Is Laryngitis Contagious in Cats?


Laryngitis is a condition that affects the larynx, or voice box, in both humans and animals.

It can cause inflammation and irritation, leading to symptoms such as hoarseness, coughing, and difficulty breathing.

If you’re a cat parent or owner, you may be wondering if laryngitis is contagious in cats.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the topic of laryngitis in cats, its causes, symptoms, and whether or not it can be transmitted to other cats.

What is Laryngitis in Cats?

Laryngitis in cats is the inflammation of the larynx, which is located at the top of the trachea, or windpipe.

It can be caused by various factors, including viral or bacterial infections, allergies, irritants, or trauma to the larynx.

When the larynx becomes inflamed, it can lead to symptoms such as hoarseness, coughing, gagging, difficulty swallowing, and even breathing difficulties in severe cases.

Causes of Laryngitis in Cats

Laryngitis in cats can be caused by a variety of factors. Some common causes include:

  1. Viral Infections: Viruses such as the feline herpesvirus or calicivirus can cause laryngitis in cats. These viruses are highly contagious and can be transmitted from cat to cat through direct contact or sharing of contaminated objects.
  2. Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections, such as those caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica or Mycoplasma species, can also lead to laryngitis in cats. These bacteria can be transmitted through respiratory droplets or close contact with an infected cat.
  3. Allergies: Cats can develop laryngitis as a result of allergies to certain substances, such as pollen, dust mites, or certain foods. When exposed to these allergens, the cat’s immune system reacts, leading to inflammation of the larynx.
  4. Irritants: Exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, or strong odors can irritate the larynx and cause inflammation.
  5. Trauma: Trauma to the larynx, such as from excessive pulling on the leash or a direct blow to the throat, can also result in laryngitis in cats.

Symptoms of Laryngitis in Cats

The symptoms of laryngitis in cats can vary depending on the severity of the inflammation. Some common symptoms include:

  • Hoarseness or changes in the cat’s voice
  • Coughing or gagging
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing difficulties, such as wheezing or noisy breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy or decreased activity levels

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Is Laryngitis Contagious in Cats?

Laryngitis itself is not contagious in cats. However, the underlying causes of laryngitis, such as viral or bacterial infections, can be contagious.

For example, if your cat has laryngitis due to a viral infection like feline herpesvirus, it can be transmitted to other cats through direct contact or sharing of contaminated objects.

It’s important to note that not all cats exposed to the same virus or bacteria will develop laryngitis.

Some cats may only experience mild respiratory symptoms, while others may develop more severe conditions.

The susceptibility to infection can vary depending on the cat’s overall health, immune system function, and vaccination status.

Treatment and Prevention of Laryngitis in Cats

The treatment of laryngitis in cats will depend on the underlying cause.

If the laryngitis is due to a viral or bacterial infection, your veterinarian may prescribe antiviral or antibiotic medications to help clear the infection.

In some cases, supportive care such as humidification or cough suppressants may also be recommended to alleviate symptoms.

Prevention of laryngitis in cats involves minimizing exposure to potential irritants or infectious agents. Here are some tips to help prevent laryngitis in cats:

  1. Vaccination: Ensure your cat is up to date on vaccinations, especially for viral infections such as feline herpesvirus and calicivirus.
  2. Good Hygiene: Practice good hygiene by regularly cleaning your cat’s food and water bowls, litter boxes, and bedding. This helps reduce the risk of bacterial or viral contamination.
  3. Avoid Irritants: Keep your cat away from cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, and other irritants that can trigger laryngitis.
  4. Monitor Outdoor Activities: If your cat spends time outdoors, supervise their activities to minimize exposure to potential infectious agents.


Laryngitis in cats can be a distressing condition, causing discomfort and respiratory symptoms.

While laryngitis itself is not contagious, the underlying causes, such as viral or bacterial infections, can be transmitted to other cats.

If you suspect your cat has laryngitis, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

By taking preventive measures and providing appropriate care, you can help keep your cat’s larynx healthy and minimize the risk of laryngitis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is laryngitis in cats curable?

Laryngitis in cats is usually curable with proper treatment. The underlying cause of laryngitis, such as a viral or bacterial infection, needs to be addressed to resolve the condition.

Your veterinarian will prescribe appropriate medications and provide supportive care to help your cat recover.

Can laryngitis in cats lead to other complications?

In some cases, laryngitis in cats can lead to complications if left untreated. Severe inflammation of the larynx can cause breathing difficulties and may require immediate medical attention.

It’s important to seek veterinary care if you notice any symptoms of laryngitis in your cat.

How long does it take for laryngitis in cats to resolve?

The duration of laryngitis in cats can vary depending on the underlying cause and the cat’s overall health.

With proper treatment, laryngitis symptoms can improve within a few days to a couple of weeks.

However, it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s advice and complete the full course of treatment to ensure a complete recovery.

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