Why does my cat snore?

Why do cats snore and is it normal?

Just like humans, snoring can be perfectly normal in cats, especially as they age. In some cases though, it could also indicate a more serious issue. If you notice that your cat has started to snore more often or has other symptoms like wheezing or laboured breathing, then the best thing to do would be to take them to see a vet right away.

Is it normal for cats to snore?

Yes, it is, but not all cats. Older cats may be more likely to snore than younger kittens. As cats grow old, they may start snoring when they develop health conditions, such as obesity or arthritis, which cause can chest congestion when they breathe.

If you have noticed that your cat has started snoring loudly, this could mean several different things. The first possibility is that the snoring is just due to normal ageing processes; after all, cats reach full maturity around two years of age and then start slowing down with time, just like us! As it seems that snoring is more prevalent among older cats, it could be expected for any cat to have occasional bouts of snoring.

Why do cats snore?

Cats have sleep cycles, just like humans. When cats are in the deepest cycle of their sleep, their bodies are fully relaxed and they are more likely to snore. As your cat’s body relaxes, the airways inside their nose narrow and the surrounding tissue then vibrates, causing the snoring noise that we can hear.

Another possible cause for this snoring phenomenon is age-related changes in the anatomy of your cat’s mouth and throat. Snoring can also be caused by sinus congestion, dental disease, nasal problems, chronic bronchitis or enlarged adenoids. Some cats are more prone to getting sinus congestion and may also suffer from swelling of the turbinates or enlarged tonsils that block airflow when they sleep.

For cats, like humans, allergy-induced congestion during breathing causes the tissue in and around their nose and mouth (the nasopharynx) to vibrate. This vibration produces the low-pitched noise we know as "snoring." The sounds can be loud enough for owners to hear from across rooms and may seem worrisome if you're not sure what it is - but don't worry about your cat's snores! Cats can generally clear out any obstruction themselves.

Cat asleep in bed

Other possible reasons as to why your cat is snoring include:

  • Sleeping in a strange position. Cats sleep in odd positions all the time, and this can often cause them to snore.
  • Your cat is overweight. If your cat is carrying a few excess pounds, then this can put pressure on their nasal passages, which in turn makes them snore.
  • You have a Persian, Himalayan or Burmese cat. These are brachycephalic breeds and have shortened nasal passages, making them more likely to snore.

Should you be worried if your cat snores?

Of course not. Many people are concerned when they first hear their pet snoring. But just like any other type of snoring, cat snoring is likely just a sign of allergies or some other condition that doesn't mean anything more than the fact that they either need to see a vet or get used to moving around at night better.

If the noise you're hearing is new or louder than usual, then it may be best to take your cat to the vet just in case something more serious might be occurring with your cat's health. Snoring can indicate throat tumours and other problems that veterinarians would need to diagnose separately by way of an X-ray or examination. A veterinarian will also reassure you if there are less severe causes for snoring, such as ageing.

When should you be concerned about your cat’s snoring?

In general, snoring shouldn’t ring alarm bells. There’s no harm however in being cautious, and if your cat is snoring and displaying any of these signs, then you should seek advice from your vet as soon as you can.

  • Lack of energy – if your cat is feeling lethargic then this is probably the most common reason why they’re snoring. If your cat is more tired than usual and they’ve experienced a loss in appetite, then you should get advice from your vet.
  • Respiratory problems – If your cat is snorting air quickly, coughing or panting, then these can be signs of respiratory problems.
  • Respiratory infections – If you’ve noticed discharge in your cat’s eyes or nose, then this could mean that your cat is snoring because of a mucus build up. It’s possible that this is a respiratory infection, so you should seek advice from your vet.
  • Laboured breathing – If your cat is breathing quickly, then you should see a vet as soon as possible.
  
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