Cat Snoring: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

cat snoring

We all love our furbabies. Our pets are an integral part of our family and we want them to be happy and healthy. When our pets starts to display strange or new behaviors we tend to think the worst.

Have you heard loud noises coming from your cat while they sleep? Sounds that sound like snoring? We all know that cats love to sleep. They can sleep up to 20 hours a day. That’s a lot of sleeping. Some cats snore frequently while others might snore occasionally.

Should you be concerned? Probably not, but there might be an underlying condition that may be provoking the loud breathing while they sleep. Let’s take a look at what some of these symptoms are, the causes, and possible treatments.

My Cat Snores

Yes, cats can snore. It’s less common in cats than in dogs, but it is not unusual. And not all cats snore. You may have several cats and only one of them snores while the others sleep peacefully like little angels. The snoring sounds may sound like soft purrs, heavy breathing, or a freight train coming through the house.

Usually, if a cat snores, he has been doing it all his life and will continue to do so. There normally isn’t any reason to run to the vet if this is a daily habit with your cat. There possibly is a cause if they occasionally snore or have suddenly started snoring out of the blue. 

Does your cat sleep in your bed? Is your cat keeping you awake with loud noises? If so, then you must find a solution because you may start to experience a lack of sleep. Sleep is important for the whole family, including your kitty.

Why Does My Cat Snore?

cat snoring

Cat snoring is usually harmless. Just like people - some people are snorers and others are not. And just like humans, there also may be an underlying condition that causes a cat to snore. 

Similar to us humans, cats have sleep cycles. They go through rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. They are in the REM sleep cycle when you see them twitching their whiskers or moving their legs as if they are running while they sleep. They may also “speak” and make noises in this phase. Just like humans, we presume that they are dreaming. Dreaming of chasing birds, climbing trees, or running away from the neighbor’s dog. 

The non-REM sleep cycle is when they are in a relaxed stage of sleep. Just like humans, this is when there are no movements nor dreams. This is the sleep phase where we snore and this is also the stage where your kitty snores.

There may be physical or genetic reasons why your cat snores. There may also be other factors that can contribute to snoring.

Being overweight

You may have noticed an increase in the frequency of snoring episodes from your cat if he has gained weight over the years. Cats, like humans, can pile on the pounds if their food is not controlled and they lead sedentary lives. This also means that it can affect their health and airways. 

Breed

Some breeds of cats have facial features that may make them prone to respiratory issues like snoring. The cat breeds from the Brachycephalic family, like Persians for example, have flattened noses and shorter nasal passages. This can cause some of these cats to breathe loudly and snore while they sleep. 

Sleep Position

It may simply be that your cat is in an unusual sleeping position that is causing him to snore. We all know that cats are like liquid and can work themselves into odd positions. There is no cause for concern if your cat doesn’t seem uncomfortable. Take some photos or videos and post them to show your friends. We all love funny cat photos and videos! A cat sleeping in a funny position snoring up a storm should get you lots of likes on Instagram.

When Snoring in Cats is Normal

There is no need for concern if your cat has been snoring their whole life. This is possibly something that will follow them all their lives and there probably isn’t any medical issues causing the snoring. As we mentioned above, chances are they will snore regularly, especially if the breed is a short  snout one like a Persian. Snoring is very common in these types of breeds. 

You may want to mention it to your vet at your next visit just to make sure that your little furry family member is ok. 

When Should I Be Concerned

There’s no need to run to the vet if you hear your cat snoring. But there are a few things to look out for that may indicate a deeper problem or medical condition. Consult with your vet if your cat displays any of these symptoms. Conditions like heart disease, nasal or throat tumors, upper respiratory infections, and asthma may cause your cat to snore.

Decreased appetite

You should speak with your vet any time your cat shows signs of decreased appetite. Make an appointment with your vet if your cat suddenly starts snoring and loses his appetite. When cats don’t eat it’s a warning sign that something is possibly wrong. It’s important to observe your cat’s eating habits and notice any changes.

Snoring noises while awake

Your cat may have a respiratory infection or condition if he makes snoring noises when fully awake. Observe where the noises are coming from. From his nose? Does it sound like wheezing coming from his lungs? The vet will make a diagnosis. Your cat may have asthma or an infection. 

Discharge from the eyes or nose

Any type of discharge usually means an infection. See your vet if your cat has discharge from his eyes or nose. This is probably a respiratory infection and can be treated with medication. The snoring may be caused by some mucus buildup in his nose and should go away when the infection is cleared.

Sneezing or coughing

Yes, cats can get infections that are similar to colds in humans. This can clear on its own, but if you see your cat is distressed and has other symptoms like lethargy and lack of appetite you should see your vet.

Labored breathing

Labored breathing should not be taken lightly. Your cat should not be extending his neck out to breathe. See your vet promptly if you see your cat having difficulty breathing. 

Panting

Cats sometimes pant when stressed but if the panting is excessive and ongoing you should speak with your vet. 

How to Stop My Cat from Snoring

cat snoring

Your cat’s snoring should not be concerning unless, of course, there is an underlying condition that is causing the snoring. 

  • Treat any infection or other diseases that may be causing the snoring. The snoring will go away as the medical condition or illness is managed.
  • Switch their sleeping position if you think they are in a position that is causing their airway to be partially blocked.
  • Put your cat in another room if the snoring is loud and keeping you awake at night. What’s worse than a snoring partner? A snoring pet! You can try a white noise machine if you don’t want to separate from your cat at night. 
  • Watch your cat’s weight and make sure that he is not eating too much. He may be snoring because of excessive weight and this should go away once he has shed some pounds. 

Keep your cat happy and at a reasonable weight to avoid any medical issues. The sudden onset of snoring may or may not indicate something more serious or even a common illness. Always observe any changes in eating habits and behaviors that accompany the snoring. Consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about anything. A happy cat makes a happy cat owner!