One of our 2 cats, brothers, has lost his voice. Over the last few weeks his meow degenerated into a gruff squeak, but today it seems his voice has silenced. He is a large cat, loved his food, would always follow me to the kitchen in the hope of getting more, and he would meow at me as though he was asking for more. However, he only eats in the morning and evening now, spends a lot of time sleeping.

Should I take him to the vet?

  • 6
    Yes, you should schedule a vet visit as soon as possible. Jan 25, 2018 at 22:50
  • 1
    Thanks for all the answers to my query. We went to see the vet today, nothing serious diagnosed thankfully, given some anti inflammatory meds as a precaution. He meowed loudly all the way there and back! He has to go on a diet too as he is overweight. Also because of building work going on next door with an extension going up out the back, both cats very wary of going out so I guess I will need to invest in a litter tray for them. Thanks again for the suggestions. Jan 30, 2018 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


As James says in his comment you need to take him to the vet ASAP.

There's various medical reasons why a cat would lose their meow (some serious some not):

Upper Respiratory-tract Infection (URI)

That's a cold to you and me, cats can get infections just like we can and just like in humans they can have a sore throat and it can lead to laryngitis and a hoarse or inaudible meow.

Vocal cord growths

These can be (and often are) benign - a non-cancerous tumor and polyps are all possibilities. Unfortunately while it is rare throat cancer is also a possibility.

Layngeal Paralysis

This is where nerve damage has occurred that is impairing the larynx (voice box) from working correctly. It's really pretty rare in cats (dogs seem far more susceptible for some reason) but it is very serious and needs treatment ASAP! Things to watch out for:

1 Harsh breathing noises (wheezy or rattly - like an 80yr old two-pack a day man!)

2 Inspiratory stridor (high pitched creaking sounds while breathing)

3 Coughing

4 Raspy meow

5 Dysphonia or total lack of voice

6 Dyspnea (difficulty breathing), which can lead to:

  • Intolerance to exercise (because they can't breath well enough to accommodate increased activity and because panting is inhibited)

  • Anxiety

  • Limb weakness

  • Lethargy

  • Aspiration pneumonia

7 Pulled back lips

8 Dark or purple coloration of the tongue

9 Wide eyes


It sounds unlikely in this case - as you normally would see a significant weight loss as well but hoarseness/loss of meow is a potential symptom and if they feel it necessary the vet can test for this with a simple blood test.

  • this is a scary answer so take your cat to the vet and hope it is some minor problem your cat have.and please post an update and tell us the outcome. Jan 26, 2018 at 12:17

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