A cat may lose its voice as a result of an upper respiratory tract infection, or a growth in the throat or on the vocal cords, states The Nest. Laryngeal paralysis is another cause of voice issues in cats. Cats can develop voice changes due to excessive vocalization as well.
Identifying a definitive cause of voice loss in cats is often difficult or impossible, explains Arnold Plotnick, D.V.M. An upper respiratory tract infection, usually caused by the herpes virus or the feline calicivirus, is the most frequent reason a cat loses its voice. Sneezing and discharge from the eyes and nose accompany the voice loss in these cases.
Vocal cord polyps and benign or malignant tumors can cause hoarseness, voice changes and voice loss in cats, notes The Nest. Coughing, sneezing and repeated ear infections often occur concurrently. Medications and surgery can treat these conditions.
Laryngeal paralysis, in which the larynx no longer works correctly, causes breathing and voice problems in cats, according to The Nest. Coughing, weight loss, and eating and breathing difficulties are also present in many cases. This serious malady usually requires corrective surgery.
Any change in a feline's voice requires veterinary evaluation, states Dr. Plotnick. In addition to an oral exam, X-rays and an endoscopic examination may be necessary to check for abnormalities.