Laryngeal Paralysis In Cats (Feline): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Laryngeal Paralysis in Cats

This is more common in dogs than in cats. It can also affect horses.

  • The condition usually affects both of the cartilages in the larynx.
  • This can happen to older cats as well as to those that are obese.
  • The condition does not seem to favor breed or sex in cats.
  • Since it affects the respiratory system, it is considered as an emergency that as soon as symptoms are noticed, affected cats need to be taken to the vet immediately.


  • The exact causes of the condition are not known.
  • It is believed to have something to do with the weakening of the support muscles in the larynx.


Here are the symptoms of the condition that owners need to watch out for:

  • Quacking or roaring noise with inhalation – this is caused by the obstruction brought on by the paralysis
  • Coughing
  • Changes in Voice
  • Cyanosis – The gums and the mucus membranes of the cat can appear blue. This results from a lack of oxygen.
  • Breathing problems – the cat can appear to take more breaths
  • Gagging
  • Syncope – the cat can collapse from the lack of oxygen intake


  • Surgery is the main treatment option for cats that have this condition.
  • Tie-Back Surgery is one of the most popular methods used. This is the only permanent solution for the condition.

Surgical After Care and Recovery

  • After surgery, cats will be provided with supportive care including intravenous therapy and nutritional therapy when necessary.
  • Cat-patients can be discharged the day following the procedure given that they have not experienced any problems or complications.
  • Medication to control the pain is normally prescribed.
  • There will also be a necessity to use elevated feeding and water bowls, in order to help the cat reach its food.
  • During the first few weeks after surgery, the cat’s food needs to be soft and cut up small. Dry food should be moistened with warm water and canned food should be cut up.
  • After healing, the cat’s voice may change or sound hoarse permanently.

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