Causes Of A Voice Change In Cats
1. Over Use
This is most often seen in females who are continually calling because they are in a season, or heat, but can be seen in any cat who has recently been very vocal. Perhaps they have been left in the vets or in a boarding facility and are voicing their indignation, or maybe there is a new cat that has moved in next door and they are attempting to communicate with them. These kitties rarely use their meow but can become slightly hoarse. Once they settle down and stay quiet for a while, their symptoms should resolve. Cats will otherwise be well in themselves and acting as usual.
An inflamed larynx can lead to difficulty swallowing and a hoarse meow. There can be many causes, including irritation from inhaled fumes or smoke and infections. There can be some pain involved and cats typically feel somewhat under the weather. You may find they hide away and eat less than normal.
3. Foreign Body
Cats can sniff up or swallow foreign bodies such as blades of grass, fish bones, or grass awns, which can lodge in the throat and make it difficult to meow. Usually, we will see other signs such as retching, smelly breath and a reduced appetite. Sometimes, a foreign body can be seen when an animal is conscious, but more often than not we will need to sedate an animal and visualize their larynx and vocal cords with a laryngoscope to get a better idea of what is going on.
4. Growths & Tumors
READ MORE: Why Doesnt My Cat Purr?
6. Non-respiratory Infections
How To Treat Laryngitis In Cats
If you have a cat who is meowing or even crying with a hoarse and raspy voice, then you probably already know how distressing it can be, especially if your cat is normally such a talkative, friendly and loving little buddy.
No doubt, this is probably unlike your cat! Its nothing to worry about but it can be an indicator of other health issues and needs to be addressed by a veterinarian.
How To Treat Cat Laryngitis
If your cat has laryngitis, there are a few things you can do to help them feel better. Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, which can make your cats voice sound raspy or hoarse. Its usually caused by an infection, but it can also be caused by allergies or other irritants. Here are a few tips for treating your cats laryngitis: 1. Keep them hydrated. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink and if possible, offer them wet food as well. This will help soothe their throat and keep their vocal cords lubricated. 2. Avoid loud noises. If your cat is meowing loudly or coughing frequently, try to minimize the amount of noise theyre exposed to. This will help reduce irritation and give their vocal cords a chance to rest. 3. Take them to the vet.
Don’t Miss: How Much To Put Chip In Cat
Question: Why Is My Kittens Voice Hoarse And What Can I Do About It
A weak, raspy, or hoarse meow is usually heard in younger cats and can sometimes indicate an underlying medical problem. It may sound like your cat has a cold or has a throat infection.
If your cat has a weak or raspy or hoarse meow, you will want to consult a veterinarian familiar with cats to make sure there is no underlying medical cause. A vet may recommend x-rays, lab work, or other diagnostic tests to rule out an upper respiratory infection or other problems.
Though most weak, raspy, or hoarse meows get corrected on their own, it can also be related to some serious issues. If you detect any abnormal thickening, masses, or lumps in your cats throat, let his or her physician know asap.
Once you and your vet rule out any serious medical problems, you can turn your attention to issues relating to recovery and normalcy. Your veterinarian can give you hands-on instructions to help your cat. The goal is to keep the cat well-fed and happy.
Does A Cat With A Hoarse Voice Need To Be Taken To The Vet
If a hoarse meowing is the only issue troubling your cat, its probably nothing serious and theres probably no need to ask for the vets advice immediately.
As long as the cat is well in every other way eating, drinking, behaving normally there is not normally any need to rush to the vet.
Often, just like in humans with mild laryngitis, the full normal voice will return within a couple of days, or perhaps a week or two. Its only if the change carries on beyond this, or if the animal shows other signs of a health problem, that a visit to your vet becomes necessary.
Don’t Miss: Best Cat Litter For Dust
Recovery Of Laryngitis In Cats
Once the cause of the cats laryngitis has been identified, prescribed treatments and simple at-home care should allow it to return to full health. If the cat had a URI, once the symptoms have resolved, the cat should have a good recovery.
If the cat has an obstruction caused by a tumor or eosinophilic granuloma complex, this needs to be treated immediately. A tumor can be cancerous and, if caught early, the cat may have a good prognosis.
