Cats can get depressed and stressed, just like people. The most common signs of something wrong with your cat are fleeing, cowering, and hissing. But sometimes, negative emotions present differently and might not be as obvious. A quiet cat is not a concerning issue, but a chatterbox that suddenly becomes silent requires further investigation.
The 5 Reasons Why Your Cat is Suddenly Quiet
1. Loss of a Loved One
Cats get a bad reputation for being aloof; some people accuse them of not liking their families! However, for anyone with a cat, you know that just isn’t true. Cats can be independent, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t emotional, loving pets. They can become depressed if there’s a change in their family’s dynamic, whether through a family member moving away or dying. They grieve the loss of a loved one, just like we would.
The loved one doesn’t even have to be human. Cats will also grieve the loss of other animals they have bonded with. So, if you’ve had another cat or a dog, your cat will be upset if they are no longer around.
You might be tempted to try and fill this space, like getting another cat friend to replace the one that’s gone, but it won’t heal your cat’s heart. Cats aren’t good with change and might struggle with a replacement. If you’re planning on getting another pet after one has died, ensure enough time has passed for your cat to grieve.
2. Changes To Their Home Environment
Another similar change that can be upsetting to some cats is a change in environment. Cats love consistency and routine; anything that disrupts this can bother or depress them. Routine changes could be something big, like introducing a new pet or a baby to the family or changing your work schedule.
Your attention may be focused elsewhere, and it can make your cat feel ignored and lonely. What might seem insignificant to you might be a significant disruption to your cat, depending on its personality.
An injury might cause your cat to lose its usual spark. Pain from the injury can contribute to your cat’s feelings of sadness. Feelings of pain can have your cat hiding from you. Therefore, if you suspect an injury or you’ve witnessed them hurting themselves, it’s crucial that you take them to the vet.
Always follow your vet’s recommendation for pain relief, treatment, and rehabilitation if required. Old injuries can also flare up, and your cat might need treatment for some time after a sustained injury.
Sickness stops your kitty from being able to do everything that brings them joy, like causing mischief, scratching, climbing, and exploring.
Some illnesses, just like injuries, can cause pain that will make movement difficult. Arthritis is an excellent example of this, as it affects mobility and joints and causes chronic pain that could all contribute to a low mood and lack of vocalization. An illness will tend to be accompanied by other symptoms, but not always. So, it’s essential to take a change in your cat’s mood seriously.
Another reason your cat might go suddenly quiet is from a minor respiratory tract infection which can result in your cat losing its voice. You might notice your cat has trouble meowing and will squeak instead or that their meow is raspy and weak. Other cold symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, and congestion.
5. Serious Illness
Growths on the throat and vocal cords might cause your cat to become suddenly quiet. A hoarse voice, sneezing, coughing, and labored or noisy breathing might be something more than just a cold, and you should take your cat to the vet to be checked over.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Signs of a Sad Cat?
There are various signs to look out for, and silence is one of them. But depression doesn’t present in only one way, and each cat is unique.
You know your cat best, and you’re the best advocate for them. If you notice changes that you’re worried about, always contact your vet to get your cat checked out!
How To Make Your Cat Happy
There are several ways you can make your cat happier. Making time in your day for playtime and cuddles is an excellent place to start. Cats love to spend time with their families. This is especially effective if there’s been a change to their home environment, like your work schedule has changed or you’ve introduced a new pet into the family.
Giving your cat a safe space is particularly effective. If stress is behind their silence, giving them a place to chill out might be what they need to find their voice again.
If you feel like you can’t figure out what’s bothering them yourself, it might be time to call in the experts. A board-certified animal behaviorist has the knowledge and experience to help you and your cat.
Your vet can also help you work out what might be bothering your cat, so don’t feel you are alone when it comes to this journey. When our cats are unwell, it can be stressful and worrying for us, and vets will give you the support you need so you can be a strong supportive pet parent.
Sometimes, a cat’s silence may be normal and isn’t something you should be worried about. However, when your naturally chatty cat is suddenly silent, and this silence is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s time to seek a professional’s opinion. It might be that your cat is struggling to wrap its head around changes to its home environment, which requires some patience and attention from you. Or it might be something more sinister, in which case, you should seek the help of your vet as soon as possible.
Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock