Why Do Cats Snore?

Why Do Cats Snore?

As cat lovers, we all know how much our furry family members love naptime. They'll happily catch some shuteye basking in a ray of warm sunshine or cozying up in other places around the house where they feel safe. Some kitties even snore while they sleep. Learn all about why some cats snore when they snooze, whether snoring is normal, and signs to watch out for that may warrant a vet visit to ensure everything is A-OK with your sleeping prince or princess.

Is It Normal For Cats To Snore?

More often than not, cat snoring is completely normal. If your furry friend snores, but their snoring patterns and behavior don’t change, then there is typically no need to worry. 

Why Do Cats Snore?

Cats that snore tend to do so during the deepest stage of their sleep cycles. The body relaxes completely, including the soft tissues of the throat and nasal passageways. Here are some of the most common causes of snoring in cats: 

Brachycephaly

Brachycephalic, or “flat faced” cat breeds, such as the Himalayan, Burmese, or Persian are more likely to snore. This is because  their entire nasal cavity is inside their skull, which puts them at a higher risk for soft palate or a different type of tissue blocking their airways. These physical characteristics increase the chance of snoring in these breeds.

White Persian cat with green eyes

Respiratory Illness

Respiratory illnesses, which can be caused by bacterial or fungal infections, may also be a cause of snoring. Signs of respiratory infection can include eye and nose discharge, coughing, sneezing, and decrease in appetite or activity. Asthma can also affect cats, and is a condition that can contribute to snoring. 

Allergies

Cats can snore due to allergies, which can cause inflammation in a cat’s airways. If your cat has allergies and is also affected by snoring, they may exhibit concerning symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, or having difficulty breathing. If your cat displays any of these signs, contact your veterinarian for advice and to schedule an appointment.

Sleep Position

Cats are incredibly flexible animals, which can be both a good and bad quality. Their flexibility can lead them to sleep in awkward positions and cause them to start snoring. When this is the case, your kitty will typically only snore for a short while until they change their sleeping position! 

Cat sleeping in funny position in cat bed

Excess Weight

Cats that are overweight can have an excess of fat that surrounds the tissues in their upper airways, which can make them more prone to snoring. This is one of many reasons for ensuring that your cat maintains a healthy weight.

Obese grey tabby cat lying on a wooden floor

Foreign Objects

A foreign object, such as something from an outdoor garden, may become lodged in your cat's mouth or nose and cause irritation.  If this occurs, visit your veterinarian so that they can examine your cat and dislodge any object as safely as possible. Sometimes a foreign object can be responsible for snoring and other breathing problems, and should be addressed right away by a vet to alleviate discomfort in the affected cat.

Other Reasons Why Cats Snore

There are a few other reasons why your cat will snore. These include:

  • Inflammation
  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  • Nasal polyps

If any of the above conditions are suspected in your cat, please consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. Regular wellness checkups are also helpful to address issues before they become a problem.

Signs That You Should Take Your Snoring Cat To The Vet

If your snoring cat also exhibits any of the following symptoms, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Panting
  • Snorting air
  • Nose and/or eye discharge
  • Sores on the nose
  • Breathing rapidly, extending the neck, or other signs of labored breathing

How To Prevent Cat Snoring

For your cat, snoring can be normal and as discussed it is more common in some breeds than others. It is important to be aware of all the factors that cause snoring in order to know how to prevent your cat from snoring if it is not normal for them. It is also important to take your cat to the vet for regular wellness exams throughout the year to support their best health and overall well-being.

Veterinarian examining a cat in the owner's arms

When it comes to snoring and obesity, there are many resources that can help support your cat’s weight loss journey and potentially reduce their chances for snoring or other breathing problems. Read our detailed blog on cat obesity for helpful information and resources. You may also want to visit the Associate for Pet Obesity Prevention’s (APOP) website. APOP is an organization dedicated to addressing obesity in cats and dogs, and has helpful cat weight loss information on their website. 

Get To Know Your Cat Better with Basepaws 

As a loving cat parent, you want to learn everything you possibly can about your furry feline friend. Basepaws gives you that opportunity with the Breed + Health Cat DNA Test. Learn about the genetics responsible for your cat's unique breed profile, health predispositions, and fabulous appearance. A quick and easy swab of your kitty's mouth unlocks important information to help you proactively take care of their health and well-being. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to become an "in the know" cat parent!

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