Cats sleep a lot. They can sleep between 12 to 16 hours a day. Now and then, you might even catch your cat snoring in their sleep. Sometimes they are perfectly normal, but at other times, they can be cause for concern. Here's what you need to know.
What is snoring?
Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. Snoring happens when your breathing is obstructed, and you can't move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. This makes the surrounding tissues vibrate, which produces a familiar snoring sound.
Cat snoring is less common than dog snoring. There are various triggers and here are some of the most common causes of cat snoring.
Why does my cat snore?
1. Sleep position
Cats are known for their unusual sleeping positions. They are contortionists and many feline parents can attest to their kitties’ sleeping in unusual locations and seemingly uncomfortable positions. This can lead to snoring, since kitty may be sleeping with her head positioned in a way that’ll obstruct steady airflow through their trachea. This can cause her to produce the familiar snoring sound as she breathes. This is nothing to worry about. As soon as your cat shifts position, the snoring will go away.
Overweight cats have a higher tendency to snore due to the excess fat depositing in the tissues surrounding the upper airways. According to The Animal Clinic, 20% – 30% of the cats it sees as patients are overweight or obese and the number of overweight cats is increasing!
A diet change is often necessary to help with the weight reduction of an overweight cat. Feed less or choose a lower-calorie diet to restrict the number of calories consumed. An indoor recipe like the Wellness Core Hearty Cuts Indoor Chicken & Turkey Wet Cat Food has lower calories to help indoor cats achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Unlike their outdoor counterpart, indoor cats are less physically active and may not require as many calories as their outdoor counterparts.
Exercise is always important when it comes to weight management. Do not neglect play as play is a form of exercise for cats. Erect a cat tower or shelves to encourage your feline friend to climb. Climbing is a form of exercise for cats. Get the interactive Kong Laser Teaser Wand Cat Toy to captivate your feline friend’s natural predatory instincts. The enticing motion of the teaser lures cats in while the unpredictable laser movement encourages active play. This colorful teaser toy encourages a variety of play styles including batting, chasing, swatting, and bunny-kicking.
Breed term "brachy" means shortened and "cephalic" means head. The skull bones of brachycephalic cats are shortened in length, resulting in a flatter face. Flat-faced cat breeds like Himalayans and Persians are more prone to snoring due to the shortened structure of their skull.
Brachycephalic cats are also prone to a condition called Brachycephalic airway syndrome. Cats with this syndrome faced challenges breathing through their nose. They can breathe more easily through their mouth; therefore, the most common sign seen with this syndrome is mouth breathing. Should you notice frequent snoring with mouth breathing with your cat, please bring her to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
4. Respiratory issues
Bacterial or fungal infections cause congestion in the lungs which in turn may result in asthma and snoring. Other symptoms to watch out for are coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the cat’s nose and eyes. You may even notice lethargy in your cat. In cases of infections, please arrange to visit your vet soonest possible.
Though allergy is not commonly linked to snoring, you need to know that allergens can cause your cat’s airway to be inflamed, which then leads to snoring. Common cat allergies are environmental, food, and flea allergies. Other allergy symptoms to look for are skin itch, sneezing, wheezing, and coughing. If it’s a food allergy, your cat may experience tummy upset, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Do discuss with your vet how to identify protein allergies and check out our blog When Your Cat Has Allergies... for some additional info about feline allergies!
Single-protein cat food is usually a better option for pets with protein allergies or sensitivities. Such cat food ensures that there are no other ‘hidden’ protein sources found in your cat food. The ZIWI Peak Beef Recipe Wet Cat Food is single-protein cat food. It contains beef only. No other animal protein is added into the formula and the beef is sourced from local free-range, New Zealand farms.
Some cats are allergic to flea bites, while a small handful may be allergic to the tick & flea medication. Talk to your vet and try a natural product instead of the conventional tick & flea medication. The TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Spot On Treatment For Cats contain natural essential oils to repel fleas, ticks, and even mosquitos. It kills and repels fleas & ticks for up to 3 months.
Please take note that some cats may still react negatively to a natural product. To apply, please follow the application instructions closely and use only on cats 4 months and above.
6. Dental issues
Snoring could also be the result of a dental issue. If you notice your cat’s face starting to swell, it may be an indication of a tooth root abscess. This can be very painful for your cat and requires immediate treatment.
Prevention is the best policy with dental issues. Daily teeth cleaning and the occasional dental treats with the Greenies Catnip Flavor Dental Cat Treats promote healthy teeth and gums by supporting good oral hygiene between regular brushings.
7. Foreign object
Your cat may have inhaled a foreign object, like a blade of grass. This can trigger snoring as well as coughing and agitation. If you suspect your cat has something in her nose, don’t try to remove it yourself. Take your cat to the vet, so you don’t accidentally cause more harm than good.
Other things that may cause a cat to snore include nasal polyps or tumors. If your kitty is healthy and she snores occasionally when she sleeps, it’s most likely nothing to worry about. You can try adjusting her sleeping position. If she snores regularly with other symptoms present - irregular breathing, coughing, lethargy, and lack of appetite - it’s best to speak to your vet. It could be signs that there’s something serious behind those snores.
Katherine is a Pet Nutrition Specialist and GDP’s Pet Wellness Advisor. She is committed to helping pet owners make informed dietary and lifestyle choices in nurturing healthy pets. Katherine is also a practicing Nutritional Therapist (human nutrition) and has been helping hundreds of clients to heal naturally with nutrients.