Does your cat snore? Not purring rhythmically while sleeping, but actually snoring audibly like a full-grown man? You might be wondering whether it's normal for your cat to snore, or even whether it means he's suffering from some kind of condition. Here's what our vets have to say.
Is Snoring in Cats Normal?
In a word, yes! Cats sleep in cycles just like humans, so they experience both R.E.M. sleep and a deeper, more relaxed sleep. It's when they're in "relaxed mode" you're most likely to hear snoring...if you notice twitching or meowing squeaks, your cat's more likely to be in R.E.M. If you hear your cat snoring only once in a while, it's probably nothing to be concerned about. Likewise, if your cat has always snored and doesn't seem to be suffering from any physical discomfort, it may just be who he is! The shape of some people's nasal passages make them more likely to be snorers, too.
Why is My Cat Snoring?
There are a few reasons why your cat might be snoring. A few of the most common include:
- Nose Shape: The shape of your cat's nose and sinus passages have a lot to do with how air moves in and out. Some cats are just predisposed to snoring, particularly if they're a brachycephalic breed like a Persian.
- Sleep Position: It's possible that an awkward sleep position is causing your cat to snore. If this is the case, the sound should be temporary and stop when your cat changes positions.
- Excess Weight: A cat's weight has a lot to do with the quality of his sleep. Extra weight can put pressure on your cat's nasal passages, causing him to snore. And remember, snoring caused by obesity might mean your cat isn't getting the rest he needs!
When is Snoring in Cats NOT Normal?
That's a great question. In general, snoring is considered normal in cats unless it occurs alongside other symptoms. Things to watch out for include discharge from the eyes or nose, which could indicate your cat has a respiratory infection. You should also monitor your cat for behavioral changes, such as lethargy, apathy, or changes in eating or drinking. If he's showing any of those symptoms, be sure to touch base with your vet. You should be even more concerned if your cat's snoring comes part-and-parcel with labored breathing. If your cat is panting, struggling to breathe, coughing with great effort, or gasping for air with an extended neck, contact a vet as soon as possible. If your vet isn't available, it's safest to take your cat to an emergency vet clinic for an evaluation. A mass or tumor inside your cat's nasal passages could also lead to snoring, but the noise will likely be constant. A cat snoring while awake is usually something that should be evaluated by a veterinarian. When in doubt, consult a professional.
How Can I Help My Cat Stop Snoring?
If your cat's snoring seems to be disrupting his sleep, try and determine the root cause. With more almost 60% of cats considered either obese or overweight, odds are your cat's snoring is caused by a need to trim down. Work with your vet on a weight loss plan for your cat and see if the snoring subsides as his weight drops. Does your cat's snoring truly seem temporary? If so, try moving him into a different position while he's sleeping - sometimes changing the way he's breathing can help. There's no shame in investing in a great white noise machine, too, if you'd rather stay up all night than wake your sleeping cat.