Why Does My Cat’s Meow Have No Sound?

The silent meow is when a cat opens its mouth in the way when it meows, but instead, you hear breathing, a raspy voice or probably nothing.


There is no certain answer to why this happens. But there are a lot of speculations.

So why does your cat’s meow have no sound?

An explanation for this might include that your cat’s meowing is too quiet for you to hear. Or your cat have of some respiratory infection. Or your cat’s voice box is damaged. Or your cat is too hungry and might be starving. Or there might be some psychological reasons behind it. 

You need to keep reading because there are a lot of reasons for your cat’s meow to have no sound and there might be some serious problems for your cat.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Worried

The silent meow, for some cats, is a substitute for the normal meow and generally, the occasional quit meowing is common for cats and is “nothing to worry about”, according to Smart Living Network.

There are some other reasons:

  • Cats could temporarily lose their voice, just like humans lose their voice after shouting a lot. If your cat constantly meows, it may suffer from a sore throat. Your cat’s voice will come back eventually so do not worry.
  • Your cat can use silent meowing to tell you that it is very hungry or thirsty. This is just a way of communicating and your cat wants to tell you that it wants to eat or drink something.
  • Silent meowing can sometimes be used by your cat to gain your attention. You might be ignoring your pet and they want you to look at them and want to get some love. This is just a part of a cat’s behavior and it’s nothing to worry about.
  • After a day of intense playing and jumping around the house, your pet might be very tired wants to go to sleep. So by using silent meowing, it wants to tell you to keep quiet and let it sleep.
  • Your cat can sometimes become really excited to see you, maybe after you come back from a business trip. And so meows in this way to show its excitement.
  • It might be that your cat wants to go outside and is requesting in this way to let it go outside.
  • This silent meowing could be a sign that your cat wants your help because it has some problem. It might be that there are some undetected wounds, an infection or that your cat has a messed-up stomach.

Some Serious Reasons For Silent Meowing

Sometimes it is not a big problem that your cat is silent meowing. Whereas, there might be some serious problems because of which your cat is not able to meow properly:

Laryngeal Paralysis:

Laryngeal paralysis means when the nerve of the cat’s voice box is damaged, preventing it from breathing and meowing properly.

This is a serious medical condition and should be checked upon as soon as possible. Some other symptoms of laryngeal paralysis are:

  • Trouble in eating
  • Abnormal weight loss
  • Struggling while breathing
  • Coughing

Nerve Damage & Trauma:

Vocal folds of your cat can be stop functioning properly because of a serious injury.

It might be the case that some other animal might have damaged your cat’s throat while playing or your cat might have swallowed something that it isn’t supposed to swallow.

This can be the cause of internal trauma or external compression. And in any case, your cat needs to be checked up by a vet.

Upper Respiratory Infection:

This infection causes inflammation and swelling in the vocal cord which makes your cat unable to meow. There are some symptoms that you should look out for and then get your cat checked up by a vet:

  • loss of appetite
  • sneezing
  • runny eyes
  • sudden body spasms
  • breathlessness
  • unpleasant discharge from mouth, eyes and nose
  • lethargy
  • coughing


This is a medical condition caused by hyperactive thyroid glands. Older cats are most likely to be affected by this disorder.

This health disorder can cause hoarseness and weight loss.

If your cat gets hyperthyroidism, get a blood test of your cat from a vet, who might suggest a therapy afterwards.

Tumor & Growths:

Tumor, polyps, cancer, and other types of growths and infestation in your cat’s vocal cords or throat can be the cause for your cat to stop vocalizing.

This can also change the sound of your cat’s meowing and can lead to permanent disappearance of meowing.

Other symptoms are:

  • Ear infections
  • Coughing
  • Respiratory issues
  • Sneezing

Autoimmune Conditions:

A cat’s own white blood cells can sometimes harm its own nerves which causes injury to the nerves.

This stops any nerve impulses to the vocal cords.


Your cat can get rabies by other infected animals if it plays outside.

Rabies can often cause a hoarse voice to such extent that it might seem that your cat is just opening its mouth without making any meowing sounds.

Take your dear cat to the vet immediately in this case.

Watch this video to understand rabies in cats:

Muscle Disorders:

If your cat suffers from a muscle disorder, then it can also cause the neuromuscular junction to cut off, making the cat unable to meow.

Remember that your cat’s vocal cords are actually a muscle. Which is why it gets infected by the muscle disorder.


If your cat had a recent surgery relating to anesthesia, then there might have been a tube put into her passageway for ventilation.

This tube can cause irritation in the vocal cords, which can sometimes result in temporary loss of your cat’s meow.

Mental Issues & Psychological Reasons:

This type of meowing might indicate that your cat is mentally and emotionally upset. This can cause it to go either completely mute or meow silently. It will improve over time so do not worry.

Sometimes your cat can just naturally be the quiet type. Cats are naturally quiet creatures. So your cat might need encouragement to speak up.

Older cats tend to keep rather quiet than when they were younger as they have matured.

Nonetheless, just love your cat for how it is. It does not matter if it does not meows.

Watch this video to learn if your cat is depressed or not:

When To Get A Check-up?

Here’s the deal:

As I told you before, cats can use silent meowing to their advantage to get your attention or to communicate with you, which is not a thing to worry about.

But you need to know when it’s serious and when to seek help:

  • If you know that your cat’s meowing is normal and suddenly it’s meowing becomes silent, then there might be a problem.
  • Your cat might use silent meowing a lot. Or it might just be that your cat is the quiet type. But if you hear hoarseness in your cat’s silent voice and you notice it panting while meowing, it might be because of a serious reason.
  • If your cat’s silent meowing, along with the hoarseness in its voice continues for more than two days, then your cat might need some help.

Even if you are not certain about your cat having a problem or not, you need to contact a vet for a check-up anyways.

Before waiting too long and risking your pet’s health, seeking an expert’s help as soon as possible is always better.

Related Questions

Can a cat be mute?

We’ve never seen a cat who is truly mute but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen from time to time. Most cats in the wild learn early on in life that meows just get you unwanted attention from predators, so it’s best to be silent.

Can cats get depressed?

Certainly, cats can exhibit depressed behavior, but the general agreement is that they do not experience the same emotional changes associated with clinical depression in humans. The clinical signs can be loss of appetite, avoidance behavior, less active, and abnormal behavior, like hissing.

Why does my cat have a raspy meow?

Laryngitis in cats is sometimes caused by allergies, hair balls or tonsillitis. When your cat’s meow gets hoarse or raspy, or disappears altogether, it could mean it has laryngitis. This is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the larynx, often caused by excessive meowing or coughing.

Why is my cat’s meowing so weak?

When vets explain laryngitis to cat owners, they tell them that the cat’s larynx or voice box has become inflamed as the result of illness, irritation, a blockage in the throat, or a sudden paralysis of the nerve controlling the laryngeal folds. When a cat develops laryngitis, it loses its meow for a few days.


In the end, whatever might be the case, your cat needs your love and affection. Look forward to spend time with your cat and observe what kind of personality it has.

This will help in knowing if your cat is just wanting to communicate with you, or is facing a medical disorder. I hope this article helped you get informed in any possible reason for silent meowing.


Leave a Comment