People who do not have a cat may wonder if they snore, while cat owners often wonder if their cat’s snoring is normal. Just like humans, some cats snore and others do not. In most cases, the snoring is nothing to worry about. However, it is occasionally a sign of a problem. Here is all you need to know about cat snoring.
Why Do Cats Snore?
The causes of a cat snoring are the same as the cause of a human snoring. Snoring occurs when passages in the upper airway vibrate during breathing. This includes vibrations in the back of the mouth, the nose, the pharynx, and the throat. These vibrations are sometimes audible and this is when you hear snoring. The most likely cause of this happening is when the muscles and tissues around the upper airway are relaxed, and this is when the cat is asleep.
Some breeds of cat are more likely to snore due to their facial structure. Brachycephalic, short-nosed, and flat-faced breeds are the biggest culprits when it comes to snoring. These breeds are bred by humans to have shorter noses and this makes them more likely to snore. Unlike many dog breeds that make noises similar to snoring when they are awake, cats will usually only snore when they are asleep.
Is it a Sign of a Health Problem?
Although cat snoring is usually nothing to worry about, it is sometimes a sign of a health problem. The most common health issue that causes snoring in cats is obesity. This is because an overweight cat has an accumulation of fat in the upper airway’s tissues and this can increase the likelihood of snoring.
Another potential cause of snoring in cats is an infection of the upper respiratory system. If your cat has suddenly started snoring when it is not something they usually do, then this is a potential cause. Viral and bacterial infections are the most likely explanation and a vet can prescribe medication that should clear these up easily. Another source of infection is a fungal infection. This is something else that you will need to see your vet about as these are often tricky to cure.
A further cause of snoring is a foreign object stuck in the nose or mouth. Potential foreign objects could include food, seeds, or blades of grass. Cats can get a foreign object lodged from eating, sniffing things, or from outdoor play. When a foreign object is in the upper respiratory passages, it will agitate the area in which they are lodged and can trigger snoring. Foreign objects can also lead to infections. The problem is only resolved once the foreign object is removed.
How Can You Tell if There Is a Problem?
It is sometimes tricky to know if your cat’s snoring is normal or a cause for concern. If the cat is only snoring lightly when they are asleep and never when they are awake, then this is perfectly normal and you do not need to be concerned. On the other hand, if a cat begins to snore when this is not something they have done before, then it is potentially a cause for concern. Similarly, if the snoring that is becoming louder could be a sign of a respiratory disease, especially if the cat is also displaying other symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, or a loss of appetite. It is an emergency if the snoring is coupled with respiratory distress. Regardless of whether or not there is snoring, respiratory distress in any animal is always a medical emergency.
If you are ever in any doubt of whether the cat is having respiratory problems or if it is normal snoring, then it is always best to have them checked out by the vet who can either put your mind at rest or identify any potential problems. They will examine your cat’s upper respiratory system by checking their nose, examining their mouth, and looking down the cat’s throat.
If they do find a problem, they will decide the most appropriate treatment for your cat and offer you guidance for care. The vet may prescribe antibiotics if they think that infection is the cause of their respiratory problems, or they may need to remove a foreign body if one is found.