It’s no secret that cats love to sleep, they do it often, and they do it best.
Many people will be familiar with the sound of their cats gently snoring whilst cuddled up on the couch – but is it actually normal for your cat to snore?
Petplan looks at reasons why cats snore, and some of the more common cat health issues associated with snoring…
What is snoring?
Just like humans, cats have a sleep cycle and snoring is most likely to occur in the deepest stage of sleep, when the body is fully relaxed. As the body relaxes, the airways narrow causing the surrounding soft tissues to vibrate. The vibrations occur in the passages between the nose and throat, causing audible breathing which we call snoring.
Snoring can also be caused by a partial obstruction of the airways, in particular the uvula, soft palate and throat.
Reasons why your cat is snoring
There are multiple reasons why your feline friend may be snoring, whether it’s a new development or a lifelong norm, including:
- Weight – just as obesity is one of the most common causes for snoring in humans, so too is it for cats. If your cat is overweight, there will be an accumulation of fat in the tissues which surround the airways, which can then trigger snoring
- Illness – a common cold or cough can cause heavier than usual breathing in your cat, however the snoring will only last as long as the illness does. A sign that your cat is unwell is a loss of appetite or lethargy
- Asthma – asthma often causes snoring and medication is usually required to resolve the issue
- Upper Respiratory Tract Infection – symptoms of this include discharge from eyes or nose, sneezing, and sores on the nose. Snoring occurs due to a congestion in the sinuses, however this is treatable with antibiotics
- Obstruction – when a foreign body lodges itself in an airway, your cat will start snoring. If this is the case, consult a vet who will remove the object. Another ‘obstruction’ may be a tumour or polyp, and surgery will be required to remove this
- Allergies – if snoring is onset, the cause is quite likely to be an allergy
Despite the causes listed above, the case might be far less serious, and merely depend on the breed of your cat. For instance, Brachycephalic cats such as Persians – have much shorter faces and therefore are more likely to snore.
If you have a short-muzzled cat, be sure to get them examined by a vet who can check that the structure of their head isn’t disturbing regular, day-to-day breathing.
Assessing the issue of your cat’s snoring
If your cat’s snoring is a recent development which doesn’t seem to worsen, it is likely that the problem is minor, such as a general illness or allergy. Try using a humidifier near your cat’s bedding which will moisten the air they breathe.
You should be particularly alert if your cat appears to be in distress when snoring, is struggling to breath, gasping for air, or is breathing more rapidly than usual. In this case, consult your vet immediately.
Whilst snoring does not necessarily indicate that there is a health problem with your cat, if you are concerned about your cat’s health, always seek veterinary advice as there may be an underlying issue which needs addressing.
Does your cat snore? Do you have any advice for other cat owners? Let us know in a comment below…