If the larynx is severely obstructed, immediate treatment is necessary so that the cat has a chance of recovery. If the cause of the obstruction isnt detected and removed immediately, the cat may not recover.
Laryngitis can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat has laryngitis or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the pawfect plan for your pet in just a few clicks!
What Causes Cat Laryngitis
Cat laryngitis is often the result of infectious diseases such as upper respiratory infections , calicivirus, or rhinotracheitis however there are a number of other conditions that can cause your cat to lose their voice including:
- Inhaled irritants, such as smoke or dust
- Blockage in the larynx
- Object lodged in the throat
- Paralysis of laryngeal nerve
- Growth in the throat (benign, cancerous
- Eosinophilic granuloma complex
Read Also: Can Cats Get Heartworms From Dogs
Treatment For A Wheezing Cat
Since wheezing can be caused by many things, its important to work with your vet to determine the cause so an appropriate treatment plan can be made.
While diagnosing your cat or kitten, your vet will ask you a series of questions and conduct a physical exam to rule out allergies, foreign objects, and hairballs. Once those are ruled out, they will move on to chronic or infection-related conditions to determine how best to treat your cat.
Depending on the underlying cause, treatment may range from medication to lifestyle changes.
This may include:
- Surgery in the case of respiratory blockage
- Treatment for aspiration or infectious pneumonia
- Preventative grooming to reduce hairballs
If you suspect the wheezing is from stress, remove your cat or kitten from the cause and give them plenty of affection until they calm down or let them hide and calm down themselves depending on your cats personality. If theyre a hider, make sure to check on them frequently to make sure they are alright.
Is It Normal For A Cats Meow To Change
If youre concerned about your cats meow sounding weak and raspy, there could be a few different reasons for this. It could be due to dehydration, which is why its important to make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. If your cat is eating dry food, they may also need some wet food or canned food to help increase their hydration levels.
Another possibility is that your cat has an upper respiratory infection or viral infection, both of which can cause a weakened meow. If youre unsure what might be causing your cats weakened meow, its best to take them to the vet for an evaluation.
Recommended Reading: Why Do Cats Wander Off For Days
What Are The Symptoms Of Laryngitis
The signs of inflammation of the larynx and vocal cords include:
- Sometimes inappetence, or difficulty swallowing
- A change in the sound of normal vocalization including purring and meowing
- If a cat has an upper respiratory tract infection , there may be other signs such as watery eyes, sneezing and coughing
Getting Veterinary Treatment For Hoarseness
You May Like: How To Get A Cat To Love You
Providing Care At Home
How Will The Cough Be Treated
Treatment depends on the diagnosis and your cat’s medical condition. Symptomatic treatment with decongestant medicines may be helpful in mild cases. If the diagnosis is infectious, either as a primary viral infection with secondary bacterial infection or a primary bacterial infection, antibiotics will likely provide rapid improvement. Antibiotics will usually be prescribed for at least two weeks, if not longer. It is important not to stop the treatment once the cat seems better. Complete the medication as prescribed, otherwise the infection may return and be more difficult to treat.
“It is important not to stop the treatment once the cat seems better.”
If the coughing is a more chronic problem that has been present for one to two months, there may be permanent damage to the mucous membrane surfaces in the lungs such that they are not capable of healing. In these cases, respiratory infections may be prolonged and recurrent. Targeted supplements that improve mucous membrane repair or act as immune stimulants may be helpful. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to suppress inflammation, particularly if there is an allergic basis and the allergen cannot be found and removed from the cat’s environment. In the case of certain types of cancer, chemotherapy may be an option.
|Contributors: Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSc, MPH Ernest Ward, DVM|
Read Also: Why Is My Cat Sitting In His Litter Box
Treatment Of A Hoarse Voice In A Cat
In most cases, cats make a full recovery within a few weeks, and their normal voice returns in that period.
As long as your cat remains bright and generally well, eating properly and behaving normally, its often safe to wait for a while, and your cats normal voice may resume within a week or two.
However, if your pet show any other signs of illness, or if their voice has not returned after a few weeks, a visit to your vet is needed.
