What do I do if my cat is hoarse?

The cat, like us, can become hoarse from time to time throughout its life . Although it is not a very common problem, it may happen that one day your tone of voice changes a little. If so, we have to find out why it happened since he may have caught cold or, in more serious cases, he is sick.

For these reasons, if we ever wonder what I do if my cat is hoarse , here we will find the answer to our question 🙂

What are the causes of aphonia in cats?


The larynx of cats is quite similar to ours, and works in a similar way (but NOT the same). In the same way that we can become hoarse when we catch cold, scream too much, cough or sneeze a lot, or have an illness or irritation such as laryngitis, the same can also happen to our dear furry friend .

To avoid this, it is important to give him a high-quality diet (without cereals) that keeps his immune system strong, and  avoid going outside on cold days , especially if he is a cold cat who likes to get under the blankets to protect themselves, since they tend to be the ones who catch colds the fastest.

How to know if my cat is hoarse?

When a cat has trouble fine-tuning its voice, we will quickly notice that its meows become more serious, breathy, and even hoarse . His meows may be shorter as he can’t do it any other way due to having trouble with his voice box.

If the case is serious, they can become speechless , that is, they will open their mouth with the intention of meowing, but they will not be able to make any sound.

What to do to help you?

If we have a hoarse dog, the first and most important thing we have to do is take him to the vet. As we have mentioned, there are several reasons why you have become hoarse, and to improve it you may need antibiotics or other types of medications that only the professional can recommend. You should never self-medicate the animal , because we could put its life in danger.

At home it is advisable to make homemade chicken broth and add it to your food . Thus, by eating a food that is at a warm temperature, your throat will be able to recover better.

What do the voice changes mean in your cat?

In addition to the aforementioned, cats can also have changes in their voice and be hoarse for other reasons . It is important that cat owners take this into account so that you can seek professional help as soon as possible as soon as they notice that something strange is happening in their cat in their voice.

Whenever they notice voice changes in their pets, most cat owners generally remain calm. After all, everyone has had the experience of a bad cold, one during which they almost lose their voice completely. Usually you would think it was annoying, but not a serious health problem .

While this statement might be true for humans, the same cannot be said for felines. In fact, voice changes in cats generally indicate an underlying health problem and not just a cold. Therefore, you should not take this problem lightly.

A little less known fact about felines is that their vocal cord is not unique, in the sense that they have an extra membrane, the ventricular cord. These ventricular cords are commonly used for purring. When your cat purrs, these “wires” vibrate at a rapid rate and without completely closing the windpipe.

Common reasons why your cat experiences voice changes


Voice changes or aphonia in felines generally indicate that there is mechanical interference with the process or that there could be a lack of stimulation of the nerves associated with the vocal cords. According to veterinarians, respiratory infections can cause changes in the voice of cats, but these are very rare cases. The mechanical and neurological interferences responsible for this situation include :


If the cat experiences a serious injury to the neck area, it could interfere with the function of the vocal cords . Note that inflammation in the throat area does not necessarily occur due to penetrating injuries.


The reason you should reconsider allowing your cat to roam freely in your backyard is that bones from small animals they catch and eat can get lodged in the tonsils, larynx, or throat and cause swelling. Also, vets report abscesses as a result of fighting.


Malignant and benign tumors that appear in the larynx and throat area will exert pressure and agglomerate normal tissue. At the same time, primary nerve tumors can lead to a loss of stimulation to the vocal cords. Sometimes cancerous formations that occur in the surrounding regions of the throat can pinch the nerves in the larynx and silence the vocal cords.

Autoimmune conditions

Like humans, the cat’s white blood cells can become activated, a common symptom in most autoimmune conditions. If this happens, the white blood cells will attack the nerve and damage it, thus limiting its ability to send impulses to the vocal cords and larynx .

Muscle disorders

It could be that they perform a different function in theory, but many pet owners don’t realize that the vocal cords are actually a muscle. Therefore, in case your cat suffers from a muscle disorder, the condition will block the neuromuscular junction and cause changes or loss of voice .

Psychological reasons

If you’ve recently moved to a new home, your cat may still be getting used to it. Sometimes having visitors stay overnight or getting a bunch of new furniture can also lead to a lack of meowing.

Separation anxiety can also trigger this type of behavior , although it is more common for depressed or anxious cats to constantly meow rather than remain silent.

Another psychological reason for the lack of meows is a cat’s personal association with the meows . If something painful happened the last time you tried to meow, you might be suppressing your voice on purpose. Such post-traumatic behavior is often accompanied by other symptoms such as 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 screaming all night at a concert, your kitty could go through something similar too. Temporary loss of voice is not a cause for panic. Your cat should be back to normal vocalization in a couple of days.

Upper respiratory infections

Even generally 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 problems can easily cause a sudden loss of meowing. If you think your cat has an upper respiratory infection or respiratory condition, call your vet as soon as possible.


If you allow your pet to roam freely outside, it could get rabies from another infected animal. Anger often causes a hoarse voice in such a way that a cat may appear to be just opening its mouth without producing any meowing sounds. If there is the slightest chance that your kitten has been around a rabid animal, you should take it to the vet’s office immediately.

Laryngeal paralysis

Laryngeal paralysis is a dysfunction of the voice box, typically caused by age / degeneration of the voice box. If your cat has it, his vocal cords will not produce any sound.


Hyperthyroidism is a health disorder caused by overactive thyroid glands. Older cats are more likely to develop it than their younger counterparts. While it does happen, this is not a common cause for cats to lose their meow.

Nerve damage

Another possible reason for the loss of a cat’s meow is damage to the nerve that controls the voice box. This deterioration can be due to external compression or internal trauma. The damage is often caused by foreign bodies, such as blades of grass or twigs, in the laryngeal region.

Given the seriousness of the causes responsible for partial or complete voice loss in felines, we believe that it is understandable why early intervention is absolutely mandatory. With a few exceptions, most conditions that lead to voice changes are manageable. Therefore, if you see that your cat is losing the meow, do not delay in going to the vet as soon as possible .


And, of course, you should keep it warm and, above all, give it a lot of love so that little by little it can recover.



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