Take the Oriental Shorthair for example. These furballs can meow, chirp, and make all sorts of crazy sounds when they want to speak their minds. Other breeds are shyer when it comes to expressing their opinion. They wont meow or even purr unless its a special occasion or theyre really craving your attention.
Cats meow for things like food , playtime, or something else thats making them excited, worried, or just restless. When an ordinarily vocal cat stops meowing altogether, pet parents are sometimes baffled.
As if not speaking cat language isnt already hard for you, is it really possible for your pet to just stop vocalizing all of a sudden? Sometimes having visitors spend the night or getting a bunch of new furniture pieces could also result in a lack of meowing. Separation anxiety can also trigger this type of behavior, even though its more common for depressed or anxious felines to meow constantly instead of keeping quiet.
If something painful or hurtful happened the last time it tried to speak, it could be suppressing its voice on purpose. Colds, allergies, calicivirus, and other similar respiratory issues can easily cause a sudden loss of meowing. If youre allowing your pet to roam the outdoors freely, it could eventually contract rabies from another infected animal.
Rabies often causes a hoarse voice to such an extent that it may seem as though a cat is only opening its mouth without producing any meow-like sounds. If theres the slightest chance your kitty has been near a rabid animal, you must take it to the vets office immediately. Michelle Burch, DVM Another possible reason for the loss of a cats meow is damage to the nerve controlling the voice box.
The damage is often caused by foreign bodies, such as grass blades or twigs, in the laryngeal region. If your cat has had a recent surgery requiring anesthesia, she may have had a tube inserted into her air passageway for ventilation.
What causes a cat not to be able to meow?
Some cats develop laryngitis due to meowing too much or ingesting an irritant. A lack of vocalization can also be a secondary symptom of another medical condition, such as anaphylactic shock, laryngeal paralysis, feline herpes, feline calicivirus, hyperthyroidism, trauma, hairballs, throat tumors, and rabies.
Why doesn't my cat make noise when she meows?
So, when she gives one of her silent meows when you’re back after a vacation or from work, it is simply a way of greeting you and telling you that she’s excited you’re back. In this sense, a silent meow is nothing but a simple greeting! After an “intense” day at work, your cat is tired and wants to have a quiet sleep.
Cats, whether big or small, rely on vocalizations to communicate, and none is more important than the classic meow. It’s how a kitten talks to her mom, how she greets her human parents, and how she asks for dinner. So if vocalizing is such an important form of cat communication, then why does she sometimes meow without sound? Is there such a thing as a silent meow?
“A cat up to three feet away from the origin of a sound can pinpoint its location to within a few inches in a mere six one-hundredths of a second,” explains Animal Planet . With such an astounding sense of hearing, a cat instinctively will incorporate those extra sounds into her own communicative signals.
Cats meow for various reasons. The cries that greet you when you arrive home a barrage of short meows are perhaps the most satisfying for a cat owner.
The Maine Coon has a variation on the standard cat meow, making a lovely chirping sound when they feel playful which is most of the time! At the other end of the scale, some of the quietest cat breeds are said to be the Chartreux, Cornish Rex, Persian, Ragdoll and Russian Blue.
This is not actually a bad thing, as a cat who is genuinely anxious or afraid is more likely to meow and cry loudly rather than fall silent. These ailments will come with other symptoms, including runny or gummy eyes, wheezing, panting and breathlessness, coughing and sneezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, or discharge from nose.
Why Is My Cat Not Meowing?
Here are the most common reasons why your kitty has stopped meowing, or has developed a raspy or hoarse meow.
If you’ve recently moved to a new home, your cat may still be getting accustomed to it.Sometimes having visitors spend the night or getting a bunch of new furniture pieces could also result in a lack of meowing.Separation anxiety can also trigger this type of behavior, even though it’s more common for depressed or anxious felines to meow constantly instead of keeping quiet.Another psychological reason for the lack of meowing is a cat’s personal association with meowing. If something painful or hurtful happened the last time it tried to speak, it could be suppressing its voice on purpose. Such post-traumatic behavior is often accompanied by other symptoms like loss of appetite, lethargy, or destructive behavior.
Temporary Loss Of Voice
Another reason for the lack of meowing could be a temporary loss of voice. Similar to how you lose your voice when you’ve been shouting all night long at a concert, your kitty could also go through something similar.It’s highly unlikely that your pet was at a concert when you left it home alone. But if it was constantly meowing during that time, your cat may be suffering from a sore throat.So yes, cats can briefly lose their voice from excessive meowing.The temporary voice loss isn’t a reason to panic. Your cat should get back to its normal vocalization in a couple of days.
