Felines are known for their sleeping habits, and it is not uncommon to observe your cat snoring while in deep slumber. It is fascinating to watch a cat snoozing and purring, but snoring can sometimes cause concern to pet owners. In this article, we will explore feline sleep sounds and answer some of the most common questions about cat snoring.
Why do cats snore?
Sleeping is essential to a cat’s health, and it is normal for them to snore while in deep sleep. Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction in the cat’s airway, causing the relaxed throat muscles to vibrate as air passes through. This can happen in both humans and animals, and it is not always an indication of an underlying health condition.
What causes an airway obstruction in cats?
Airway obstruction in cats can be caused by various factors, including:
- Nasal congestion: Cats can experience a stuffy nose due to allergies or respiratory infections, which can cause snoring.
- Obesity: Overweight cats have a higher risk of airway obstruction, making them more prone to snoring.
- Physical abnormalities: Some cats may have physical obstructions in their airways due to structural abnormalities, such as a deviated septum or elongated soft palate.
- Dental problems: Cats with dental issues, such as infected teeth or gums, may experience airway obstructions due to swelling and inflammation.
- Sleep Position: Similar to humans, a cat’s sleep position can impact their breathing. Cats that sleep on their back or chest are more likely to snore than those that sleep on their side.
Is snoring in cats ever a cause for concern?
Snoring in cats is usually harmless and is not a cause for concern. However, if the snoring is loud, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms, it may indicate an underlying health condition. Some of these conditions include:
- Feline Upper Respiratory Infections(FURI)
- Sleep apnea
- Lung diseases
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea in cats?
Sleep apnea in cats is a condition that causes their breathing to repeatedly stop and start while sleeping. Symptoms of sleep apnea in cats include:
- Loud, persistent snoring
- Choking, gasping, or wheezing sounds while sleeping
- Restlessness or frequent waking during sleep
- Excessive sleepiness or fatigue during the day
- Behavioural changes, such as aggression or irritability
When should I take my cat to the veterinarian?
If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms in your cat, it is best to take them to the veterinarian for an evaluation:
- Loud, persistent snoring that lasts more than a few days
- Sudden onset of snoring in a cat that previously did not snore
- Laboured or rapid breathing while sleeping or awake
- Coughing, gagging, or difficulty breathing at rest or during exercise
- Changes in appetite, energy levels, or other behaviours
What should I expect during a veterinary evaluation?
Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your cat, which may include:
- Listening to your cat’s breathing sounds and checking for abnormalities
- Checking your cat’s mouth, throat, and nose for obstructions and signs of inflammation
- Examining your cat’s teeth and gums for dental issues
- Performing additional tests, such as X-rays or blood work, if necessary
Can I do anything to prevent my cat from snoring?
While some factors, such as anatomical abnormalities, cannot be changed, there are several things you can do to help reduce your cat’s snoring:
If your cat is overweight or obese, weight management can help reduce their risk of snoring and other health issues. Work with your veterinarian to develop an appropriate weight loss plan for your pet.
If your cat’s snoring is due to allergies, work with your veterinarian to identify and manage the allergens that affect your pet. This may include avoiding certain foods or environments and using medications or supplements to reduce symptoms.
Try to encourage your cat to sleep on their side or in a position that elevates their head to reduce snoring. You can place a pillow or blanket under their head or raise the head of their bed to achieve this.
Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings can help prevent dental issues that can cause airway obstructions and snoring. You can also provide your cat with dental treats and toys to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.
A quiet and calm sleep environment can help your cat get better quality sleep, reducing the likelihood of snoring. Try to minimize noise and distractions while your cat is sleeping and ensure they have a comfortable and cozy sleeping area.
Snoring in cats is usually normal and harmless, but it can sometimes indicate an underlying health condition. Observe your cat’s snoring habits and consult your veterinarian if you notice any sudden or persistent changes. Remember, taking care of your cat’s overall health and wellbeing can help reduce their risk of snoring and other health issues.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Snoring
- Q. Is it normal for my cat to snore?
A. Yes, it is normal for cats to snore while in deep sleep.
- Q. Why does my cat snore loudly?
A. Loud snoring in cats can be a sign of health issues such as obesity, respiratory infections or allergies.
- Q. When should I take my cat to the vet for snoring?
A. If your cat suddenly starts snoring, or the snoring is loud and persistent, accompanied by other symptoms such as labored breathing or coughing, it is recommended to take them to the vet.
- Q. What can cause snoring in cats?
A. Snoring in cats can be caused by various factors, including nasal congestion, obesity, physical abnormalities, dental problems, and sleep position.
- Q. Can I do anything to prevent my cat from snoring?
A. Yes, you can prevent your cat from snoring by maintaining a healthy weight, managing allergies, changing sleep position, taking dental care and creating a peaceful sleep environment for them.
1. “Snoring in Cats.” The Cat Doctor, The Cat Doctor, 2019, www.thecatdr.com/cat-care/snoring-in-cats/.
2. Brambillasca, Francesca. “Cat Snoring:What It Means and What You Can Do.” PetMD, PetMD, 22 Aug. 2019, www.petmd.com/cat/care/cat-snoring-what-it-means-and-what-you-can-do.
3. “Snoring in Cats.” VCA Hospitals, VCA Hospitals, 2021, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/snoring-in-cats.