If your cat is anything like our Boo, chances are outside of eating, playtime and stalking they spend much of the day snoozing and sleeping, every so often shifting location or adjusting their body. What a life! During these ‘catnaps’ you may have heard your cat snoring like a human and wondered why does my cat snore? Is it normal? Cats like us, experience sleep cycles observing both R.E.M (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and deep sleep. When your cat is in REM sleep, they can twitch, patter their feet or even let out an adorable squeak. Whereas it is in the deeper non-REM phase of sleep, that you might witness them snoring when their body is fully relaxed.
What is snoring?
Snoring happens when the body relaxes, typically during the deepest phase of sleep. Due to the relaxation, airways narrow, and as air continues to pass through the surrounding soft tissue can begin to vibrate. These vibrations occur in the passage between the nose and throat and cause an audible noise which we call snoring. Snoring can also be caused by an obstruction of the airways such as the throat or nasal passages.
So, why is does my cat snore?
You may be concerned for your cat’s health when you hear their loud snores but there are a few common reasons why this might be happening.
Your cat’s weight:
The weight of your cat is related to their quality of sleep. If your cat is overweight, the extra weight will cause an accumulation of fat in the tissues surrounding their upper airways. The added pressure on your cat’s nasal passages can trigger them to snore. According to the PFMA, Vets say 44% of our kitties are overweight or obese. If your cat has a noticeable paunch, to improve your cat's sleep, look at their diet and exercise to get them to a healthy weight.
Your cat’s sleeping position:
You might notice that in certain positions you snore yourself. The same is true for our furry friends. If your kitty is sleeping in an unusual or awkward position, it could be likely that this is causing their snoring. To stop the snoring, simply move them into another position or shape (if they let you!).
Your cat’s genetics:
Snoring is more common among brachycephalic cats like Persians. These breeds have flatter facial features. They may also have smaller nostrils and shortened bones in their faces, all of which leads to a higher likelihood of them being snorers.
Your cat has a cold:
A common cold or cough can cause your cat’s airways to be slightly restricted and make their breathing heavier. This snoring will only last as long as their cold does.
Your cat has seasonal allergies:
If you notice your cat snores seasonally it may be that your cat is suffering from a seasonal allergy. Felines are equally prone to hay fever as we are.
Your cat is just a snorer:
Why does my cat snore? Well, it's just the way she is. If your cat has always snored and doesn’t show any signs of health issues, there is nothing to worry about - it is just part of them and their personality! Embrace it!
When to worry about your cat's snores.
You should also seek veterinary advice if you notice any of the below behaviours:
- A drop in your cat’s appetite
- Your cat seems more lethargic than usual
- A sudden snore that comes on quickly accompanied by behavioural changes
- Your cat appears to be struggling with their breathing and is panting, coughing, snorting air quickly or breathing through their mouth
- If your cat face starts to swell, it could be due to a dental issue such as a tooth root abscess. This is incredibly painful for your cat and requires treatment quickly.
- if your cat is sitting with an extended neck and breathing rapidly or their breath is short and quick - this could be a sign of laboured breathing which medically known as dyspnea.
Now we've answered "why does my cat snore?", you might also be interested to read:
Our ultimate guide on how to pet your cat.