Why Isn’t My Cat Able To Meow?

One very important and heartwarming characteristic of our loved feline friends is their voice. When our cat meows, we know based on their tone if they are stressed, hungry, happy, or sick. We know our kitty’s voice just as well as we know our best friends or siblings. So, when you come home from work and Fluffy has lost her voice, we immediately know something is wrong. The most common reason why your cat can’t meow is similar to why you lose your own voice.

Did you know your cat can catch Laryngitis? It’s true. Laryngitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the larynx. The larynx is responsible for your cat’s distinct voice. Laryngitis can happen because of multiple reasons.


The larynx is a very sensitive part of your cat’s anatomy and can become swollen because of trauma, causing Laryngitis. This can be caused by a foreign object. It can also be common after an anesthetic procedure because of the equipment used in surgery like an endotracheal tube. This tube gives direct access to your cat’s airway during the procedure. Some patients are more sensitive to tube placement than others. Keep an ear out for coughing and voice loss once your cat is home. This usually clears up in a couple of days, but if it persists or your cat seems uncomfortable, let your veterinarian know.

Upper Respiratory Infection

Upper respiratory infections such as feline calicivirus or rhinotracheitis are common among felines. Runny nose, sneezing, goopy eyes, and voice loss are all possible symptoms of an upper respiratory virus and are just as contagious as the common cold is to us, leading to Laryngitis. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian and isolate the possible sick cat from any other cats in the house. Antibiotics will help your kitty feel better and staying up to date with vaccinations can help prevent any upper respiratory infections.

Meowing Too Much

Remember the last time you went to a concert and sung too loud and too much that you lost your voice? Although your cat may not enjoy a concert, they can still lose their voice resulting in Laryngitis from meowing too much. Does your cat meow a lot when they want to go outside or come inside? Be sure to obey their every wish or they may lose that precious voice. If this is the case, once they figure out they can’t meow, they will usually keep quiet until they are feeling up to meowing again.

Laryngeal Paralysis

Laryngeal paralysis is a rare condition in cats where they larynx becomes paralyzed. This can be a dangerous situation and can cause a cat to not be able to breathe. Medications can be prescribed to help, but usually, surgery is needed for a permanent fix.

If your cat loses their voice, it doesn’t hurt to give your veterinarian a call. They can give you more information as to if your cat needs to be seen or should give their meow a rest for a few days.

Know another cat owner who could benefit from reading this article? Don’t forget to share this information with them, too.