Having a feline friend in your home is an exciting experience for you and your family. One common thing about cats is that they like to sleep. On average, a cat can sleep between 16-20 hours in one day.
These sleeping patterns are normal and nothing to be concerned about. But is your cat snoring? What causes this, and how can you tell when it’s a sign of a severe problem that requires treatment?
When Do Cats Snore Normally
Just like human beings, cats go through two sleep cycles. They go through rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and more profound, relaxed sleep (NREM). Snoring occurs when the passages in the upper airways, i.e., nose, throat, or back of the mouth of your cat, vibrate loudly during breathing.
Cat snoring happens when your pet is in the non-REM phase and is experiencing relaxed, deep sleep. The snores range from soft purrs to heavy breathing that can disrupt your sleep, especially if you sleep with them on your bed.
Before going to the vet, it’s best to determine whether your cat just suddenly started snoring or it’s the norm. Besides, this might help you identify the reasons why your cat is snoring. Some causes may be physical or genetic.
Let’s take a closer look.
Causes Of Cat Snoring
Cat snoring is normal and harmless. However, here are some common causes.
1. Respiratory Issues
Similar to humans, cats are more likely to snore if they have a respiratory infection. If you have a cat suffering from asthma, bacterial or fungal infections on the respiratory tract, the likelihood is high, and they may need to see a vet for treatment. As you observe your cat, check whether they are also sneezing, coughing, or have eye or nose discharge.
Cat obesity is a leading cause of snoring because the extra neck fat narrows the airways. With obesity, the excess fat is also deposited on the tissues around the upper airways, causing a blockage. If your cat has gained weight over the years, you might notice an increase in the snoring episodes.
3. Sleeping Position
Cats spend most of their days sleeping. Because of this, they tend to sleep in some awkward positions that can block upper airways and affect normal breathing. However, this is a temporary situation, and the snoring stops as soon as the cat sleeps in a normal position.
4. Brachycephalic Breed
According to PetMD, some cat breeds such as Persians and Himalayan will tend to snore. This is because they have flattened facial features and the shape of their heads. Their entire nasal cavity is inside their skull, and they have a shortened nasal passage and enlarged palate, which blocks their airway.
5. Foreign Object Blocking Airways
For cats that just started snoring, the chances are likely that a foreign object is blocking their airways. For example, your cat might inhale a blade of grass in its nose, causing it to cough, sneeze and even snore. It would be best if you had this removed by the vet for safety purposes.
6. Growing Old
An older cat experiences loss of muscle and an increment in body fat which could block airways. It’s more normal for elderly cats to snore as compared to kittens.
7. Medical Condition
Polyps, inflammation, or tumors could block your cat’s nasal passage. Without the free flow of air, your cat will definitely snore. If you suspect this, schedule an appointment with your vet.
When Does Snoring Become A Problem?
As much as cat snoring is normal, there are moments when it can indicate a bigger problem. Here are some of the things to look out for.
• Reduced Appetite
You should plan for a vet visit if your cat starts experiencing a reduced appetite. A change in eating and drinking habits could be a sign of a problem.
• Eye or Nose Discharge
Body discharge signifies an infection. For example, watch out if your cat has an eye or nose discharge which is a sign of a respiratory infection.
• Snoring While Awake
Your cat snoring while awake is not normal. If it makes wheezing sounds while fully awake, it’s possible they could have asthma or an infection.
• Excessive Panting
It’s abnormal if your cat starts panting heavily or breathing with the mouth open. Schedule a vet visit when this happens.
Treatments To Stop Your Cat From Snoring
Here are some of the ways you can help your cat stop snoring
Losing weight can help stop snoring. If your cat is obese, incorporate interactive play in the daily routine or provide perches where your pet can climb can play. Cats love climbing; therefore, you can encourage them to jump on the perches to get some exercise. Keeping them active will help them lose a few pounds and deal with the snoring habit.
2. Regular Vet Visits
It’s advisable to take your cat to the vet once a year for a health check-up. This helps spot any infections that you may not have noticed. Also, for cats that have just begun snoring, a visit to the vet is crucial, especially if they have other accompanying symptoms.
3. Use a Humidifier
Dry air can be causing your kitten to snore more than usual. You can add a humidifier where your pet sleeps to make the conditions easier for them.
Besides, as you add this, you can observe your pet’s sleeping positions if it’s responsible for the snoring. Switch the positions to keep the airways open.
Cat snoring is a normal occurrence. For the most part, it should not be a cause for concern. However, if your cat just started snoring or has other accompanying symptoms, it’s time to schedule a visit to the vet.
Keep your feline friend active and monitor any possible infections, especially in the upper respiratory tract.
Once you have addressed any medical conditions, keep up with the preventive care to ensure your cat stays healthy. Monitor the eating habits and diet also to keep them in a healthy weight.