If you’ve been a cat owner for a while you’ll surely notice when a cat is struggling to meow. You might notice that your cat seems uncomfortable or even raspy due to its strained meow. It might also seem that the cat has a hard time vocalizing its feelings. This surely isn’t normal behavior, especially for a loud cat, so let’s see what you can do about it.
One of the reasons why a cat might have a weak and raspy meow would be if it has undergone a considerable effort for an extended period of time, like getting stuck and trying to escape, for example. This would cause it to lose any energy, making its voice become hoarse. An upper respiratory infection could be another reason why the cat has a hard time getting sounds out of its mouth. This will cause the throat to get congested.
Usually, the best solution would be to just go to the vet with your cat, although every situation is unique in its own way.
A cat that has a weak and raspy meow, most of the time will also show some additional symptoms. A sign of general fatigue will usually point to an upper respiratory infection, for example.
You should never ignore these symptoms, especially since they might be related to a severe health condition that might put its life in danger.
1. Long Periods of Whining/Meowing
This is the first thing to think about when you notice a cat’s meow is becoming weak.
Most of the time, a cat will start to meow loudly when it is trapped somewhere and can’t 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. It’s 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 cat’s 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 cat’s respiratory tract, which the cat will try to fight off.
Although most of the time the cat will be able to fight this infection with the help of just its immune system, if the symptoms don’t seem to go away at all, you should consider taking it to a vet for consultation and treatment.
Respiratory infection in cats will also feature symptoms like heavy breathing. hoarseness, and fatigue, among others.
Don’t let your cat fight this illness alone for too much time because the infection might get worse and it could have really damaging effects on the pet’s health.
The right medication will easily treat an upper respiratory infection in your cat, especially if it is taken in time. Don’t give it any medication before talking to a vet, to avoid making things worse.
3. Damaged Vocal Cords
Sometimes this problem might be related to a past trauma that left the vocal cords damaged. Some cats have had issues in the past that have damaged their vocal cords beyond repair and even when all of the other issues are fixed, the voice still won’t come back.
This is also an issue for older cats.
Cats use their vocal cords intensively all their lives and in time these can get damaged, especially if the cat has experienced a trauma.
The cat will have a weaker and weaker voice as the vocal cords start to give out.
In this situation, you could have a vet assess the cat’s vocal cords, to see if the damage is permanent or if there’s anything you could do to bring back its powerful meowing.
1. Why Is My Cat’s Voice Different?
If you notice some small changes in your cat’s voice you should take this as a sign of voice box issues. A damaged box can have different effects on the cat’s voice; it can get either deeper than normal or squeakier than normal. It all depends on the way in which it gets damaged.
2. Why Is My Cat’s Voice Squeaky?
A cat’s voice will usually become squeaky when it gets excited. You will usually notice this type of behavior when the cat is young and talking to its mother.
It usually shouldn’t worry you if your cat starts to have a raspy tone, especially if it went through an extensive effort. Most of the time this will just pass by itself. But if you notice that this symptom doesn’t pass in a few days, then you should try taking your cat to a vet for a consultation, because the problem might be more complicated, like an infection of the upper respiratory system.