We know we don’t have to say this, but we’re going to anyway: cats are so cute when they’re sleeping. From their sweet little faces to their itty bitty toe beans to those soft snores, cat naps are just the best.
But what about when those soft snores turn into something more and you start to think, “why is my cat snoring like that?”
If you’ve started to notice that your cat’s snoring is loud enough to wake the dead, it’s possible something more could be going on.
What is Snoring?
When you get down to it, snoring is caused by air passing past the relaxed tissues in the throat during sleep. When the air pases by the relaxed tissues in the upper airway, including the throat, nose, and back of the mouth, they begin to vibrate and your cat’s breathing sounds like snoring!
Snoring is a very normal thing, both in humans and in cats! However, it is important to take notice if you start to notice your cat snoring more than usual. Snoring could be an indication of a medical problem if accompanied by other behaviors or symptoms.
Why Does My Cat Snore?
If you’re wondering why “my cat is snoring,” don’t be too alarmed! There are all kind of reasons that may cause your cat to snore but if you are wondering when is cat snoring normal, here are some of the most common instances:
Cat breeds including Persians, Burmese, and Himalayan are well known for being prone to cat snoring. This is due to the fact that they are all Brachycephalic breeds.
Brachycephalic breeds are named for having faces that appear “pushed in.” In fact, Brachycephalic comes from the words “brachy,” which means shortened, and “cephalic,” which means head.
Since their face and nose bones are shorter than most cats, they also have shorter nasal passages and that makes it common for them to have breathing issues, such as a cat snoring when sleeping.
Obesity is another cause of snoring cats, as well as humans. The more pounds your cat packs on, the more fat will start to accumulate around their neck.
The extra fat around your cat’s neck can press on their upper airway and cause them to start to snore, especially when they start to twist and turn into those pretzel shapes cats just love to sleep in.
Speaking of twisting into pretzel shapes in their sleep, your cat’s sleeping position can be a cause for their cat snoring all on its own!
If your cat twists and turns into just the right position in their sleep, they may begin to snore if their throat is at an angle that causes those airway tissues to catch their breath and begin to vibrate.
Most of the time, if their sleep position is the cause of their cat snoring, the snoring will go away just as soon as they move into a new position.
Various respiratory issues can also cause your cat to snore. Just like when you find yourself snoring when you have a cold, your cat might be prone to snoring if they have a cold, too.
Respiratory issues are not limited to colds. They can also include bacterial infections, fungal infections, asthma.
However, be on the lookout for other symptoms like coughing, sneezing, nose or eye discharge, or changes to their behavior or appetite. These could be signs of an issue that needs to be addressed by your veterinarian and you should make an appointment ASAP.
Presence of Foreign Objects
Generally speaking, cats are pretty good about not putting foreign objects in their mouths (especially compared to dogs). But sometimes, there might be a foreign object in their mouth or nose causing them to snore! It could be as simple as a blade of grass.
If their cat snoring is coming from a foreign object, it would probably be accompanied by coughing or agitated behavior.
If you believe this to be the cause of your cat’s snoring, it’s best if you don’t try to remove the foreign object yourself. Take your cat to the vet immediately to remove the object to ensure that you don’t cause any extra harm to your cat while trying to remove it yourself.
Cats get allergies just like humans! Since allergies to things like pollen can clog your nose and make you snore, the same goes for cats.
If you find your cat snoring loudly only during certain seasons, they may have seasonal allergies. If you feel like you need to address your cat’s allergies, there are a variety of cat allergy medicines available. Your veterinarian can help you choose the best treatment plan for your feline friend!
If you are worried about a reaction to a food they have eaten then maybe take a look at our "What Can Cats Not Eat" article for some initial pointers.
When is Cat Snoring Not Normal?
You may be asking yourself this question, along with “why is my cat snoring?” if they have never been snorers before.
Even though it is normal for cats to snore, it could also be a symptom of a larger problem if your cat starts snoring suddenly when they have never snored before, your cat’s snoring, wheezing, or coughing, too, or if their snoring suddenly becomes louder.
Also, if your cat’s snoring is accompanied by other symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, vomiting or other breathing issues, there could be more going on. If these other symptoms occur or you hear your cat snoring while awake, make an appointment with your vet to get to the underlying causes of your cat’s snoring.
How to Prevent Cat Snoring?
Snoring is completely normal. But if you are concerned about your kitty’s snores every time they lay down for a cat nap, there are a few things you can do to prevent health issues that cause snoring.
For instance, feeding your cat a healthy diet to help them avoid obesity and making sure you are taking them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups can ensure that your cat’s snores are nothing more than cute sounds they make in their sleep!
Exercise is the best way to decrease your cat’s snoring, especially if their snoring is caused by obesity. Not to mention, it’s good for their overall health!
The best kind of exercise for your cat is the kind that is interactive and helps them focus their predatory instincts. These kinds of exercises are also great for getting your kitty to move around, which is where the weight loss comes in!
And don’t be afraid to encourage them to use toys for exercise! Wand toys are great for this. So are motorized toys or any kind of toy your cat can play with on their own. It is all up to your cat’s personal preferences.
You may find that you need to swap out their toys from time to time to keep them interested but as long as you keep your feline friend exercising on a regular basis, their health will benefit!
In the same vein as exercising, climbing can also help prevent your kitty snoring! Encouraging your cat to climb helps keep them moving while also maintaining their agility and allowing them to practice their balancing.
It is well known that cats love heights and climbing, so providing them with plenty of tall posts and perches will give them plenty of space to climb and lounge.
If you want your kitty to have plenty of options, consider varying cat trees, scratching posts, and window perches so they can view their kingdom from any given vantage point!
Food puzzles are a great way to prevent snoring in cats because they allow cats to eat more instinctively instead of just going to a bowl and eating their fill.
With food puzzles, cats have to “hunt” for their food and end up relying on their various natural skills to get the puzzle to dispense their food so they can eat, almost as if they are in the wild.
Not only are food puzzles great for keeping your kitty busy and keeping their brains sharp, but they are also great for slowing down their eating and keeping them from eating too much. It’s a great tool for preventing obesity and a loudly snoring cat!
There are all kinds of interactive cat food puzzles on the market with varying levels of hardness. We recommend starting with an easy toy for your cat before slowly increasing the level of hardness from there so they don’t get deterred but also don’t find it too easy!
Annual Veterinary Visits
Another way to ensure that your cat’s snoring isn’t a symptom of a larger problem is to take them to the veterinarian on a regular basis. Cats are known for keeping their illness and pain hidden from their owners, so it is always possible that something more is going on.
Taking your feline companion to the vet regularly can give you peace of mind so that whenever something like snoring pops up, you already have a handle on your cat’s health and can feel confident in the care you give them!
Final Thoughts on Snoring Cats
Overall, having a snoring cat is pretty common, even if it is elderly cat snoring. It is a natural sleeping habit in cats and nothing to be extremely worried about.
However, if your cat starts snoring suddenly, and if it is accompanied by changes in their behavior or other physical symptoms, then it could be an indication of an underlying health problem. In that case, a trip to the vet is in order.
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