Voice box damage - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Voice box damage

My youngest cat Sophie had quite the rough start to life. She was found alone as a tiny baby half starved and brought to a high kill shelter where she was in a cage with a ton of other kittens, then eventually rescued by the rescue I adopted her from at 3 months old. She has a hooked tail, basically the end was broken some how and its bent permanently now, although it doesn't bother her.

Ever since I got her, she never meowed... just trilled and chirped. Her chirps sounded weird... kind of like when you are having a nightmare, you try to scream but only a squeek comes out. I thought because she was a baby she just didn't meow(although my other cat meowed since we got her at 4 months normal). She is now 1.5 years old and still doesn't meow. Anyways, just today she was being so affectionate. Purring loud and rubbing against me, so I go to walk away and she stops and looks like she is trying to meow... it makes the motion and her throat makes a meow sound(well trying to) but no voice comes out. It's really strange. I heard her do something similar when I bathed her before... she tried to meow but can't quite do it.

I'm wondering if anyone else had this issue with their cat? It could be from when she was a baby screaming at the high kill shelter, who knows. I just never seen/heard that before.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 03:20 PM
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Yes! Bonnie does this. She doesn't trill or chirp either, just makes this weird strangled sound like someone with laryngitis trying to talk. All I know about her background is that she was picked up by animal control severely emaciated and almost died. She also has a scar on her face and signs of possibly being hit by a car, though she is fine now.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 03:26 PM
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Lottie is a bit like that - she makes noises and can purr with the best of them but has problems with meowing and has done ever since we adopted her. Some cats with rippling skin syndrome can be quite loud and we have even wondered if someone got fed up and did something to her voice box but it could as easily be the same sort of thing you think happened - in fact it would make a lot of sense.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 03:27 PM
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My older cat does this, although she can sort of meow, but it comes out more like a squawk. According to my husband who raised Sheeba, her mother tried smothering all of her kittens and only succeeded in smashing Sheeba's esophagus. It has never seemed to bother her, its just a source of amusement to anyone who hears her.

Now that she is old ( 18 ) and more vocal, she can also kind of mimic the "oh long johnson" cat from South Park when she is angry. Pretty flipping hilarious. Still no normal meow though.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 03:33 PM
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Cali is like this. She makes a little whisper sound like "caaaw" and sometimes a little squeak comes out when she's excited. The only time I ever hear her meow/cry is in the carrier.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by marie73 View Post
The only time I ever hear her meow/cry is in the carrier.
Same with Sophie... but even then she doen't really meow... it is more of a squeek/chirp but it always sounds like she is trying to meow. When I first brought her home, I put her in the glass solarium of our old apartment while I was bringing up cat stuff from my car. Bf came home in this time and he said when he saw her for the first time, she was sitting there and it looked like she was meowing but no sound came out. It's very cute.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 04:31 PM
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Voice box damage

My 9 month old Brody has been with us for a month and the only sound he makes is a soft trilling when he purrs. He has no physical signs of abuse. He was picked up from a municipal shelter before I got him from north shore. He is a scaredy cat and I do feel that not being able to vocalize makes him more freaked out but he's adjusting we'll to life outside of a cage so who knows if more sounds will come

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 04:52 PM
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When I was a kid I had a calico who couldn't meow. She would just squeak or make a sound kind of like a 'meep'. As far as I know nothing ever happened to her that would have caused that. No injuries or anything. I just figured that's the way she always was.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 04:58 PM
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My boy does this. We bottle raised him and two brothers and a sister after someone dumped them and their mom at our barn and the mom was so starved she died three days later even after my aunt (a vet) brought her to work to give her fluids along with anything else she could think of to save her anyways, all four kittens got a weird paralysis disease and we lost two of the boys, the girl was only paralyzed from the waist down, but the other boy was paralyzed from the neck down, we actually thought he was dead until he moved his mouth and my aunt literally brought him back to life. Now he only purrs and makes weird squeaking sounds. We still have the boy and girl FYI, and neither have any other side affects.
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