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6 Reasons Why Your Cat Has Lost Their Meow

 by jaime on 28 Aug 2014 |
50 Comment(s)
If your normally vocal kitty has suddenly become a little hoarse you are probably wondering what has caused this sudden silence…

1. Prolonged meowing
Sometimes your cat has just meowed themselves silent for a little while. Perhaps it has been during the night or whilst you've been at work, but in any case, their meow should return to normal after a little while.

2. Rabies
Rabies causes hoarseness so if you think there's been even a slight chance of your cat being in contact with a rabid animal take them to the vet immediately so they can investigate.

3. Upper Respiratory Infection
Upper Respiratory Infections (URI), which often results in laryngitis, can cause hoarseness. In addition to hoarseness, if your cat is displaying a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, lack of appetite, lethargy, or yellow or green discharge from the eyes or nose, take them to the vet so medication such as antibiotics can be prescribed.

4. Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid glands, is a common ailment in older cats which can cause hoarseness along with weight loss. If you suspect this is the cause for your cat's lack of meow, take them to the vet so blood tests can be performed.

5. Laryngeal paralysis
This is when nerve damage of the larynx or voice box is caused preventing it from working properly when your cat wishes to breath or meow. It's a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Accompanying symptoms include: coughing, weight loss, difficulty eating and struggling for breath.

6. Growths
Growths can develop on the throat, particularly the vocal cords, causing benign tumours or polyps - however sometimes it can result in throat cancer. Symptoms along with hoarseness include: changed vocal sound, sneezing, coughing and persistent ear infections. If you are suspicious that your cat has growths developing - take them to the vet so a diagnosis (often via a biopsy) can be given.

Feature image credit


ann mcateer - Comment
ann mcateer11 Apr 2017Reply
my cat sounds very hours when meos
collin - Comment
collin11 Apr 2017Reply
me 2
Nikki - Comment
Nikki20 May 2017Reply
My cat is sneezing & has lost his voice. He is 10 months old. My other 2 cats haven't got any symptoms. Can someone help me please (very worried)
Lauren - Comment
Lauren20 May 2017Reply
My cats voice is very hoarse right now all of a sudden... did you find out what was going on with your cat??
John - Comment
John20 May 2017Reply
Acid was not mentioned. Picking up your cat and moving her around is like having a 30 foot man pick us up. Acid tossed up to the throat is the #1 reason for hoarseness in humans besides smoking
Kat - Comment
Kat20 May 2017Reply
Umm, no, John. That's not how feline OR human anatomy works. If it were so easy for stomach acid to travel up to the throat, you'd be burning away your esophagus every time you laid down. Lmao, "acid." Where do people come up with this BS?
Dave - Comment
Dave20 May 2017Reply
Kat, you've just described acid-reflux. It's not uncommon.
lakawak - Comment
lakawak20 May 2017Reply IS uncommon to the degree tat John was saying. His whole comment had absolutely zero basis in reality. By the way...acid reflux does not come from laying on your stomach or with cats, being picked up. I honestly don't know which comment was more ignorant..yours and John's. Suffice it to say, it was a close race.
Daisy - Comment
Daisy20 May 2017Reply
My cat has all those symptoms except losing its appetite dose anyone still think this is the same
Kay Marie Hoggarth - Comment
Kay Marie Hoggarth25 May 2017Reply
My 6yr old cat has all of a sudden lost her voice, she is still very active and her usual lively self, bright eyes and glossy further, but when she tries to "Meow" it's really croaky. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Karissa - Comment
Karissa25 May 2017Reply
My cats 7 and like your cat has been acting like himself. Though I thought he had been attacked by a dog last night as he had slobber around his neck and feaces all around his bottom with the hoarse voice. I took him to the vet today and got the all clear but tonight his throat seems to be bothering him which is worrying me :/ I'll keep you updated, maybe he has been poisoned :( I have 3 other cats in the house all acting fine hmm
Desari Easterday - Comment
Desari Easterday25 May 2017Reply
Did you ever find out what was wrong with your cat? Mine is about 5, very vocal usually. She is now barely able to get a meow out. But still very playful, and eats fine. Also no discoloration of her eyes.
Rhonda - Comment
Rhonda25 May 2017Reply
My cat is 12 yrs and has also lost her voice. Today is only the second day, but I was hoping someone on here could ease my mind.
Rhonda Sutherland - Comment
Rhonda Sutherland09 Jun 2017Reply
They other day my lost its meow. He is a very talkative he tries to meow but nothing come out. He doesn't have a runny nose,he's eating and drinking. What should I do?
Angie - Comment
Angie09 Jun 2017Reply
My cat is literally doing the same thing and my son is very sad
Jan - Comment
Jan09 Jun 2017Reply
My cat too and I'm very concerned after reading the cons for the symptoms. Vet appt tomorrow.
Robin Gamache - Comment
Robin Gamache10 Jun 2017Reply
I have 4 older male cats. The one that goes outside the most, began coughing like he had something in his throat. He then lost his voice. The other 3 are following suit. They are loosing their voices as well. No runny noses and they are all eating and drinking, No weight loss. Does anyone know what would cause this?
wolfie's Moma - Comment
wolfie's Moma10 Jun 2017Reply
did you ever find out what was wrong with your kitty and his voice? Our outside cat has lost his voice and acts like he has a hairball cough but is still eating. Our inside kitty is fine
Mal Badger - Comment
Mal Badger25 Jun 2017Reply
Our 7 year old very vocal cat has suddenly lost his voice and is still eating but croaking like a frog, could he have laringytis?
Lisa - Comment
Lisa25 Jun 2017Reply
My cat just is doing this and I took him to the vet and he had a image in his throat. He is on medication right now I was just courious how your kitty is doing?
Kevin - Comment
Kevin24 Jul 2017Reply
My Cat is 10 now but it great shape. He has been in the wars recently, mostly due to a bad infection in his respiratory system and fur balls. A combination of drugs and potions has got him back to his usual self.

