Why Does My Cat Squeak Instead of Meow?

Why Does My Cat Squeak Instead of Meow?

Have you ever wondered why your cat meows in a way that sounds more like a squeak? It’s not just you – many cat owners are curious about this phenomena. In this comprehensive guide, we will answer all of your questions about why cats make these unique noises, and provide some helpful tips on how to understand their communication. So sit back, relax, and let us teach you everything you need to know about the wonderful world of cat sounds!

Vocal Cord Birth Defects

One possible reason why your cat squeaks instead of meows is due to a birth defect in their vocal cords. This condition is relatively rare, but it can cause your cat to make high-pitched noises that sound more like a squeak than a meow. If you think this may be the case for your cat, we recommend taking them to the vet for a check-up.

While most birth defects of the vocal cords are benign and will not impact your cat’s health, there are some rare cases where they can lead to more serious problems. For example, if the defect prevents your cat from closing their glottis (the opening between their vocal cords), they may be at risk for aspiration pneumonia. This is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated promptly, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. [4]

Stunted Growth of the Vocal Cords

While all cats meow as kittens, some grow out of it while others continue throughout their lives. The amount a cat vocalizes is directly related to the growth and development of its vocal cords. If your cat’s vocal cords don’t develop properly, they may not be able to make the “meowing” sound correctly. This can lead to a condition called laryngeal paralysis, which can cause your cat to sound like they’re choking or gasping for air when they try to meow.

If you think your cat’s squeaky meow might be due to stunted growth of the vocal cords, take them to the vet for an examination. There are treatments available that can help improve your cat’s quality of life. [4]

Stunted Growth of the Vocal Cords

Diseases and Infections

A number of diseases and infections can cause a cat to squeak instead of meow. One of the most common is an upper respiratory infection, which can affect a cat’s vocal cords and make them sound hoarse or raspy. Other conditions that can lead to a change in a cat’s voice include:

  • laryngitis
  • tracheal collapse
  • disease of the thyroid gland
  • mouth problems such as tooth decay or gingivitis

If your cat suddenly starts squeaking instead of meowing, it’s important to take them to the vet for a checkup. Many of these conditions are treatable, so getting an early diagnosis is important. [3]

Injury to the Vocal Cords

One potential reason your cat is squeaking instead of meowing could be an injury to the vocal cords. If your cat has been in a recent fight or accident, it’s possible they’ve damaged their vocal cords, which would result in a change in their meow. However, if this is the case, you’ll likely notice other symptoms as well, such as difficulty eating or drinking, and they may have trouble breathing. If you suspect your cat has injured their vocal cords, it’s important to take them to the vet right away for treatment. [4]

Extreme Hunger or Thirst

One of the most common reasons your cat may start making higher-pitched vocalizations is due to hunger or thirst. If you’ve noticed that your feline friend’s meows have become more urgent, persistent, or even desperate sounding, it may be time to check their food and water bowls. A sudden change in diet can also lead to increased vocalization as they attempt to communicate their displeasure.

If you think extreme hunger or thirst might be the reason for your cat’s new squeaky meow, try offering them a small amount of their favorite wet food or treats. You should also make sure they have easy access to clean, fresh water at all times. [4]

A thyroid problem

Cats with an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) may have a raspy voice due to the inflammation of the vocal cords. This condition is more common in older cats, and can be treated with medication. If your cat has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, you should take them to the vet for regular check-ups and blood tests. [4]

A thyroid problem

A tumor

Cancerous or noncancerous tumors can grow in the mouth, tongue, or larynx (voice box) of cats. These masses can press on the vocal cords and change the sound of a meow. In some cases, they may even prevent a cat from meowing at all.

Other possible causes of why your cat may squeak instead of meow include:

  • Age-related changes to the voice box
  • Inflammation or infection of the larynx
  • Allergies
  • Trauma to the head or neck [4]

Not Used to Humans

One of the first things to consider is whether your cat is used to humans. If you’ve just adopted a kitten, for example, they may be squeaking because they’re still getting used to their new home and family. In this case, give them some time and space to adjust, and they should start meowing normally in no time.

