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Top 10 Reasons Why Your Cat Can’t Meow

Are you considered why your cat suddenly became quiet? Here are the top 10 reasons why your cat can't meow!

As a cat lover, I always like to watch a cat meow and it is quite a concern if we find our cat can’t meow.

why cat can't meow

Most of you might want to experience and love the same. But some of you might be surprised to know that it varies among cats and depends on many factors. If you own a breed like Siamese, Oriental, or Burmese, you can hear a lot of meow sounds. On the other hand, ragdolls, Maine coon, and Birman are usually quiet. Also, cats tend to reduce meowing as they age.

Just like you and me, even cats react to express their emotions or communicate with humans. They can meow for the same reasons. All being said, it is a sign of worry if a talkative or meowing cat suddenly becomes quiet and changes its behaviour. You need to take your kitty to the vet at once. A few of them are based on some infection or illness while the rest are due to other reasons. The following are the top 10 reasons why your cat can’t meow:

Illness-Based Reasons:

The following 5 reasons are primarily linked to illness or body-related disease that changes a cat’s meowing behaviour.

Upper respiratory infection: 

When your cat suffers from an upper respiratory infection, there is a possibility that your cat can’t meow because the infection results in hoarseness and sometimes even causes laryngitis. When your cat can’t meow, check for more signs such as coughing, sneezing, lethargy or loss of appetite. If you find these symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately so that she can be treated with antibiotics and get healthy sooner.


The other reason why your cat can’t meow is that it can have overactive thyroid glands. If you have a senior cat, the probability of hyperthyroidism is more. Take your cat and get treated by vet.

Growths or Polyps

There can be growths surrounding your cat’s vocal cords and this could also change your cat’s meowing style. Some of these growths are benign which you needn’t worry about. Others are harmful and can be cancerous in nature. The best thing to do is to take your kitty to the vet so that vet can tell you the next best course of action. When there are polyps or growths, you could observe certain other symptoms such as troubled breathing, ear infection, and sneezing to name a few.

Laryngeal Paralysis

This is caused due to nerve damage to the larynx (voice box) caused by a foreign sharp object like a blade or toy. This can also be a result of poor functioning of the voice box due to ageing. This can lead to coughing, weight loss and eating disorders. This is a serious issue and needs immediate medical attention.


If your cat wanders outdoors a lot, you need to be more careful of rabies infection. Your cat can get infected by another infected animal. It is another serious medical condition which results in a hoarse voice. If you suspect, don’t hesitate to book a vet appointment.

Non-Illness Related

The following five are psychological or other temporary conditions that keep your cat silent!

Prolonged meowing or vocal activity: 

Just like us, your cat might have been meowing for a long time. This could have caused a temporary loss of voice. You need not worry about it. Give it a couple of days and your cat will be back to its normal meowing routine.

Exposure to new surroundings

Most of the cats are sensitive to their surroundings. When you move to a new home, your cat might feel strange for a while and your cat might stop meowing. Also, when you bring in a lot of visitors or a new pet to your home, your cat might feel scared or threatened and it might exhibit different behaviour. 

When you suspect the above as the reasons, think of ways to make your feline friend comfortable. Keep your cat’s familiar toys or objects near to cat’s resting place. Don’t cause forced interaction of strangers with your cat. Let your cat explore and take time to be with strangers. Gradually, your cat will start to exhibit its routine behaviour.

Separation anxiety

Some cats feel stressed to leave a place or move from a former owner to a new owner. Like the above issue, this is also psychological in nature. Give your cat space and make it feel comfortable.

cat psychological issues

Past Trauma

Your cat must be associating meowing with a bad experience that happened to her life in the past. This could explain sometimes why your cat can’t meow.


Your cat might have a tube inside her throat for ventilation post-surgery. This could have caused inflammation leading to temporary quietness and loss of voice. This is not a serious cause of concern as your cat’s voice will be back to normal in a week.


To summarize, your cat can’t meow because of illness-related reasons such as upper respiratory infection, hyperthyroidism, growths or due to psychological reasons such as missing old home or mixing with strangers. If you find your cat’s behaviour has changed abruptly and the cat can’t meow for more than two days, don’t think twice to take your pet to the vet immediately.

If you like to continue reading about cats, explore how to keep ants out of cat food and why your cat won’t use the litter box.



Girish is a cat enthusiast and lover of cats. He firmly believes to create an impact by bringing the right information about cats to their owners

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