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Old kitty lost her voice?

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  • Old kitty lost her voice?

    I have an older kitty, 15 this year, who has gone through dramatic changes this year. She's lost a lot of weight, and her voice! She used to have a normal, loud kitty voice, but it's turned into a squeak or a very hoarse, kind-of meow. Any ideas as to what happened to her voice? She had bloodwork done, and it all came back normal. She stresses a lot, and I had to sell my house and move, which is what we are attributing the weight loss to. She has adjusted well to the new house and it looks like she gained a tiny bit of weight already. The voice has not come back, though.

  • #2
    Had a few experiences with this. One cat lost his meow (twice!) it was great, as he's obnixious. However the voice came back.

    Another cat lost his voice and he had a laryngeal mass.

    Ideally passing a scope through the larynx would give an idea how the function is. Thoracic radiographs "may" show something, or not...but again you could be missing something or nothing.

    If she's eating well, happy and gaining weight you could always just monitor her. Maybe its nothing


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, Squish! She acts happy and normal, which is why I haven't panicked yet. As for eating, she's free-fed, and I rarely catch any of my cats actually in the act of eating! I know she is, though, because I clean up her poops!


      • #4
        My late older kitty lost her voice after having blood drawn from her neck. When we got her back, it looked as if they had a lot of difficulty in getting the blood. A friend of mine once told me that they'll put a cat in a sort of noose it the cat is difficult. I assumed they crushed her vocal chords. It went from a sweet nasal sound to just a whisper.


        • #5
          I have never, ever seen a cat in a "noose". Why on earth would someone think that would be helpful, especially since you want to take blood from the jugular in most cases!


          • #6
            We have one cat that lost his meow, it's now just a whisper with a little squeak at times! Have no idea what caused it, vet says nothing medically wrong. He did have the girliest meow ever, so now I'm not embarrassed for him!


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Heliodoro View Post
              We have one cat that lost his meow, it's now just a whisper with a little squeak at times! Have no idea what caused it, vet says nothing medically wrong. He did have the girliest meow ever, so now I'm not embarrassed for him!
              This makes me feel better. How old was your kitty when he lost his meow?

              Squish - I was rubbing all over my gal's throat area just to see if I could feel a lump or anything. All I felt was her purr! The purr volume has not been affected at all.


              • #8
                You mention that she's lost a lot of weight. Have you had her in for an exam and blood work? There are some old kitty issues that can be pretty well managed if you can identify them and treat...I would be more concerned about the weight loss than the meow.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • #9
                  My 15 year old cat has turned into a little old lady in the past year. She's healthy as can be, just has obviously aged and sort of shrunk. She was a big,fat beast- she's still overweight but it has all shifted downwards and her face looks smaller/older....sometimes I think her meow is raspier/quieter too. It could just be they're getting older?


                  • #10
                    You likely wouldnt be able to feel a mass in the larynx, its something inside that would have to be addressed with a good oral exam/sope. Although not common in cats, it could also be something like laryngeal paralysis - which isnt a huge issue in cats anyway. Id monitor her weight closely and watch for any changes in the way she eats (swallowing etc).


                    • #11
                      I have seen many a cat come in with an owners complaint of " kitty's voice has changed" only to be later diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Good luck!


                      • #12
                        Kitty was ~8yr at the time. He is always on the lean side (possible hyperthyroid), but he loves to be outside and prowl and the vet isn't concerned. He's about 11 now, still has a ghost meow.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by idlemoon View Post
                          I have seen many a cat come in with an owners complaint of " kitty's voice has changed" only to be later diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Good luck!
                          That was going to be my guess as well. Certainly not the only possibility, but it's common enough to be worth mentioning (and testing for).
                          "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                          -Edward Hoagland


                          • #14
                            I second the suggestion to have the thyroid checked -- A total T4 usually suffices. Also, I have seen older cats come in with a complaint of voice change. A simple sedated laryngeal exam is easy to do to rule out a laryngeal mass or polyp. I hate to say that I've seen those, too.


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                              You mention that she's lost a lot of weight. Have you had her in for an exam and blood work? There are some old kitty issues that can be pretty well managed if you can identify them and treat...I would be more concerned about the weight loss than the meow.
                              She did have a basic exam and bloodwork done, and they said nothing was abnormal. I don't know if they checked her thyroid, though. I'll have to ask!


                              • Original Poster

                                I am taking my girl in today to her regular vet, armed with your suggestions! Wish me luck! I'll post results.


                                • Original Poster

                                  UPDATE: I took my oldie to the vet yesterday, and BOY, did she find her voice on the way to the car! He did some x-rays, took blood, and gave her Sub-Q fluids and a B-12 injection. He's waiting until he gets all the results back to "make a plan", but she had lost 3 lbs since the last vet visit and I found out that her pre-molars had literal holes in them all the way to the dentin. Right now, she's on canned food and observation. He also said she's stressed (she's been that way all her life!) and he recommended that I watch where she stays, where she has to cross paths with the other cats, and put food/water/litter box in convenient places to her that she doesn't have to share. I have now added another food/water station.

                                  After I got her home from the vet (well, after the shock wore off!), she was great! Very perky, playful, lively! She is still that way this morning! I'm wondering if her mouth is keeping her from getting the nutrition and liquids she needed to feel good. I know it will be addressed on Monday. I'll let you know the results!

                                  Also, she found her voice again! Strangely, she's meowing much more normally now!
                                  Last edited by JumpQH; May. 5, 2013, 11:01 AM. Reason: Added about her voice


                                  • Original Poster

                                    RESULTS! Sorry, we had to wait another day to get the rest of the results in. Chemically, my girl is nowhere near her age! Hurray! She's totally healthy. She goes in Friday to have her teeth worked on. Most likely, her pre-molars will be extracted.

                                    She is loving the new hiding places I've created in the living room, where she spends most of her time, by putting a sheet over the back and side of the couch, and seems to like having the new food/water station. I have also set up the water fountain that I had bought just before I moved, but haven't seen her drink from it.

                                    And yes, she still has her voice! Weird!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Latest update (I love seeing updates!): My gal had two teeth extracted last Friday, and came home still quite drugged up. She slept (and kept me worried) all day Saturday. She was not in a good place and was having a hard time. However, Sunday, she was back to pre-teeth-removal behavior. She has dissolving sutures for two weeks, and I'm hoping she'll be feeling much better and really start eating again before that. Doc said the roots were re-absorbing, which is very, very painful. I finally caught her drinking this morning, so I feel much better about that!