If your cat has been around humans for a while but suddenly starts squeaking instead of meowing, it could be a sign that something is wrong. In this case, it’s best to take them to the vet to rule out any medical causes. [4]

Is My Cat Okay?

One of the first questions people ask when they hear their cat make an unfamiliar sound is, “Is my cat okay?” The answer to this question depends on a few factors. If your cat is acting normally otherwise-eating, drinking, using the litter box, etc.-then there’s a good chance that whatever sound they’re making is normal for them. However, if your cat is acting sick or injured in any way, then you should take them to the vet to have them checked out. [2]

Precautions to take if your pet cat squeaks instead of meows normally

If your cat starts to squeak instead of meow, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. While it could be something as harmless as a cold, there’s also a chance that your cat is suffering from an underlying health condition. If you have any concerns about your cat’s health, always err on the side of caution and make an appointment with your veterinarian.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help your cat feel more comfortable:

  • Make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink
  • Add some extra soft bedding for them to snuggle into
  • Keep them warm with a pet heating pad or blanket (if they’re allowed outdoors, bring them inside to keep them warm)
  • Try offering them small amounts of their favorite foods to see if they have an appetite

If your cat’s squeaking continues or gets worse, please don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for further guidance. In the meantime, these simple at-home measures can help make your cat more comfortable until you’re able to get them professional medical attention. [4]

Cats and Humans: Why Do They Meow?

If you’ve ever wondered why your cat meows, you’re not alone. Cats are known for their vocalizations, and meowing is one of the most common ways they communicate with humans. [2]

Cats and Humans: Why Do They Meow

Will My Cat Ever Learn How to Meow Properly?

If your cat squeaks instead of meowing, don’t worry – they can still learn how to make the proper meowing sound! Just like with any other behavior, it may take some time and patience for your cat to learn. But eventually, with a little bit of practice, your cat will be able to perfect their meow! [1]

Kittens Learning to Meow

One of the first things you’ll notice about a kitten is that they meow quite differently than an adult cat. For one, kittens tend to meow more often and at a higher pitch than their adult counterparts. This is because they’re still learning how to properly communicate with other cats (and humans). Just like human babies, kittens start off making simple sounds that gradually become more complex as they learn how to use their vocal cords. In addition, kittens will also squeak when they play since this is another way for them to practice using their voice.

Eventually, most kittens will figure out how to meow properly and will start using it more often than squeaking. However, there are some cats who continue to squeak into adulthood. There are a few possible explanations for this, which we’ll explore in the next section. [4]

Adult Cats Learning to Meow

Sometimes when we adopt an adult cat, they may not know how to meow properly. It’s not that they don’t know how to make the sound, but rather they haven’t had much practice using it. Kittens learn to meow from their mothers as a way of communicating their needs (like hunger or being scared), so if your adult cat never learned this skill, they may squeak instead.

If you think this might be the case with your cat, try encouraging them to meow by offering treats or petting them when they make the sound. With a little bit of patience and positive reinforcement, your cat should be meowing in no time! [4]

Could Improper Treatment Of A Cat Cause It To Squeak?

How Can You Avoid Improper Treatment With Cats?

One of the reasons your cat may be squeaking instead of meowing could be due to improper treatment. If you constantly handle your cat roughly or in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, they may start to squeak as a way of communicating their discomfort to you. To avoid this, always handle your cat gently and be aware of their body language. If they start to squirm or look uneasy, let them go and try again another time. [4]

Monitor Them With Children

If you have young children in the house, it’s important to keep a close eye on your cat’s behavior. Kittens especially are prone to playing too roughly and can unintentionally hurt or even kill a small child. If you see your cat getting overly excited or aggressive while playing with your kids, intervene immediately and separate them. Once they’ve calmed down, you can try reintroducing them to each other again, but always supervised. If this is something that happens frequently, it’s best to find another home for your cat where they’ll be around adults only. [3]

Monitor Them With Children

Talk With Them (Build A Bond)

Cats are social creatures, and just like people, they enjoy having conversations. By talking with your cat, you’re not only building a bond between the two of you, but you’re also helping them to feel comfortable and confident.

