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Why Do Cats Snore?

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by Alexander Thompson
Apr 01, 2022
4 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • What Is Snoring?
  • What Causes Cats Snoring?
  • When Is Snoring a Red Flag?
  • How Can You Treat a Cat Snoring?
  • Conclusion
You may have noticed your cat snoring, and although this sounds cute, it may not be for your cat. Cats also have tiny hairs in their noses like humans, giving them a sense of smell. However, their hairs are closer to their breathing passage, obstructing their airflow. Consequently, cats snore. This snoring can annoy both the owners and other pets. You are definitely in the right spot if you want to know the cause of your cat’s snoring and ways of minimizing it.

What Is Snoring?

Snoring occurs when there is a blockage in the airway when breathing. It is a sound that is sometimes soft and sometimes loud and unpleasant. The upper airways include the throat, back of the mouth, and nose. Snoring occurs when the passages in the upper airways vibrate audibly when breathing. Also, because the tissues of the upper airways are relaxed during sleep, vibrations and, consequently, snoring are most likely to happen.

What Causes Cats Snoring?

Because cat snoring is not as common as dogs, cat owners may wonder if their feline companions have health issues. Although cat snoring may not necessarily be a medical problem, it could also indicate a more significant health issue. A critical question you may have is, is your cat snoring normally? Firstly, you have to know the cause behind it. Fortunately, we discuss the several reasons that may cause cat snoring

Allergies

Cats also experience various allergies like humans. The three main allergy categories are food allergy, flea allergy, and environmental allergy. Allergies trigger an inflammation in your cat’s airways, causing snoring. Although treatment for snoring depends on the underlying cause, allergy testing and ongoing allergy therapy can resolve most of them.

Sleep Cycle

It is common knowledge that cats sleep for long periods. Due to their hunting instincts, cats are light sleepers. Therefore, 75% of a cat’s sleeping time is for light, while 25% is for deep sleep. Although cats sleep lightly, they get the rest they need while still alert. Humans have stages of sleep, which is different for cats. Instead, cats have a non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep cycle, which is when they are in the deepest sleep.

Weight

A cat’s weight affects its sleep quality. Extra weight puts pressure on the nasal passage of your cat, causing snoring. If your cat snores due to obesity, it needs to lose weight. It is best to ensure that your cat gets enough physical activity daily. Also, try playing with your cats at least once a day and use toys that encourage them to chase and run around.

Sleeping Position

Because cats are flexible, they can sleep in unbelievable positions. Sometimes, a cat’s awkward sleeping position causes snoring. If your cat sleeps with its head upside down or squashed against its bed’s edge, there is extra pressure on its nasal passage, causing loud snores. If their sleeping position is the cause of their snores, changing positions can stop the sound.
cat sleeping in an awkward position on a chair

Breed

Of all cat breeds, the brachycephalic species are more likely to snore. This breed has shorter noses with the tissues in its upper airways, which is tortuous unnaturally. Snoring and vibrations are common when air moves through their convoluted tissues.
The well-recognized brachycephalic cat breeds include Persian, Himalayan, and Burmese cats. Sometimes, when these cats are awake, their breathing noises are audible. Because snoring while awake is not common in cats, it can result from breathing difficulties.

Respiratory Issues

Cats suffering from respiratory issues are more likely to snore. Bacterial infection, fungal infection, and asthma are respiratory issues that cause snoring. Sneezing, coughing, eyes and nose discharge, and decreased activity and appetite are also symptoms of a respiratory infection.
If your cat snores and experiences these symptoms, it is best to visit your vet. In addition to antibiotics, your vet will prescribe other medication that treats the underlying cause of your cat’s snoring.

When Is Snoring a Red Flag?

Sometimes, cats’ snores are nothing to worry about. However, knowing that the cause of your cat’s snores is not a medical issue is essential. Unfortunately, it is impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of your cat snoring without the help of a vet. However, there are indications for continuous and awful snoring.

Noisy Breathing When Awake

When air passes through blockages or their abnormally narrow nasal passages, your cats may make snore-like noises while awake. Respiratory issues include rapidly sucking air in, coughing, and gasping. If your cat has an eye or nose discharge, a respiratory infection may be the underlying cause of their snoring.

Energy or Appetite Loss

Paying attention to your cat’s appetite and energy level is essential. Symptoms that often accompany regular snoring include unusual laziness and a gradual or sudden drop in appetite. Although there are several potential causes of these signs, visiting a vet is best once you notice these symptoms.

Irregular Breathing

It would be best if you took any wheezing, panting, open mouth breathing, or working harder than usual to breathe seriously. If your cat experiences irregular breathing when awake, it could result from a blockage in its nasal canal. The blockage could be a foreign object like a piece of grass or stone or a benign polyp or tumor. You should visit a vet immediately if you notice your cat breathing through its mouth.

How Can You Treat a Cat Snoring?

In most cases, snoring in cats is normal. You don’t need to bother about your cat’s snoring if it isn’t the first time and there are no accompanying symptoms. Nevertheless, you can prevent your cat from snoring in several ways.

Weight Loss

A great way to help your overweight cat breathe easier is by losing extra pounds. It is best to encourage exercising and moving around regularly for your cat. You can buy toys that require your cat to move and engage them in one-on-one playtime. Another way to help your cat lose weight is by purchasing a harness and going out for regular walks. You should also consult with your vet and adjust your cat’s diet to promote better nutrition.

Changing Your Cat’s Sleeping Position

Although your cat may not appreciate disturbance when sleeping, you can carefully and gently adjust its awkward sleeping position. Ensure your cat’s neck is straight and not strained when sleeping. It is advisable also to pay attention to your cat’s favorite sleeping positions to know the ones that cause snoring. Buying a larger cat bed also ensures that your cat is not cramming itself into a tiny space that requires tilting its head when sleeping

Removing Allergens

Firstly, visiting a vet can help determine your cat’s allergy type. Your vet will require you to describe your cat’s diet and habits in full detail. Afterward, your vet may carry out an allergy test for your pet. You can stop your cat’s snoring if you pinpoint the allergen by simply removing it from your cat’s daily life. Also, regularly cleaning their bedding and carpet limits exposure to common allergens like dust and pollen.

Regular Vet Visits

Visiting a vet for regular health examinations is vital in keeping your pet healthy and happy. Because of being a predator and prey animal, cats are good at hiding pain and illness. With regular vet visits, you can determine if your cat has medical issues or is overweight. Preventive care is better than reactive care.

Conclusion

Generally speaking, snoring is rare in cats. However, it is normal when your cat is sleeping normally. If your cat is experiencing other physical or behavioral changes in addition to snoring, then visiting a vet is the best solution for you.
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