When Is Snoring In Cats Not Normal
Although, snoring can be normal for your cat, its important to know when to be concerned. If you notice your cat suddenly starts snoring, snoring becomes louder, or your cat is experiencing other symptoms along with snoring such as sneezing, coughing, and changes in appetite or behavior, you should contact your veterinarian. If you ever notice your cat panting, wheezing, having difficulty breathing, contact your veterinarian immediately.
When Is Cat Snoring A Concern
Snoring in cats is generally not a problem, but there are times when it could indicate the presence of a medical issue. If you notice any of the following signs accompanying your cat’s snores, make an appointment with a veterinarian right away:
- Discharge from the eyes or nose, sneezing, or sores on the nose may all be indications of an upper respiratory infection. In this case, your cat may be snoring because of mucous in the nasal passages.
- these are always signs of illness in cats and need to be checked out.
Noises that sound like snoring while your cat is awake:
- Stertor: This is a low-pitches noise that sounds like a snore.
- Stridor: This is a high-pitched noise that can occur when your cat is either breathing in or breathing out.
- Wheezing: This is a high-pitched noise that occurs in the lungs during respiration.
The above signs may indicate that one of the following conditions is present:
Most of the time, cat snoring is harmless and even cute. Just be aware of the signs that it is something more, and get your cat to the veterinarian right away.
Here’s an especially adorable kitty with a super cute snore:
Dog Breeds That Snore: Brachycephalic Dogs
Although the above mentioned circumstances can also affect brachycephalic dogs, the most common explanation can be understood by the syndrome itself.
Brachycephalic dog breeds include:
- Boston Terriers
Brachycephalic dog breeds are, in short, any dog with a wide skull and short muzzle. Due to these such genetic traits, these dogs often suffer from respiratory tract problems that can produce snoring, snorting, wheezing etc., These symptoms are often aggravated by heat, exercise or age. For more, read our article brachycephalic dog breeds list- character and care.
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Why Is My Cat Breathing Heavy While Sleeping
The respiratory system is an essential part of a cats body. Any issues with it will affect the whole animal. If the cat cant breathe properly, its lungs and heart will be under extra strain. Further complications arise when the body does not receive enough oxygen.
Breathing issues in cats, no matter how small they initially appear, should be addressed quickly. Thats especially true if the cat is struggling to breathe properly while sleeping or resting. This is a sign that there is a serious problem with the cats respiratory system that needs to be addressed. There are three types of heavy breathing in cats:
Heavy breathing can be slow or rapid, and it may be accompanied by a variety of sounds or other symptoms. Depending on the type of breathing, it may be a symptom of:
If your cat is severely struggling to breathe, its recommended to call your vet immediately.
Some Of The Many Reasons Why Cats Snore
There are a number of different reasons that could explain away blockage in a cats upper airways, many of which are not serious or health related. Some of the potential factors that contribute to airway blockage, which then leads to snoring, include:
Great, so now that we have some ideas as to why a cat snores, lets take a look at how to tell if your cat snores whether theres cause for concern because it may be a symptom
Picture from post Phone Picture Roundup Part II: Sleeping Cat Pictures
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Dog Snoring When Awake
So, your dog is NOT a brachycephalic dog breed but still snores while awake, why? Snoring is commonly caused by an obstruction in air flow. The most common snoring in dogs causes include:
- The presence of foreign bodies: small objects can sometimes enter a dogs nasal cavity and partially or completely obstruct the air transit, causing snoring. These objects include small pieces of wood, plant fragments and, in general, any object able to enter a dogs nostrils. At first, a dog might sneeze to try and expel the object. In addition, a dog may also rub its nose repeatedly to try and diminish discomfort. If this foreign body remains in the nose for an elongated period of time, it can result in an infection. If this is the case, you may also notice nasal discharge dripping from the infected nostril. Unless you are able to see the object clearly and remove it with tweezers, we recommend visiting a veterinarian to have the object removed professionally. For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss why does my dog scratch their nose so much?
- Nasal polyps in dogs: are pink growths that appear from the nasal mucosa. In addition to obstructing air flow and cause snoring, nasal polyps can also result as nose bleeds in dogs. Nasal polyps can be a sign of nasal tumors in dogs and needs to be treated and/or removed by a veterinarian as soon as possible. For more, read why is there blood coming out of my dogs nose.
