Feline language is usually misunderstood. And it doesn’t help that a cat’s face is typically inexpressive.
But as a pet owner, knowing the basics of it would help improve and strengthen your bond with them.
For instance, cats meow to express a lot of things. But what does it mean when the meowing stops?
My Cat Does Not Meow?
Meow is a purposive behavior in cats that help them to communicate. They could do this for various reasons: to greet, ask for things, or signal that something is wrong. It can be alarming when they stop meowing suddenly. This behavior may be the result of a severe medical condition. Psychological problems may also pose as a trigger. At the same time, there are cases that a minor concern might cause it.
Cats, just like other animals, make a sound by causing vibrations in their vocal cords. The folds in these cords open and close to make sounds.
So, suppose your cat doesn’t meow. In that case, it may result from interference in their vocal cord or a lack of stimulation to allow the nerves to connect to the vocal cords.
When you shouldn’t worry
While the absence of meowing can be alarming, there are reasons why you shouldn’t worry.
For instance, adult cats don’t usually meow.
In the feline world, meowing is a childish act, or we should say, “kittenish behavior.” Meowing is the kitten’s way of communicating with the mother.
Also, take note of the breed of your cat. They may not be meowing because it is innate to them. Abyssinian cats are known for being quiet.
Other breeds that rarely meow are Munchkin, Persian, Pixie bob, and Ragdoll.
Your feline companion may experience a temporary loss of the voice because of a sore throat, probably because they have excessively meowed before.
If this is the case, you need not worry. Their voice will get back to normal, and they can meow again in a couple of days.
Causes that raise a concern
In humans, difficulty in speaking or having a raspy voice may signal health conditions. This is also the same for cats. Below are probable reasons for it.
Vocal cords are muscles that can be impaired. Your cat may not meow because its neuromuscular junction is cutoff. If not dealt with promptly, this may lead to loss of voice.
Blockage in the vocal folds will prevent your cat from meowing. They may have swallowed something that lodged in their voice box. This can cause difficulty breathing and meowing.
The vocal cords of your cat may have benign tumors. This is a severe condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Otherwise, it can result in throat cancer. This condition also comes with persistent sneezing, coughing, and ear infections.
Upper respiratory infection
Check for thick yellowish or greenish mucus. If you notice its presence, then an upper respiratory function is probably why your cat doesn’t meow.
The infection will cause swelling in the vocal cord, thereby limiting its function. Your cat may also experience breathlessness, loss of appetite, lethargy, and runny eyes.
Infection may also happen because of laryngeal paralysis. This occurs when the voice box cannot function because of nerve damage.
Other symptoms you have to look out for are loss of appetite, weight loss, and difficulty breathing.
If your cat doesn’t roam around, you shouldn’t worry much about this. If they do, you may want to see your vet immediately.
Your pet may have gotten rabies from an infected animal. Rabies symptoms include a hoarse voice that may look as if there aren’t any sounds coming from your catto’s mouth.
Aside from physical conditions, psychological problems could pose difficulty in meowing. Your cat may have been traumatized by an experience before that they went selectively mute.
This post-traumatic behavior stems from the cat’s negative association to meowing. They may experience pain or any negative feeling before when they tried to meow.
Since they learned that doing this can only bring harm, they adapted by suppressing their voice. This may also come with destructive behavior, loss of appetite, and constant tiredness.
Other psychological reasons
When cats are depressed or anxious, they will generally meow a lot. However, there are instances when it may stop your cat from meowing.
Separation anxiety may also trigger it. Notice if the behavior started in a new environment, perhaps when you move into a new place or adopt a cat from the shelter.
They may still be trying to get accustomed to their new setting. In relation to new places, this also applies to new faces.
Your cat may be overwhelmed by the presence of other people when you have visitors to your home.
What you can do if your cat stops meowing
Of course, observe your feline baby first. Take note of any changes before the loss of meowing started. You can then look through the possible reasons listed above.
If you think that it is the result of a medical condition, consult with your vet immediately. They will perform different tests to identify what causes it.
If a psychological concern causes it, try to support your cat and constantly assure them that they are in a safe environment.
If it’s neither, then you have nothing to worry about. Your cat’s voice will return to normal within a couple of days.
As fur parents, it can be concerning when you notice a change in your fur baby’s behavior. More so if the behavior has to do with the way they express themselves.
Like in the case of cats, meowing. This may signal underlying medical conditions as well as deep-seated psychological concerns.
In these cases, an immediate visit to the vet is necessary. They will be able to pinpoint the cause and guide you through the treatment process.
While the absence of meowing raises concern, there are times when just have to let your cats be. Of course, this only applies when the behavior is attributed to a minor problem.