Forget sleeping like a baby, I wish I could sleep as well as any cat. Our feline friends have the incredible ability to fall asleep just about anywhere, and they always look so content snoozing in their favorite spots. Every now and then, you might even catch your cat snoring. Cats snore just like people do. Sometimes their sleepy sounds are perfectly normal, and other times, they can be cause for concern.
If your cats snore—whether it’s all the time or only occasionally—it’s best to know exactly what’s going on. Here’s a breakdown of why cats snore and when it can point to a problem.
When Snoring Is Nothing To Worry About
In most scenarios, your cat’s snoring is perfectly normal. According to Pet MD, snoring happens when there’s some kind of pressure or blockage related to the nasal passages.
Those words can sound bad, but the issue is usually temporary and harmless. It could be that your cat fell asleep in an awkward position. Depending on the way their neck is turned, there could be a little bit of pressure put on their nasal passages. If you gently move your cat into a flatter or straighter position, the snoring could stop.
There are also cats that snore because of their weight. An obese cat is more likely to snore than a skinny cat because of their extra weight. The best thing to do for these kitties is to get them on the right feeding routine so they can lose a little weight.
Besides excess weight, your cat could be snoring because of their breed. Brachycephalic cats, the cats with “smooshed” faces, have shortened nasal passages. This makes them more prone to snoring.
When Snoring is a Red Flag
While most cat snores are harmless, it’s also important to know that snoring can be a sign of some kind of medical problem. It will be impossible to pinpoint the exact issue without help from a vet, but the bad kind of snoring is almost always accompanied by other symptoms.
If your cat has discharge coming from their eyes or nose, their snoring could be a sign of a respiratory infection.
Sucking in air quickly, panting, and coughing are also signs of respiratory problems. It might sound like your cat is snoring all the time, even when they’re awake.
If your cat shows signs of irregular breathing even when they’re awake, it could also be because there’s something blocking their nasal canal. It could be a benign polyp, tumor, or even a foreign object like a small stone or blade of grass.
You should also pay attention to your cat’s overall energy and appetite. A sudden or gradual loss of appetite or unusual lethargy can often be symptoms that accompany regular snoring. There are too many potential causes to list, but these symptoms always warrant a chat with a vet.
The Bottom Line
If your healthy, happy cat snores when she sleeps, it’s most likely nothing to worry about. You can try adjusting her sleeping position, but her cute little snores aren’t hurting her.
When your cat snores regularly when she’s asleep and also shows physical symptoms when she’s awake, however, it’s best to speak to a vet. Symptoms including irregular breathing, coughing, lethargy, and lack of appetite could be signs that there’s something serious behind those snores.