There are few things cuter than a sleepy kitty, but what about a snoring kitty? If you ask us, still cute! But, depending on the severity of their snoring, there might be a more significant issue at play.
Here, we will talk about everything you need to know about cat snoring, including what’s normal and what’s not, and what you can do to ensure your kitty’s health (and sleep).
Is Cat Snoring Normal?
To some extent, cat snoring is normal. Just like in humans, snoring is quite harmless and means that they’re in a deep sleep. Unless things get worse or you notice something isn’t right, cat snoring should be nothing to worry about.
Cats usually start snoring when they reach their deepest stage of sleep, which means they are completely relaxed. This stage of deep sleep might also be when you see little twitches in their sleep or hear them make sleep-meows (like meowing squeaks). These are likely signs that they are having a great dream (about that bird out the window that they’ve had their eye on, maybe?).
If your cat has always snored and continues to snore in the same way, it’s probably just how they sleep. Some cats snore much more than others, as we’ll see in the next section about reasons cats snore.
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Causes of Snoring in Cats
Every cat snores to some extent, and there are some common reasons for this. Here are a few of the most common:
Of course, flat-faced kitty breeds are more likely to face snoring issues because of their shorter noses and flatter faces. These types of cats, like Persians and Himalayans, are some of the most popular cat breeds and are called brachycephalic breeds. These breeds face a myriad of health issues, including potential breathing problems.
It might seem strange, but cats can start snoring if they’re sleeping in an odd position. This might be the case if their nose is tucked in or their breathing passage isn’t fully open. If you notice that this is the case and you want them to stop snoring or are concerned, try to gently nudge your kitty into a new position to open their airway (although they might not be happy that you woke them up!).
Excessive weight is the most common reason why kitties struggle with breathing problems or snoring while they sleep. According to Pet Obesity Prevention, almost 60% of cats are considered either obese or overweight and this excess weight puts more pressure on your kitty’s lungs and nasal passage.
Asthma is a chronic condition that makes it harder to breath and can be an underlying cause of snoring in cats if they never snored before and now are having a hard time breathing. Asthma can lead to respiratory infection, but if monitored closely, can remain under control throughout your cat’s life. You may decide to put your cat on a medication that reduces inflammation, or your vet may prescribe an inhaler in the event of an asthma attack. Another actionable step towards helping asthmatic cats is to switch to PrettyLitter. PrettyLitter is a 99.9% dust free litter option. Veterinarians recommend avoiding clay litters for any kitty suffering with asthma as even the ones claiming they are dust free, typically contain small amounts that can affect your cat’s lungs.
Lastly, if there is a foreign object obstructing your kitty’s breathing passages, this could also be the problem. This could be something like a piece of food or a tumor, cyst, or polyp in their throat. Often, a vet will be able to remove their object, either right away or in surgery. If a tumor is causing the snoring issues, they may also test it to see if it’s cancerous.
How to Treat Snoring in Cats
Of course, we always want to help our pets live their happiest and healthiest life and if your cat is snoring, there are a few things you can do to help. First, determine the cause. This will help you move forward with an accurate solution.
If you have an overweight cat, which is a big reason for snoring in cats, you should take the proper steps to help them maintain a healthy weight. This could include:
- Making sure that they are on a high-quality, high-protein diet. Limit the amount of grains or carbs you feed your cat as these ingredients can cause weight gain. PrettyPlease is a great grain free and low carb kibble option for your kitty!
- Limit free-feeding if your cat eats too much
- Make sure your cat is getting enough exercise
- Talk to your vet to rule out any other conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, or kidney issues.
- Work with your vet to establish a healthy weight loss plan for your kitty. This might include feeding them a prescription food designed for weight loss
If you have a flat-faced breed, take the time to clean their eyes and nose frequently to make breathing easier. There are products specifically designed for cleaning the faces of these brachycephalic breeds. Not only will regularly cleaning their eyes make them look cleaner, but this will help them breathe easier at night, reducing the amount of snoring.
If there is a foreign object obstructing your cat’s breathing airway passages, take them to the vet to have it removed.
Lastly, putting a humidifier close to where your cat likes to sleep may help reduce their snoring. Dry air can make it harder to breathe and adding a little moisture can be beneficial. You can use the same type of humidifier you would use in your own room, it doesn’t have to be specific to pets.
Should You Take Your Snoring Cat to the Vet?
Regular snoring sounds like a smooth, gentle noise. But sometimes, there might be a cause for concern.
- If your cat’s snore turns more from a series of breaths to a snort or cat cough, it might signal a respiratory issue or breathing issue. Another symptom of respiratory issues is nasal discharge or discharge from their eyes.
- In addition, if your cat is having trouble breathing or experiencing labored breathing, take them to the vet right away. This could be a sign of a bigger issue and could be a life-threatening concern.
- If your cat is experiencing any other behavioral changes, such as increased lethargy, changes in appetite, or changes in behavior, in addition to increased snoring, this could also be a sign that they should see a vet. Any major change in your kitty’s behavior is worth looking into more.
- Things like tumor or polyp in their breathing passage could cause excess snoring. Take your cat to the vet if you suspect that this is the case.
Another way to determine whether or not your cat’s snoring is normal is to identify the type or snoring you hear. Normal breath is fine, but things like snorting, coughing, or wheezing could be a sign of concern. Stertor, a low-pitched snore, and stridor, a high-pitched snore, can also be abnormal cat snoring sounds.
In most cases, cat snoring is completely normal, especially if the snoring itself is measured and consistent and if your cat has always snored. Snoring in cats happens when they are in their deepest stage of sleep.
The most common cause of snoring is being overweight, so if you notice that your kitty has had a few extra meals and is starting to snore, talk to your vet about putting them on a weight loss plan. Making sure you feed your cat high-quality food and that they get enough exercise will also help.
In addition to weight gain, there are a few other reasons why your cat might be snoring, including their sleeping position, their unique facial features, and potential underlying causes like asthma or respiratory issues.
To treat snoring in your cat, first make sure that their nasal passages are clear (especially if you have a flat-faced breed). You may also adjust their sleeping position if that’s the cause. Helping your cat maintain a healthy weight will also decrease their snoring, as well as benefit them in a number of ways. Lastly, take your cat to the vet if you think the snoring is unnatural or if it has changed and you have seen other behavioral changes in your kitty.