The Hervey Foundation for Cats

Is Cat Snoring a Sign of Poor Health?

Cat snoring graphic

Have you ever found yourself working on your computer, reading, or lying in bed and suddenly there’s a low buzzing sound in the room? You wonder where it is coming from, and then it hits you – your cat is snoring up a storm. 

Is this a sign of poor health? As with most things in life, the answer isn’t simple. Many cats in perfect health do snore, just as there are many reasons for the snoring itself. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.

Why Do Cats Snore?

There are six more common reasons a cat may snore, though every cat is different and it’s best to ask the vet to take a look next time you’re in.

Weird Sleeping Positions

Cats have a reputation for contorting their bodies into strange positions – some that boggle the mind. What’s even more amazing is the ability some cats have to fall asleep like this. It’s not uncommon for an otherwise healthy cat to sometimes snore when sleeping in a weird position. If your cat only seems to snore while sleeping this way, and if it’s not too common, it’s likely not something you need to worry about. 

Cats with Flat Faces

The face of a cat can look so different from breed to breed. Some breeds, known as Brachycephalics, are cats who are naturally born with flat faces – and the resulting abnormal nasal anatomy. Some breeds include the Burmese, Himalayans, and Persians. Some of the abnormalities include shorter nasal passages, smaller nostrils, and elongated soft pallets. 

Obesity

As with humans, additional weight can cause snoring in individuals who would otherwise not have it. Excess weight around the face and surrounding airways can narrow the flow of air and cause your cat to snore. 

Infection

Nasal infections are actually fairly common amongst cats, though it should be obvious if this is what is causing your cat to snore. Nasal infections bring on symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, stuffy nasal passages and runny eyes. Some cats live with chronic respiratory inflammation who will always be loud breathers. 

Polyps

Nasopharyngeal polyps are benign growths starting in the middle ear moving into the back of the throat. These polyps become an issue when they grow large enough to obstruct breathing. Cats experiencing these polyps snore 24/7, not just when sleeping. If you suspect your cat may have polyps, a trip to the vet for a quick surgery can have them back in action faster than you’d think, as the procedure provides instant relief. 

Smoking in the Home

Smoking can contribute to respiratory inflammation, which in turn can cause your cat to breath heavier and/or snore. If you live in a smoking home, one of the best things you can do for your cats is to confine smoking to one room, or best-case scenario, take it outside. 

When to Talk to Your Vet

In truth, regardless of why you suspect your cat may be snoring, it is worth asking your vet about it the next time you see them. Unless they are exhibiting symptoms of other issues, such as infection, a snoring cat may not require an immediate trip to the vet. If you are unsure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment.