Your cat can have an upper respiratory infection of its own that would cause it to lose its voice. Sometimes even a hairball may be waiting to be coughed up and can cause it, too. One of the most common contributors to loss of voice in cats is the inflammation of the vocal box, also known as laryngitis. Laryngitis can result from throat infections, tonsillitis, inhalant allergies or pulmonary disease. In other instances, laryngitis can also be induced by excessive strain of the vocal cords, such as when the cat gets upset or scared and meows or howls incessantly. Laryngitis in cats is easily treated with the proper medication prescribed by your veterinarian. In addition, cats almost always lose their appetites or change their eating habits when in distress.
If you have a new kitten in the home, there is reasonable likelihood that your new kitten brought an upper respiratory virus into your home. Upper respiratory viruses are especially common in kittens, and they are potentially contagious to other cats. Upper respiratory viruses are often associated with loss of voice. Loss of voice can also be associated with more serious problems, such as throat cancer, but that is less likely in younger cats and in cats that seem to be doing well other than a hoarse voice or loss of voice.
The good news is that if the loss of voice is related to an upper respiratory virus from your new kitten, it should resolve with time. As with any virus, it needs to run its course, and your kitty should then be able to once again meow like any other ordinary cat.
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