Do you hear your cat snoring often? Maybe a small sound that comes from that curled up body? Though snoring is less common in cats than dogs, it is still widely prevalent and can occur due to many reasons.
Let’s get answers to all questions related to cat snoring in this article.
Why Do Cats Snore?
When your cat sleeps, the upper airways, that is the nose, back of her mouth and throat, vibrate audibly. Sometimes, this sound is more profound and that’s because the tissues in the upper airways relax when they sleep.
There are many reasons why snoring occurs:
The amount of snoring depends on how relaxed the muscles are.
Genetically, some cats are more prone to snoring than others. Persian breeds and those with a short nose, flat face or brachycephalic breeds tend to snore more than other breeds. The brachycephalic cats, especially, are more prone to snoring because they have shortened bones in their face and nose in addition to small nostrils that constrict their breathing.
- Sleeping position
The sleeping position also has a bearing on sleep patterns. if your cat moves her body around and finally, let’s out a snore, it means that she has angled her neck or head in such a way that it has constricted breathing. So, moving to a different position can bring down the snoring.
There’s nothing much for you to do anything here, as the cat will automatically find the right sleeping position that would give it the best possible air.
One of the fundamental causes of snoring is overweight or obesity. When your cats are overweight, the excess fat gets deposited in the tissues surrounding the upper airways, and in turn, this leads to snoring. This pattern is seen not just in cats, but in dogs and humans too.
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- Upper respiratory infections
Sometimes, upper respiratory infections can cause your cat to snore. When sinus congests the pathways or when there is a mucus buildup in the airways, there is audible breathing sound. The presence of bacterial, fungal and viral infections make it difficult for your cat to breathe and this also leads to snoring.
While bacterial and viral infections go away by themselves or will get better with medications, it is the fungal infections that are a lot more serious. If your cat has started snoring suddenly or if there are visible changes in its breathing patterns, it could be suffering from an upper respiratory infection.
- Presence of foreign objects
Cats have a natural tendency to ingest different objects. This is because the small hairs present on its tongue are shaped backwards. When your cat uses its tongue to clean itself, all the dust and dirt in her tongue tends to go inside, as the cat finds it hard to spit out objects.
Sometimes, the presence of small blades of grass caught at the back of the mouth or nose can lead to infections and even breathing difficulties.
Another serious reason that could cause snoring is the presence of tumors in the sinus or upper respiratory area. These could lead to cancers such as Lymphoma or Fibrosarcoma.
It is hard to identify whether the snoring is caused due to tumors or mild congestions. So, you will have to look at other aspects of your cat’s health too. If she has been losing weight rapidly, inactive or shows signs of distress, take her to the vet and get her checked.
If the vet diagnoses cancer, there will be a series of treatments that depend on the cat’s age and the size of the tumor.
Sometimes, these could be benign polyps as well, in which case, there is nothing much to worry about.
Thus, these are some of the reasons for your cat to snore. Though most of it is normal, there are some specific conditions you should watch for, and if you see any of these symptoms in your cat, take her to the vet.
Is Snoring Normal?
Is it normal for your cat to snore?
Yes, it is normal, but in some cases, it could also indicate a serious health problem.
Some symptoms to watch out for include:
- When snoring becomes progressively louder, it means there is some infection that is impacting the ability of your cat to breathe.
- If the snoring is accompanied by sneezing and coughing, along with changes in your cat’s appetite, it could indicate that your cat is ill.
- When snoring occurs due to a respiratory disease, it is serious and needs medical attention right away. In fact, any form of snoring from a respiratory disease could mean that your cat is finding it extremely difficult to breathe and may even up being fatal unless it gets medical help immediately.
- If your cat is puffing and panting through the day while it is not doing any activity, it could also indicate a serious health condition or the presence of a foreign object that is preventing the cat from breathing.
- Nasal discharges and frequent coughing could also indicate a serious respiratory infection.
When you see one or more of these symptoms along with snoring, it is time to take your cat to the vet.
Besides watching out for symptoms, here are some more things you can do to make your cat feel better soon.
What Can You Do?
As mentioned above, snoring is fairly normal and is more prone in some breeds than others. However, there are also some health issues that lead to snoring and this is what you need to address.
One of the most common causes of snoring is overweight. If you think your cat is getting fat, take her to the vet to check if everything is good.
If the cat’s vitals are good, all that it requires is some exercise. But that may not be so easy because cats tend to be stubborn and are often lazy. You will have to come up with different ways and maybe even offer varying treats to get your cat to exercise.
Take your cat on a walk or play catch with it, so your cat gets some exercise.
Food is another area that you should watch if your cat is obese.
Cats cannot process flavors like sweet. The tongue of cats has small hair-like structures called barbs that help the cat to process taste. Unlike humans, cats cannot process many flavors, and sweet is one of them.
This is why it is best you stay away from feeding any sugary or fatty food items to your cat. Stick to a balanced diet that will give your cat enough nutrients without helping it to pile on unnecessary weight.
- Trip to the vet
You will have to make a trip to the vet if your cat is suffering from upper respiratory problems like bacterial, fungal or viral infections. The symptoms for these infections will be visible when you see the way your cat breathes. It will have some form of difficulty while breathing and is more likely to give out a low grunt-like sound.
When you identify an infection, take your cat to the vet at the earliest because fungal infections tend to be far more serious than bacterial or viral infections. When you’re home, it is difficult to distinguish fungal from the other two, so it is best you leave that to the vet to decide.
- Remove foreign objects
When you notice any foreign object in your cat’s mouth, remove it right away with a pair of gloves. Alternately, you can also take her to the vet, if you’re unable to remove or if the cat is not cooperating well.
Either way, make sure to remove the foreign objects from her body as this could even cause her to choke, especially if the object is big.
- Understanding the causes
Many cat owners tend to think that it is normal for cats to snore and hardly even pay any attention to it. While it is true that snoring is normal, in some cases, it could indicate a deeper health problem.
So, be watchful and stay on top of your cat’s health. Not all snoring may be natural.
Treatment for Snoring
If there are no associated ailments, there is no need to treat snoring.
In case of medical conditions, the vet will decide the right course of actions. Tumors or polyps may require surgical intervention while respiratory illness can be treated with medicines. There are also a few non-medical suggestions that your vet will give like putting a humidifier near your cat’s bed or improving her diet.
In all, snoring is normal and could just be a part of your cat’s genetics. However, there are also times when it could indicate a serious condition that requires medical intervention. Watching out for other symptoms along with snoring is a good way to stay on top of your cat’s health.
If you’re in doubt or have concerns, contact your vet right away and get it clarified.
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Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.