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  • My Cat Lost His Voice

    If you have a question for the Ask Boo column, please feel free to e-mail us at askboo@cathospitalofchicago.com. Boo will do his best to answer questions submitted.

    Dear Boo:

    My cat was fine, meowing like any other ordinary cat. In the last few days he opens his mouth, appears to be trying to make noise, but if any comes out it is a very high-pitched chirp, like a bird. Otherwise no sound at all. We just got a new kitten, could it be related to allergies? Can cats become hoarse?

    Laura

    Dear Laura:

    I am so sorry to hear about your cat that lost his voice. I spend a lot of time every day squawking at my people here at the hospital, and vocalizing my wants and needs. I would be lost without my voice.

    I don’t know how old your cat is, and of course without a physical exam and a more thorough history on your cat, a diagnosis cannot be easily made. However, since you just got a new kitten in the home, there is a 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.

    And congratulations on the new kitten in your home!

    Boo

    If you have a question for the Ask Boo column, please feel free to e-mail us at askboo @ cathospitalofchicago.com. Boo will do his best to answer questions submitted.


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