Can cats be mute? I've never heard a single meow or purr from my Jake. Has anyone encountered anything like this? His hearing is OK, and he recognizes his name. But he doesn't make a sound.

They can have "speaking" problems if they have had an injury on the throat... although, if your cat was feral once, he may not have the meowing habit because in the wild cats don't usually communicate that way. Meowing is just an unnecessary noise that can draw predators. They'll only meow when searching for mates and defending territory.
Cats can be mute, just as any other living creature, but it is extremely rare. It's even more rare when the hearing is fine, but it can happen.

How old is Jake? If he's a kitten, then it's possible that his "voice" hasn't matured yet. When I was a kid I had a kitten that made no sound at all when he tried to meow. At about one-year of age, he finally found his voice and was able to meow.
Hello ,

I have 4 cats , my third cat Tidus Beeka Mcdouglesworth. Is a tuxido cat , he also never meowed . He is able to make sounds of pain and play , little noises . My wife and I just moved into a new home. Tidus is two now and he has successfully meowed 10 times that we have heard . We were amazed to hear him meow , I did research after it happened . my best guess I can attribute the change to was that, in our new home we have a large back screeNed in porch where he likes to spend his time. Our house is on a lake and there are lots of bird sounds etc. it seems as if he was so interested in communicating with the birds that he willed himself to meow . Most mammals want to communicate .. Hope your cat meowss!
I have two Siamese cats, male and female, from the same litter, 5 years old. They have lived with me since they were kittens. The male is mute. The female meows normally but quietly, compared to other Siamese in my experience. Both cats purr normally, and sometimes chatter when they get excited during hunting games. The male seems more attached to me, more expressive, and less independent than other cats I have known, and he is quite loyal to his sister as well. He is cautious when strangers come to visit, but of those he knows, he's quite friendly. He remembers people and very definitely has favorites. He is the most empathic cat I have ever come across.
My cat is the same way no sound at all she's 8 months old she's never purred or meowed
It is really beautiful to think that they want to communicate with other species. I love the concept.
I have the same question as you.... My new 5 month old male Ragdoll has been with me a few days, we are learning about each other... Dusty has made little sounds like he's dreaming but that's it! A Ragdoll cat seems like they were bread with all of their normal catattitudes altered... Like the ability to speak... Anyone know?