform a simple blood test and, if the cause, a thyroid medication will be prescribed.

In the case of a suspected polyp, tumor, foreign body, or pharyngeal paralysis, your cat will need to be examined under anesthesia for a proper diagnosis and choice of treatment options.

It is important to look for other symptoms that may be appearing at the same time that your cat is experiencing the hoarseness. Watch for sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and weight loss. Any information you can offer your veterinarian will aid in determining the cause of the cat’s hoarseness.

Prompt and professional medical attention is vital to the health and well being of your pet.