Diagnosis is based on the distinctive cry and accompanying physical problems. These common symptoms are quite easily observed in infants. Affected children are typically diagnosed by a doctor at birth. Genetic counseling and genetic testing may be offered to families with individuals who have cri du chat syndrome. Prenatally the deletion of the cri du chat related region in the p arm of chromosome 5 can be detected from amniotic fluid or chorionic villi samples with BACs-on-Beads technology. G-banded karyotype of a carrier is also useful.  Children may be treated by speech, physical and occupational therapists.  Heart abnormalities often require surgical correction.
Most of the time recovery starts after the fourth week from the onset of the disorder. Approximately 80% of patients have a complete recovery within a few months to a year, although minor findings may persist, such as areflexia. About 5–10% recover with severe disability, with most of such cases involving severe proximal motor and sensory axonal damage with inability of axonal regeneration. However, this is a grave disorder and despite all improvements in treatment and supportive care, the death rate among patients with this disorder is still about 2–3% even in the best intensive care units. Worldwide, the death rate runs slightly higher (4%), mostly from a lack of availability of life support equipment during the lengthy plateau lasting four to six weeks, and in some cases up to one year, when a ventilator is needed in the worst cases. About 5–10% of patients have one or more late relapses, in which case they are then classified as having chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).