However he has lost his meow, He still purrs and can make sounds but the are strained. He got it back an now it has gone again. I have a few theories but not any that I can put any store by. He eats well and is very happy and playful. He, like all cats, has a very individual personality and he is displaying all of his usual quirks. This is reassuring as i don't think that he is in pain or anything. I had him checked recently by our vet and he had a clean bill of health. Maybe it is a waiting game. Like me, he is not as young as he used to be, so maybe it just takes time. I will continue to monitor his well being. Waiting for something to click. An earlier comment on this thread gave me some reassurance that I was not alone.
QuickBeam - Comment
QuickBeam24 Jul 2017Reply
My cat is also ten. He has lost his meow before, we went on vacation and he tuckered himself out looking and calling for us. HOWEVER, today it happened again for no particular reason...its off and on all day. The advice here doesnt really help me as he has a birth defect that makes his nose all runny and his eyes reallu really runny but those NEVER got in the way of his adorable obnoxious meow before...
Michelle mooney - Comment
Michelle mooney29 Jul 2017Reply
My 2 year old cat has always been very vocal but today I noticed that her meow was very different. She sounds hoarse. We recently introduced a new kitten into the household and my 2 year cat didn't take very well to him. Anytime he got close she hissed and ran away nearly.a week on they seem grand and can be found playing. Would the hissing for a week be the reason why her meow is different? ?
Marcela - Comment
Marcela29 Jul 2017Reply
Hi, i was wondering how your cats health improved, since losing its meow. Could you give me some advise? My very vocal cat, just lost his meow. I recently rescued 2 kittens as well. He is eating & going potty normal but seems tired most of the time. Thank you.
Karissa  - Comment
Karissa 29 Jul 2017Reply
This has also happened to my cat and I came on here looking for answers, glad to know it may be a thing! Thought it was weird timing she lost her voice about 2-3 weeks after kitten arrived. Still happy and eating and is getting on well enough with the kitten who meows enough for at least two cats... Does anybody know why this would happen? Is it psychological or physical?
Maranda - Comment
Maranda29 Jul 2017Reply
I have the same issue. My 3yr old cat has been getting used to the new kitten but ever since then she's been hissing a Lot and her meow is very hoarse and crackling. Is this something I should be worried about or
Elrika van Staden - Comment
Elrika van Staden29 Jul 2017Reply
Hi Michelle I do have EXACTLY the same problem now! I introduced a new kitten into our home 2 weeks ago and suddenly my 2 year old is not that vocal anymore, is hoarse when he actually meows. He is eating and doesn't have any coughing, discharge from his eyes or nose Do you have any advice or tips because our situation almost seems identical Thanks
Ericka - Comment
Ericka13 Sep 2017Reply
We took in a severely malnourished cat about two weeks ago. When she first came she couldn't meow it was just a croak. Now today she sounds like a regular cat when she meows. Can her being malnourished have caused her to not meow properly? She was skin and bones and was losing fur also. Her bald spots are now filing in and she spends less time sleeping and now grooms herself and comes up for attention.
Marian Standen - Comment
Marian Standen17 Sep 2017Reply
My cat is usually quite vocal but the last few weeks her meow has been very soft. She is eating and going out as normal and interacting with me the same as usual. Anyone have any ideas 💡
Iyesha - Comment
Iyesha21 Sep 2017Reply
I have 2 4month old female kittens (siblings). One named Nahla is very vocal, always chortling, purring, mewing when she wants affection and MEOWING very loudly with a little kitten voice at any complaint or need. She is very smart and will meow in her usual high tone, and lead me where she wants me to go until I realize what she needs. Last night and today, I heard the weirdest sounding meow. It is lower and slightly husky, almost like a chortle or a coo. Could she be entering adolescence? Is she in heat? Or should I be concerned. She is eating, drinking, playing and being her usual bossy self. If anything she has been more cuddly the past day or so.
Shelia Ann - Comment
Shelia Ann21 Sep 2017Reply
Iyesha, im sure that you know by now that if your cat was in heat there is very little chance of confusing it with any other disorder, lol i had 3 siblings that all came in heat within 5 minutes of ea0ch other! Any way have you discovered what the issue was?
Dolly - Comment
Dolly21 Sep 2017Reply
My Violet had these symptoms and the vet thought it was an allergy. I put her on Allegra. I should have insisted on tests when after a month there was no improvement. She has lung cancer. My other kitty has just developed hoarseness after a plane trip (in cabin).

I'm worried and will get him to the vet right away. I was hoping to find some shimmer of hope here but it seems going to the vet really is the best option.

Good luck to all the kitties and those who love them who need it.
Crystal  - Comment
Crystal 27 Sep 2017Reply
My cat just all of sudden sounds like he has sore throat I don't if has something in throat are what or if just a cold
Crystal - Comment
Crystal26 Oct 2017Reply
My cat is 2 and she tries to meow but sounds like a new born kitten when she meows. She’s still a playful cat and no change in appetite.. not sure if this is serious or not..please help!
Lynda Lovejoy - Comment
Lynda Lovejoy02 Nov 2017Reply
One of my cats became hoarse, then within same day lost her voice. She is a tiny cat, gets cold easily. The only thing that changed is that she slept all night in front of a space heater - we switched out the space heater for a warm air humidifier, and her voice is back. Hope this helps some folks if their cats appear perfectly normal one day, then just lose their voice the next, with no other symptoms.
Shelia Ann - Comment
Shelia Ann02 Nov 2017Reply
Lynda Lovejoy, if your cat still gets cold easily you may need to have the thyroid checked, from what I understand the loss of voice and getting cold easily are both symptoms of hyperthyroidism. I am wondering if the voice came back for good or not.
Melanie - Comment
Melanie04 Nov 2017Reply
My cat’s 2 years old and we just got a kitten that’s two months old and my cousin found her in her basement. Now that we have had her for almost three weeks my cat lost her voice. Now I’m worried. Could it be the kitten that has made her sick?
Aashika Ajith - Comment
Aashika Ajith04 Nov 2017Reply
Did you find out what went wrong with your cat? My cat has the same issue. I'm unable to understand what is wrong with him.
Alexandra - Comment
Alexandra04 Nov 2017Reply
Hello! I have the exact same problem. Did you find out what happened?
Mary Ann barnes - Comment
Mary Ann barnes06 Nov 2017Reply
My cat is currently doing this. He also had a spell last summer. In the earlier case he ate a rabbit n I guess it hurt his throat. For past week, he's been doing it again. It went from weak, to no noise at all, now voice is coming back. I'll keep eye out for his scat and see if I find another bunny.
Pauline - Comment
Pauline15 Nov 2017Reply
my cat is 18 , for a few months he was constantly meowing night and day , but now he has lost his voice it's been like this for about 4 weeks , apart he totally well, still got an appertite etcetera , any ideas , thanks
Craig  - Comment
Craig 18 Nov 2017Reply
All of a sudden my cat can’t meow and ain’t really eating anyone know what this is
Paula - Comment
Paula24 Nov 2017Reply
My cat vomited 2 hairball and ever since has been horse she's eating fine and playing just not as active and didn't meow hardly please help I'm so worried
Linda Reifsnyder - Comment
Linda Reifsnyder06 Jan 2018Reply
I rescued my 2 year old cat from the spca she took three months to come around and accept her new home, at first she did not meow at all but now she tries but all she can do is a faint whisper. I was wondering if maybe she was abused.
Mark Weeden - Comment
Mark Weeden03 Feb 2018Reply
does a vet actually look at this site? No one seems to ever reply with any suggestions.
Jaime morelock  - Comment
Jaime morelock 03 Feb 2018Reply
Right! Agree. thankful to the few who updated there info or turn out.ugh...
Lyn - Comment
Lyn20 Feb 2018Reply
I am a doctor for humans but have 5 cats. If co corned PLEASE just take your cat to the vet! Here in Australia, loss of voice can be a first sign of tick paralysis, and this can be fatal.

Best wishes to all cat guardians XXX
QuickBeam - Comment
QuickBeam20 Feb 2018Reply
Except when you have shut in little ones cuz they are too stoopid to go outside! Also if you live there...i would HIGHLY suggest keeping your kitties indoors in normal environments kitties (on average) live about 3 more yrs when ONLY indoors and i cannot imagine them lasting too long is Australia...the heat, bugs the size of hands, and biger cats/doggos/whatever other hell creatures are there would suggest a SERIOUS danger to cats, even of the fierce feral variety
Joaquin - Comment
Joaquin10 Mar 2018Reply
My cat was talkative and a couple days ago can no longer get her meow out when she tries. I will try and follow up on this to let y'all know how it turns out.
Stella - Comment
Stella13 Mar 2018Reply
My cat had a fur ball stuck and had trouble getting it up for maybe a week, in that time he didn’t weow because he was wheezing and having trouble breathing with the furuball being stuck. He’s eating, drinking playing with our other kitty. He just can’t weow. Can anyone help??
Joaquin - Comment
Joaquin14 Mar 2018Reply
After being mute, my cat was raspy and can now meow ok. Not sure what the problem was.
Bear. - Comment
Bear.16 Mar 2018Reply
I have a 10 1/2 yr old cat, he has always meow`d to let us know that he wants some thing, over the last 2 weeks his meow has turned into a squeak, I don`t think that he is stressed about any thing, he looks happy enough.. he does love it when you rub the front of his ears, I am worried that some thing is a miss, does anyone have any ideas?? If so PLEASE let me know.
Little Bear - Comment
Little Bear06 Apr 2018Reply
My cat little bear was almost 17, he started to problems eating, and was starting to loose weight. He had a very quiet meow like a whisper for a few days, I went to the vet and they informed me he had a tumour on his neck. I unfortunately had to put him down yesterday, because they had no guarantee that any of the medications would help his tumour go down to the point where he could eat again. Worse complications would arise with his organs if he wasn’t eating. I couldn’t watch him suffer anymore. :(
Marsha - Comment
Marsha06 Apr 2018Reply
So sorry for your loss.
Lee - Comment
Lee10 May 2018Reply
So my cat, a long haired calico, suddenly has this sort of..muted meow? She usually has a very loud meow that gets your attention and once you start to pet her she will begin to purr. But I’ve noticed lately that she only meows whenever you touch her, but instead of her normal loud meow, it’s a very gentle meow that sounds like she is in pain? Very confused and very concerned
Helene - Comment
Helene15 May 2018Reply
I have a 7 year old cat, Reggie, who was diagnosed last year with Feliv, which is leukemia.. Week ago he acted different didn't want to be touched, slept in hiding, pronounced swallow, lethargic, didn't eat as much....this went on 3 days and almost took to vet but gave him some amoxitabs, antibiotic but only two. He was better but his meow was gone! It is back but different. Cats with leukemia, their immune symptom can be compromised and some get ill more. If he continues meowing different, I will definitely take him to vet! Above, it was mentioned THROAT CANCER. This is a concern for me now!!
Abigail - Comment
Abigail26 May 2018Reply
My cat just doesn't meow anymore. As a kitten, he used to scream his head off but one day, he just stopped. Now whenever he meows (rarely) it's a mouse squeak.
Jean - Comment
Jean31 May 2018Reply
I have a 10 months cat who has always been vocal. Three weeks ago, I introduced a 2 months old kitten to the household. At first, they were not getting along at all, but now they are being playful. However, my older cat the last couple of days, all of a sudden, has lost his voice. I can' barely hear him when he meows. Is the new kitten making him sick?
Alisa - Comment
Alisa01 Jun 2018Reply
My boy is 2 years and mostly stays inside but does go out during the day I've noticed that today he was hoarse he has gotten into fights before this but the other cats are not around anymore he's a healthy eater and nothing else seems to be wrong
Larissa - Comment
Larissa20 Jun 2018Reply
Minha gatinha de 4 ou 5 meses está touca, e quando tenta miar, não sai nada, ela está assim a mais ou menos 1 mês, alguém sabe o que fazer?
Tom - Comment
Tom22 Jun 2018Reply
I care for a homeless cat.... he has pretty much became our little kitty ....
He trys to meow but comes out very very light......he also is very thin
Elaine - Comment
Elaine23 Jun 2018Reply
I got a 5 month old kitten and she doesn't really have a meow at all I'm wondering if I should be worried.
Roy Rodriguez - Comment
Roy Rodriguez03 Jul 2018Reply
Is this hoarse meowing contagious? Because i took care of a street cat who had those symptoms but she didn't seem to be sick, and she ate a lot. My indoor cat started interacting with her and after a few days my cat could barely meow... Im worried i wanna know what this is before i take it to a vet.
Tiara - Comment
Tiara01 Aug 2018Reply
Our cat normally has a great voice, but after we brought her new "sister" home, it's hoarse. I really hope she's not sick, and it is just a result of them playing/fighting and snarling/hissing/growling at each other.
Sherry mccann - Comment
Sherry mccann16 Aug 2018Reply
My 18+yr old siamese cat has a cough and can no longer meow, and we all know how loud and vocal they can be. I took him to the vet, xray was clear, heart is slightly enlarged but not enough to concern the vet. He has gas in his intestines. Got tons of meds but I'm concerned that it is some kind of growth in his airway. Any thoughts as to what else could be causing this. Vet was talking about getting him scoped under anesthesia but at his advanced age it probably isn't a good idea.
Chris - Comment
Chris16 Aug 2018Reply
Hi there, wondering how it went for your kitty? Mine is having the same symptoms
Imogen - Comment
Imogen18 Oct 2019Reply
Nobody here has described my cat's scenario, which is that two days ago she was seriously attacked by another cat and has had a deep throaty meow ever since. She was almost lifeless following the attack but the vet can find nothing wrong with her. She now seems fine apart from her voice - I find it quite distressing but the vet is not overly concerned. Just wanted to let everyone know that this is another reason for cats losing their voice, and you might not realise your cat's been attacked.
Aubrey - Comment
Aubrey14 Nov 2019Reply
My cat is 5 years old and when he meows is sounds like he's hissing at me.
Ali - Comment
Ali13 Feb 2020Reply
My cat from begin of 1 month and until 6 month dont have voice
Bob - Comment
Bob01 Mar 2020Reply
my cat is 13 yold, is normal, eats and drinks well, 5 days now not meowing as much today not at alll, not interested in meowing, took him the vet doesnt know why, running tests, has a heart murmur ,any ideas, has been sneezing and coughing not lately, today a sneeze, no temperature, im a little worried.
Maria - Comment
Maria27 Apr 2020Reply
Please see comment 18 octobre 2019 - IMOGEN.
It has been very helpful for me.
Thank you
Naomi - Comment
Naomi20 Jul 2020Reply
My cat lost his meow 2 days ago he is not eating nor playing he seems tired mostly and always searching for warmth