Even overall healthy feline breeds can develop respiratory infections, regardless of their age. Among the most common upper respiratory diseases in cats is feline herpes.Colds, allergies, calicivirus, and other similar respiratory issues can easily cause a sudden loss of meowing. These ailments are often accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:Other symptoms include:If you think your cat has an upper respiratory infection or a respiratory condition, call your vet.
Growths And Cancers
Polyps, tumors, cancers, and other types of growths could develop inside your cat’s mouth, on its vocal cords, and in other areas such as inside its throat. These growths can change your pet’s meowing and the way it sounds, and they can also lead to a permanent lack of meowing.Some of these health issues often result in other side effects apart from the loss of voice. These include sneezing, respiratory issues, and even ear infections.
Laryngeal paralysis is a dysfunction of the voice box, typically caused by age/degeneration of the voice box. If your cat is suffering from it, his vocal cords won’t produce a sound.This condition is more prevalent in canines, but it can also affect cats.
Hyperthyroidism is a health disorder caused by hyperactive thyroid glands. Senior cats are more prone to developing it than their younger counterparts.While it does happen, this isn’t a common cause for cats to lose their meow. Veterinarian Michelle Burch explains…
If your cat has had a recent surgery requiring anesthesia, she may have had a tube inserted into her air passageway for ventilation.The intubation process can irritate the vocal cords, causing internal inflammation. Sometimes, this results in the temporary loss of your cat’s meow.If this is the case, your cat should be back to its vocal self within a week.The content in this article was reviewed and approved by veterinarian Michelle Burch.
The Cat’s Meow
To put a cat‘s meow into perspective, there are at least five different types of meows, and the tone and pitch of each meow signals a different emotion, need or want. Your kitty knows exactly which meow or chirp will get her a snuggle or a midnight snack. After living with pet parents for thousands of years, cats have picked up a few pointers on how to get what they want.According to Nicholas Nicastro, who participated in a cat vocalization research study at Cornell University, cats don’t really use “true language,” and don’t understand what their own meows mean. But, he says, “Humans (or at least well-trained cat people) can assign meaning to sounds with various acoustical qualities because, through long association with cats, we have learned how they sound in different behavioral contexts.” A cat‘s consistent use of specific vocalizations to communicate with her humans illustrates how well cats have adapted to domesticated life and how much humans have learned from their feline friends.
The Silent Meow
Why does my cat meow without sound? It’s an intriguing question. While researchers know so much about various cat vocalizations and what they mean, the silent meow, when she opens her mouth but no sound comes out, is an outlier of sorts. What’s happening during this non-meow?According to the Smart Living Network, “The occasional ‘silent meow‘ is common among felines and nothing to worry about and some cats do use this more often than others.” For many cats, the quiet meow simply is a substitute for a classic meow.But is the meow really silent? As it turns out, it may be that your cat actually isn’t meowing without sound; rather, it’s just too quiet for you to hear. “A cat up to three feet away from the origin of a sound can pinpoint its location to within a few inches in a mere six one-hundredths of a second,” explains Animal Planet. “Cats also can hear sounds at great distances — four or five times farther away than humans.” With such an astounding sense of hearing, a cat instinctively will incorporate those extra sounds into her own communicative signals.Therefore, if a cat can hear a high-pitched meow well above what a human is capable of hearing, then it’s worth the cat‘s time to make that sound. So, it’s possible that she is actually meowing, but she doesn’t know that you can‘t hear it as well as she does.
The Troublesome Meow
Depending on the breed, some cats, such as Siamese, naturally will meow louder and more frequently than others. In fact, excessive vocalization may be a concern with certain breeds, as they never stop talking. Other varieties, including the Abyssinian, are known for being quiet. Learning about your kitty’s breed is a great start to understanding and decoding her vocal signals.Although a quiet meow generally is not a concern, there are instances when you should take action if you notice an atypical vocalization pattern. When a typically vocal cat suddenly becomes quiet or her voice becomes raspy, for example, contact your veterinarian to check for any underlying issue or illness that may be causing the change.Much of the time, when you notice that your cat is meowing without sound, it’s not a cause for concern. The silent meow is one option that your kitty has at her disposal when she’s ready to tell you exactly what she wants, when she wants it and how much she loves you.