Cat stops meowing
December 19, 2013 7:40 PM   Subscribe

My cat has barely let out a meow since I've been home from work. Usually he starts up as soon as my keys are in the door. I plan on taking him with me tomorrow if he's not back to normal by the time I'm ready to leave for work, and hitting the Vet. Any ideas what could be wrong though?

Just want to be prepared. I even performed 'experiments'. I opened his cat food, but didn't give it to him. No vocal response. I went to the bathroom and closed the door (which he hates) and I got one small meow. He's otherwise eating and drinking and pooping in the litter box (but not peeing... he has almost never peed in the litter box in the 4 years I've had him... so this is normal), it's just very odd for him to be so silent. He's my world so believe me we will be at the vet in the morning if he doesn't start acting normal. I just can't seem to find much when I google, beyond "take your cat to the vet." Obligatory picture... here
posted by one4themoment to Pets & Animals (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Did he barf up a hairball? My cat couldn't meow for about a half day after a particularly large one. He tried but it just sounded ridiculous.

Another idea - is there something around that is intimidating him out of meows? Any new animals visiting near the window? That might make him feel insecure.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:07 PM on December 19, 2013

Is he acting normal in every other way? Is he behaving normally with you socially? If this is the only anomaly, I'd give it a day or two because cats are just generally strange.


Mother of three (cats)
posted by _Mona_ at 8:13 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Is he trying to meow but nothing comes out? I had a cat once who was diagnosed by the vet with garden-variety laryngitis and got better.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:14 PM on December 19, 2013

No hairballs anywhere obvious. Yes otherwise acting normal. When I come home the first thing I do is go to the kitchen, and after greeting me at the door he was in the kitchen waiting for his rubs. But he's normally very vocal for the first couple minutes. Meowing and chirping. No he doesn't even try to meow. It's like he suddenly wants to be mute. Yeah, cats are generally strange! Just trying to stay on top of anything that may be happening. Like I said... he's my world :)
posted by one4themoment at 8:25 PM on December 19, 2013

I'd give it another day or two to see if there are any changes, either positive or negative. If negative, then VET. If neutral, then give it another day or two. If something's up, cats' behaviors are usually not so subtle and will become obvious.
posted by greta simone at 8:58 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

If he doesn't pee in the litter box does that mean he goes outside, or is there some other explanation? Because he could have gotten into something outside that hurt his throat -- drank something bad, ate a critter, something. Probably not, but I just wanted to throw it out there so you could maybe take a look down his throat?

Also, cats are weird.
posted by clone boulevard at 9:02 PM on December 19, 2013

I was going to say give it a couple days because, as pointed out, cats are weird. But the much-linked here on askme "Is it an emergency?" says under "vocal change -- otherwise normal" to see a vet within 24 hours. So not an immediate emergency, but something to be checked out pretty quickly if it doesn't resolve itself.
posted by cgg at 10:04 PM on December 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

I have 4 cats, two of whom are 10 and 2 of whom are at least 16 (I got them as young adults from a shelter in 1998, so I'm not sure how old they are). Vets compliment me every visit on how healthy they are and how well they are doing. I moved them to England from the US 2 years ago and back one year ago with no ill effects to their physical or psychological well-being. I also have 14 snakes and 2 fosters, and I've never lost one, which is especially impressive considering one of them has required special care for years; and as far as I know I am the person who has kept a member of another species alive in captivity for the longest by at least a year (and he's still doing fine). So these are my credentials as a pet owner. They're pretty good.

I would wait a day or two. Because, you know, cats. If he's not fine by the time you get home tomorrow, maybe it's something. But we all get under the weather occasionally, even kitties. I'd give him a bit to recover and prove himself normal and happy again.

That's me. But I find it's worked so far with all of my pets too.
posted by Because at 2:30 AM on December 20, 2013

When my kitty lost her meow, the vet said she had a cold/infection, and gave her antibiotics.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:38 AM on December 20, 2013

I'm about to head out to work, and I've decided to give it one more day. He was a little vocal earlier, but not normal yet.

clone, he is an indoor only cat. He has selected a hallway and 'claimed' it, unfortunately, as his pee place. The vet can't find anything wrong with him, and suggested kitty adderal (or kitty zoloft, or whatever) and I declined it. I got him when he was just a couple weeks old, found at a carwash. I've just chalked it up to his background.
posted by one4themoment at 6:29 AM on December 20, 2013

I've had the opposite: one cat didn't speak for years and then one day started chattering way. Another cat didn't meow for the first six months and then one day started howling like a wolf. Cats go through weird changes! It's nice to monitor, but these surprises happen. But I too would go to the vet in 24 hours.

You can fix the hallway peeing. It'll take work. You do not need to live with a cat who only pees in your hallway. That's terrible.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:43 AM on December 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Do you know if he is peeing? According to the chart that another poster referenced, if he is making frequent attempts to pee but nothing is coming out, that would be an emergency . If he is making frequent attempts to pee but urine is coming out, then he should be seen within 24 hours.

I know you didn't ask about peeing (or not peeing) symptoms, but I'm just wondering whether his not meowing might be a sign that something is amiss elsewhere in his system. Too bad our pets can't speak our language!
posted by merejane at 9:30 AM on December 20, 2013

I too wish they spoke our language.

He was very vocal when I got home, soon as my keys hit the door, so I'm very much over my panic and unless something else happens I'm comfortable now waiting for his yearly checkup (next month).

The peeing has been consistent since the day I brought him home RJ, but I'm open to any ideas!!!!! I've even thought about ripping up all of the carpet and just getting laminate or something. The Vet can't find anything wrong with him, which is where the kitty prozac idea came up and I didn't want to go that route. I'm actually on vacation starting now... so I've got some free time :)

(and as I type this he just came up beside me and chirped... so happy it looks like he's feeling better!)
posted by one4themoment at 2:32 PM on December 20, 2013

Glad it seems yours is feeling better; I would pay cash money for my cat to suddenly shut up.

Have you tried putting a litter box in his spot in the hallway, and seeing what he does?
posted by kythuen at 4:45 PM on December 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

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