Treatment will depend on the cause of the hoarse voice
- Foreign bodies need to be physically removed
- Growths, such as polyps, need to be properly assessed then surgically excised
- Space occupying masses, such as tumors or abscesses, need full and detailed treatment, depending on their precise details
- Steam treatment, or a humidifier, may be suggested
Is Your Cat Having Breathing Difficulties
Take the Feline Asthma Assessment to see if your cat could have asthma.
1 Cat Panting: Why It Happens and What to Do About It PetMD. Accessed March 19, 2020
2 A Hairy Dilemma Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Accessed March 19, 2020
3 Allergies in Cats: Symptoms and Triggers WebMD. Accessed March 19, 2020
4 Why is my cat struggling to breathe? Signs of cat breathing problems Vets Now. Accessed March 19, 2020
5 Cat Asthma: What It Is, Symptoms To Look For, And How To Treat It Trudell Medical. International Accessed March 19, 2020
6 Pneumonia Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Accessed March 19, 2020
7 Heartworm Basics American Heartworm Society. Accessed March 20, 2020
8 Cyanosis in Cats VCA Hospitals, Robin Downing, DVM. Accessed March 20, 2020
9 Pneumonia In Cats Merck Veterinary Manual, Ned F. Kuehn , DVM. Accessed on March 20, 2020
Don’t Miss: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin And Stomach Wet Cat Food
Why Does My Cats Meow Sound Hoarse
When a cats meow is weak and raspy, it can be worrying. In some instances, it is simply from overusing their voice. However, a cats meow can also sound hoarse when they have laryngitis. Laryngitis is where the larynx or voice box becomes inflamed due to an infection, blockage, or paralysis of the laryngeal nerve.
Here we look at each of these in more detail and how you can tell which applies to your kitty.
Reasons For A Weak And Raspy Cats Meow
1. Long Periods of Whining/Meowing
This is the first thing to think about when you notice a cats meow is becoming weak.
Most of the time, a cat will start to meow loudly when it is trapped somewhere and cant escape. This is a normal reaction, having the instinct to alert others that it needs help to get free.
You will also notice this behavior when your cat feels distressed in any way.
So when a cat seems to have lost its ability to meow properly, it is usually because it has done it for too long and is out of breath or out of energy. Its not uncommon for a cat that feels trapped to meow un until it is completely exhausted.
This is why, if you notice that your cat is trapped somewhere, you should really try to calm it as soon as possible.
If it continues to meow even after it is close to exhaustion, its vocal cords might take a hit, requiring some time to repair themselves and return to their initial form. This can last for a few days at the very least.
2. Upper Respiratory Infection
If there is no external factor that might be the reason for a cats weak meow, maybe it is due to an internal, medical issue instead.
The most common internal issue that would develop symptoms like a raspy meow is an upper respiratory infection. This is usually due to a virus that has infected the cats respiratory tract, which the cat will try to fight off.
Respiratory infection in cats will also feature symptoms like heavy breathing. hoarseness, and fatigue, among others.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Cat Not Peeing
How Is The Cause Of A Cat’s Cough Diagnosed
Because coughing is often associated with other signs of respiratory infection, an extensive initial work up may not be required. However, if the cough is severe, or if it has been present for some time, then further investigation may be needed. A thorough medical history documenting the onset of the problem and its progression, any changes in the cat’s home environment, or any other signs of illness in the cat, will be important.
The diagnostic work-up may include several types of blood tests, including heartworm antigen tests, laboratory cultures of a wash sample from the lower respiratory tract, endoscopic examination and radiography . Ultrasound evaluation of the heart may be necessary in some cases. Your cat may require a sedative for some of these procedures. Many of these tests will also help distinguish coughing from feline asthma.
Why Cant My Cat Meow What Causes A Cat To Stop Meowing Or Have A Raspy Or Hoarse Meow
Some feline breeds are more vocal than others by default.
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.
Whether your cat is vocal or not doesnt just depend on its breed. Each kitty is unique, so your pets tendencies towards vocalizing also depend on its personality.
Cats meow for things like food, playtime, or something else thats making them excited, worried, or just restless. Sometimes you can even tell if a cat is depressed or angry by the tone of its meowing. But what about when its not meowing at all?
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? Yes, it is.
Its often a telltale sign that you need to take your kitty to the vets office for a check-up.
Also Check: Best Odor Eliminating Cat Litter