Is it normal for my cat to snore?

February 01, 2018 3 min read

Do you wake up in the night to hear your cat snoring like a chainsaw on the pillow beside you? She’s not alone. About 90 million Americans snore. Humans and dogs are more likely to rattle the hinges than cats.

If your cat is a loud sleeper, you might feel a twinge of concern. So, let’s talk about cat snoring.


What is snoring?

If your partner, roommate, or pet snores, you probably think it’s either annoying or cute depending on the volume, butthe science of snoring is fascinating. The upper airway consists of cartilaginous structures, many of which lack significant muscular support. During the day, when mammals are upright and active, the pathway stays open. But at night when the muscles relax, those cartilaginous structures partially collapse and shrink the air passages.

Air turbulence in thehypotonic airways creates the snoring sound you hear.

Why does my cat snore?

The science of snoring is the same for cats as it is for humans. Thus, the reasons we snore are similar.

  • Weird sleeping positions can restrict the airways and lead to louder and more intense snoring. Since cats spend much of their time sleeping in awkward positions, this could be a reason your cat saws logs.
  • Obesity increases snoring because extra neck fat narrows the airways.
  • Cat allergies exacerbate snoring by making it difficult to breathe through the nose. Inhaling through the mouth can increase noisy turbulence when air collides with the soft palate.
  • Age is a factor in snoring since growing older brings a loss of muscle tone and an increase of fat, both of which narrow air passages. That’s why snoring may be normal in an elderly cat, but a kitten snoring could be a sign of trouble.
  • Medical reasons like sleep apnea may cause snoring. If your cat is gasping in its sleep, having spasms of the diaphragm, is overweight, or has a short muzzle, talk to your vet about sleep disorders.
  • Brachycephalic cat breeds such as Himalayans, Persians, and Scottish Folds snore more than others. If you intend to partner up with one of these flat-faced beauties, you’ll want to learn about their unique medical conditions.

    Do cats snore while awake?

    Sometimes,cats make snoring noises when they are awake. Astertor is a low-pitched noise, and it can sound like a snore. Astridor is a high-pitched tone you sometimes hear during cat respiration. Andwheezing is the sound that occurs in the lungs while your cat is breathing.

    A cat’s loud daytime breathing may indicate asthma or another medical problem. If your cat makes peculiar noises while breathing, it might be time to consult your veterinarian.

    When is snoring a problem for your cat?

    If you have any concern about your cat’s breathing, ask the vet. For sure, you’ll want to keep an eye out for nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, and sores. Often, it’s a respiratory infection that a course of antibiotics will clear up. Snoring could be a sign of something serious, however, like a polyp or a tumor in the nasal passages.

    Don’t ignore snoring, but don’t panic either since most cat snoring is normal.

    What can I do about feline snoring?

    Once your vet has ruled out a medical condition, enjoy all the cuteness. If your cat indulges in an occasional gentle snore, why not take a video?Cat snoring videos are popular on YouTube. Gentle snores can be one of the benefits of loving a cat.

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