Everytime he is trying to meow as if there is something stuck and having difficulty breathing
Alexandra - Comment
Alexandra21 Jul 2020Reply
Hello! I need some help pls. We brought home a little kitty and our other cat (3 years old) lost it's voice after 7 days. She is very talkative usually. Can this be because of the playing and hissing? Thank you!
Maxine - Comment
Maxine30 Jul 2020Reply
My cat is 11 runny nose, coughing, sneezing,stopped meowing but trys too looks unwell
Melissa - Comment
Melissa31 Aug 2020Reply
Like the rest of you two of my cats are experiencing raspy quiet meows where they normally had very loud and clear meows I introduced a kitten to our family about 3 weeks ago and noticed he had a very soft raspy meow didn't really think anything of it My other two we noticed their meow change about a week ago All three are going to the vets today when I get their diagnosis I will definitely leave a comment to try to help some of you out! I did however read up on Google that it is most likely feline herpes!
Heather - Comment
Heather31 Aug 2020Reply
I am having the same issue as well ,how ever I noticed on one side of his neck he has what seems to be hives or a raised bummpie rash like area . I did just try him on a new flea medicine so I'm not sure if it is a allergic reaction to the new medication. I would love to hear how your visit went . Hope all is well. As soon as I get to the vet I will post my up date .
Melissa - Comment
Melissa31 Aug 2020Reply
My vet found nothing wrong with them he said it could be psychological because of the new kitten I introduced to the family and he has a very faint meow and they could be mimicking him... They were tested for the herpes and were all clear so I'm not too sure lol... Hopefully your cat is just having a reaction to the flea meds!!!
Wendy - Comment
Wendy24 Sep 2020Reply
Hi my 12 year old cat has lost her voice for over a month now. She purrs but nothing else, her breathing is also louder and more frequent ,she has a thyroid problem and has medication for it, she doesn’t seem in any pain,I think there is a problem with her throat but she’s still eating and drinking ok. I have spoken to my vet who said leave her see if it comes back which it hasn’t. I don’t want her messed about as she lost her right back leg in an accident 9 years ago. She seems happy goes in and out when she likes but I’m worried about her all the same.Anyone got any advice please ?
Jennifer Hammond  - Comment
Jennifer Hammond 23 Oct 2020Reply
I have a Male cat that was once the neighborhood stray and very malnourished. I began feeding him and caring for him about 3 years ago. Even though he trusts me to an extent he will never allow me to pick him up and hes very Leary of everything including me at times. So needless to say he hasn't been to a veterinarian. He's fattened up and was eating until about 4 days ago. He has lost his appetite for his normal food but will eat soft food here and there. He refuses go drink water and loves milk but now he won't drink that either. He's salivating and drooling and has lost his meow and seems to be trying to clear his throat of a hairball but nothing comes out and I have also noticed his tongue is out more than usual. He's up and moving around but not behaving like his normal love and attention starved self...which he's not deprived of either of the two. I believe he's an American long haired main coon so he's pretty good sized boy and I can already see some weight loss and I'm EXTREMELY worried about him. I have tried getting mobile vets to come and check him but they don't come to my area because we are 15 minutes out of their radius.

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