Just like humans and dogs, cats do snore. However, cats do not snore as often as dogs. In fact, even people with multiple felines in their households can be caught by surprise by just one snoring cat.
Do cats snore?
Yes cats can snore. Some felines snore right from the moment when you bring them home while others snore occasionally. Like humans, some cats snore while others do not.
But why do cats snore?
Like people, cats have sleep cycles: REM and non-REM sleep. During the REM or rapid eye movement sleep cycle, your cat will exhibit a few noticeable behaviors, including twitching of the whiskers and moving the legs as if running while asleep. Some cats make noises during this sleep phase. Many cat owners like to think that their pets are dreaming when their furry little pals do these actions while asleep.
Non-REM sleep is considered the deeper of the two phases of sleep. This is the phase where people and cats usually snore. When humans and cats enter this sleep phase, there is little to no movement. People and cats do not dream during this phase.
There are a few reasons why a cat snores.
If your cat is a brachycephalic or flat-faced breed like the Persian, Himalayan, Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, he is most likely to snore.
The facial structure of these cats makes them susceptible to breathing problems like snoring. Specifically, the flat noses and shorter nasal passages of these cats contribute greatly to snoring.
2. Sleeping position
Cats are masters of contorting their bodies in unusual positions, even while they sleep. But sometimes, an unusual sleeping position can induce a cat to snore.
Compared to cats with healthy weights, fat cats tend to snore more.
The excess weight that an obese cat carries can put unnecessary pressure on his nasal passages. In turn, this pressure can cause a cat to snore.
4. Upper respiratory tract infection
If your cat does not usually snore, observe his eyes and nose. If he is sneezing and has sores on his nose, he may have succumbed to an upper respiratory tract infection. His illness can make breathing difficult and may be the underlying reason behind his snoring.
Around one to five percent of cats can have asthma, a condition that affects the lower portion of the lungs. A bout of asthma can also affect your cat’s breathing and lead him to snore.
Some experts suggest that asthma is caused by an allergic reaction to a particle that a cat has inhaled.
Your cat may be snoring because there is something that is obstructing his airways. In turn, this obstruction can lead to snoring. Common obstructions that block airways are tumors and polyps.
Is snoring in cats a cause for concern?
If your cat has been snoring since you first brought him home, there is nothing much you need to worry about. You have to accept the fact that some cats are more prone to snoring than others.
However, if it is your first time to hear your pet snore, you have to observe him for a couple of days and watch out for unusual symptoms.
If your cat has been snoring lately and barely finishes his food, it can probably mean that your cat is suffering from a disease or disorder that needs the attention of the vet.
If your cat keeps on making snorting or snoring noises even when he is awake, it is highly likely that he is having breathing difficulties. It is possible that he is having an asthma attack or he has an upper respiratory tract infection.
It is also possible that your pet has a cough or cold. Both can resolve on their own. However, if your cat exhibits other symptoms like appetite loss and lethargy, consult the vet at once.
If your cat is panting excessively or looks like he is gasping for air, bring your cat to the vet immediately.
How can you stop a cat from snoring?
To stop your cat from snoring, the first thing that you need to do is to get your pet checked by a professional. This is particularly important if your pet has shown other symptoms like labored breathing and lethargy.
Now, if your feline is otherwise healthy, there are a few things that you can do to minimize or totally eliminate his snoring.
If your cat usually snores when he sleeps in a particular position, you can move him gently into a more comfortable position.
If the underlying cause of your cat’s snoring is obesity, you will have to work with your vet to bring your pet’s weight to a healthy level through a combination of diet and exercise.
If you are bothered by your cat’s snores while you are sleeping, you can place him in another room during the night. This will help you get a good night’s rest.
Do not ignore your cat’s snores
If your cat does not usually snore, observe him for a few days. Sudden snoring can indicate that your cat is suffering from a disease or disorder.
But if your cat has been snoring ever since you owned him, there is not much you have to worry about, well except for the noise he makes while he sleeps.
Image: istockphoto.com / Stegarau