If your cat is squeaking instead of meowing, it could be because they’re trying to tell you something. Pay attention to their body language and overall demeanor to see if you can figure out what they’re trying to say. [3]

Play Games With Them

One way to get your cat to start vocalizing more is to play games with them. This will help create a bond between the two of you while also giving them a chance to make some noise. Get a few toy mice or balls and roll them around on the floor for your kitty to chase. Once they catch one, let them squeak it as much as they want before taking it away and starting the game again. You can also try using a feather or string toy to get them leaping and pouncing – which may just encourage some meows along the way! [3]


Why is my cat meowing differently?

There are a few reasons your cat might be meowing differently. One possibility is that they’re trying to communicate something specific. If your cat’s meow sounds more high-pitched than usual, it could mean they’re in pain or feeling ill.

Another reason for changes in meowing is simply due to age. As cats get older, their vocal cords can change and result in a different sounding meow. Additionally, deafness can also cause a change in the sound of a cat’s meow.

Why is my cat meowing differently

What does a silent meow mean?

There are a few reasons your cat may not be vocalizing. If your cat is suddenly silent, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any potential health problems. A loss of voice can also be caused by stress or anxiety. If you think this might be the case, try adding some calming products to their environment, like Feliway diffusers or Rescue Remedy.

Another possibility is that your cat simply isn’t feeling well and doesn’t have the energy to meow. This could be due to an infection, pain, or fatigue. Again, a trip to the vet is in order if you notice a change in your cat’s vocalizations.

Finally, some cats are just naturally quiet and don’t vocalize much. If this is the case, there’s nothing to worry about!

What breed of cat is the quietest?

There are a variety of reasons why your cat may squeak instead of meowing, and the answer may vary depending on your cat’s breed. For instance, Siamese cats are known for being particularly vocal, while Maine Coons are typically much quieter. If you’re concerned about your cat’s unusual vocalizations, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.

What Do cats Think when you meow at them?

Do you ever meow at your cat and wonder what they’re thinking? If you’re like most people, you probably think that your cat is either telling you they love you or they’re asking for food. While it’s true that cats use meowing as a way to communicate with their humans, there are actually many different reasons why cats meow.

What is a cat Trill?

A cat trill is a vocalization that is made by rapidly vibrating the tip of the tongue. This sound is usually produced in situations where the cat is feeling friendly and wants to show its affection.

Trills are often used as a greeting, or as a way to show excitement. They can also be used in place of meows when the cat wants to get your attention.

In some cases, trills may also be a sign of distress. If your cat is trilling and also showing other signs of stress (such as hiding, excessive grooming, or panting), it may be indicative of an underlying medical condition. If you notice your cat exhibiting these behaviors, please make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Why do cats purr and then bite you?

It’s a question that has baffled cat owners for centuries, and one that we still don’t have a definitive answer to. But there are some theories!

One theory is that purring is a way for cats to self-soothe. When they’re feeling stressed or anxious, the act of purring can help them calm down. And since biting is often a sign of stress in cats, it’s possible that they’re just lashing out after they’ve already calmed themselves down.

Another theory is that purring is simply a way for cats to communicate their pleasure. When they’re enjoying being petted or scratched, they might purr to let you know.

What is the average lifespan of a house cat?

The average lifespan of a house cat is about 15 years. However, some cats may live for 20 years or more.

Useful Video: My CAT’S MEOW Is WEAK and RASPY


In conclusion, if your cat is squeaking instead of meowing, it could be due to a number of reasons. If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, always consult with a veterinarian. With some love and care, your cat will be squeaking (and meowing) for years to come! Thanks for reading!


  1. https://mrbosscat.com/my-cat-cant-meow-just-squeaks/#
  2. https://mybritishshorthair.com/why-my-cat-cant-meow-just-squeaks/
  3. https://askmycats.com/my-cat-cant-meow-just-squeaks/
  4. https://mycatneedsthis.com/cat-squeaks-instead-of-meows/