Causes Of Snoring In Cats
There are all sorts of reasons that a cat may snore. Certain breedsnamely the ones with flattened facial features like Persiansare much more likely to snore due to the shape of their heads. These brachycephalic cats have shortened bones in their face and nose, which makes them more prone to snoring, explains Dr. Bruce Kornreich, associate director of the Cornell Feline Health Center and cardiologist at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicines Department of Clinical Sciences. They also may have smaller nostrils that restrict breathing, he adds.
Brachycephalic cats may have other physical features that cause snoring, such as an elongated soft palate that could partially block the entrance to the windpipe. This makes it more difficult for air to pass through and could lead to cats making strange noises when they breathe.
But it isnt just genetics that cause snoring. Like people, certain sleeping positions precipitate snoring. So if your cat shifts around and all of a sudden lets out a loud snore, it could just be that hes angled his head and neck in a way that restricts airflow and causes him to sputter. Also like people, cats who are overweight are more prone to snore.
Another cause may be blockages in the nasal canal, such as polyps or tumors. Even foreign objects stuck in the nasal cavity, like a blade of grass, can cause snoring.
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How To Stop Your Cats Snoring
As always, if youre concerned about your cat snoring, talk to your vet. There are a number of ways to treat snoring in cats.
Snoring prevention in cats is best discussed with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the snoring, Buis said. If theres a medical cause, they may be able to treat it and get your cat back to sound sleeping.
When Cat Snoring Is Normal
Snoring happens when the tissues of the upper airwaythe nose, throat and back of the mouthbecome very relaxed and vibrate when your cat breathes. These vibrations create noise, which are the gentle snores your kitty lets out while theyre getting some shut-eye. Louder breathing sounds, however, may be caused by partial obstructions of the airway.
For many cats, snoring is perfectly normal, and theyll snore gently every time they snooze. Occasional, louder snoring might be caused by the position your cat is laying in. Cats can sleep in some pretty strange positions, some of which might restrict air flow and cause sounds more than others.
Additionally, some cat breeds that have flatter faces, such as Persian cats, are more likely to snore because of the shape of their nostrils, nose and throat. Overweight cats tend to snore more, as well, because fat accumulates in the tissues around the airways. Losing weight may help your cat breathe more easily and snore less.
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How Can You Determine Whether Cat Snoring Is A Problem Or Not
There are some simple guidelines for determining whether cat snoring has a medical problem. Light snoring that occurs during sleep, is not linked to respiratory distress, and that is stable in nature probably isnt a problem. Cat snoring that becomes progressively louder or is linked to other symptoms such as sneezing, coughing or changes in appetite is probably as sign of illness. Snoring that occurs in combination with respiratory distress is a medical emergency respiratory distress is always a medical emergency.
When in doubt, the best option is to have your cat checked by a vet. A course of antibiotics might help speed recovery from a upper respiratory infection. Anesthetic evaluation of the back of the throat might reveal a grass blade that can be removed.
In some cases, snoring that even seems to define a cats character can and should be eliminated. Many years ago I had a patient named Wheezer. She was a sweet cat who earned her name through her snoring. When she was anesthetized for dental work, I evaluated the back of her throat and found a large benign polyp. After the polyp was removed, the cat snoring stopped. Despite this development, the owners opted not to change her name.
Thumbnail: Photography by Jolanta Beinarovica / Shutterstock.
This piece was originally published in 2017.
Cat Snoring: Is It Normal
When you brought kitty home from the rescue organization, you probably expected the typical cat experience. When she settled in immediately for a nap, you knew it was coming. She is a cat, after all. What you didnt expect were the super-loudbut still probably pretty cutesnores coming from her teensy little nose as she slept.
Snoring in cats is less common than it is in dogs, which may leave cat owners wondering if theres a major issue with their feline companions. While snoring could be indicative of a larger health issue, a cat who snores is not necessarily in medical trouble. So if kitty is sawing wood in the next room and youre not sure if you need to schedule an appointment with your vet, heres what you should know.
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Dyspnea And Labored Breathing In Cats
Dyspnea is heavy, labored breathing. It happens when your cat is physically struggling to breathe. This could be because of illness, injury, or a blockage in the throat. No matter the cats age, it is crucial to closely observe any cat struggling to breathe.
Labored breathing can be fast, but it is most often slow and strained. The cats nostrils may flare open more than usual in its attempts to inhale air. These drawn-out breaths also result in the cats belly and chest expanding quite noticeably. To understand the difference, compare your resting breath rate with breathing exercises. Your chest expands quite a bit more when you stretch your lungs to capacity.
Dyspnea can result in a cat breathing through its mouth instead of its nose. This can indicate that there is something physically wrong or lodged in the cats nasal passage. However, this is not always the case.
Cats struggling to breathe may also hold themselves differently. A cat may hunch awkwardly and refuse to move. It may also hold its head and neck out to stretch the throat and relieve the blockage.
A key part in identifying dyspnea is the sound your cat makes while breathing. Depending on what is causing the issue, the cat may make wheezing, whistling, or strained noises while trying to breathe. Its breaths may also rattle or sound wet in certain cases. The difficulty breathing and the discomfort from it can make cats very restless. They may also be unable to sleep, eat, or drink.
Snoring Accompanied By Symptoms Of Illness
If your cat has other symptoms on top of their snoring, its the most obvious sign that something is wrong.
Dr. Ellen Marcinkiewicz of Pet Food Sherpa states that some common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, discharges from the eye or nose, a swollen face, or behavioural or appetite changes. Sometimes, their tails may also move rapidly while theyre asleep as a sign of discomfort.
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When To Seek An Emergency Vet
There are instances where you will need to seek an emergency vet immediately.
If you notice your cats breathing is short and quick, or their neck is extended and theyre breathing rapidly, you should seek a vet immediately. This could be a sign of laboured breathing, which is also known as dyspnea.
The snoring could also be the result of a dental issue. If you notice your cats 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.
Why Is My Cat Breathing Fast
The main reason why any animal pants is low oxygen levels in the blood. Panting allows the respiratory system to exchange carbon dioxide for fresh oxygen rapidly. Unfortunately, tachypnea can also be a symptom of:
- Tumors compressing the respiratory system
In the late stages of heart failure, the cats breathing may sound phlegmy or rattling. It may cough to clear its throat. In elderly cats or those with heart conditions, this noisy breathing is a sign the cat is in its twilight days or hours. Organize euthanasia with your vet soon as the cat is liable to drowning in its own fluids.
Tachypnea can look like panting. It is uncommon for cats to pant with their mouth open when suffering tachypnea, although its not unheard of. Monitor your cat for 10-15 minutes and ensure the room isnt too hot. If its breathing has not returned to normal, its recommended to consult a vet for further advice.
Dont mistake the flehmen response for panting. The flehmen response is when a cat is trying to identify a new or interesting scent. It will scrunch up its face into a snarl-like expression and draw air over the roof of its mouth, where the vomeronasal organ is located.
Closely observe the cat and watch its behavior. Is its nose scrunched up? Is the cat actively showing interest in its environment or an object? Then its probably just sniffing around. It should stop within a few minutes.
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How To Tell If Snoring Is A Problem
Snoring will be most noticeable if it has only recently started or if your cat has never snored before. If you notice any of the following, seek guidance from a veterinarian:
- A reduction in appetite or increased tiredness.
- Discharge from the eyes and nose. This could indicate that your cat has mucus in the nasal passage caused by a respiratory infection.
- Coughing, spluttering, snorting air quickly, or open-mouthed breathing. These symptoms indicate that your cat has picked up a respiratory problem that is causing snoring sounds that arent actually snoring.
- Rapid breathing and an extended neck while sitting. This can indicate labored breathing.
Why Is My Old Cat Breathing Heavily While Resting
Older cats may breathe heavily while sleeping for many reasons, all related to their health. A normal breathing rate for a cat is 20-30 breaths every minute. Any change in this pace should spark concern in owners. Cats dont have overly delicate respiratory systems, but they can still develop diseases. Often the first warning sign is how heavy the cat breathes, especially while resting.
When napping or laying down, cats may breathe heavily because of an illness, injury, or foreign object lodged in their throat. Anything that impacts the lungs, heart, nose, or throat may cause the cats breathing to change. These problems can include heart failure, cancer, bruises or cuts, infection, and tumors.
A cats breathing may turn rapid and shallow when it is overheated and trying to cool down. Cats will pant with an open mouth to lower their internal temperature. Cats will also pant after intense activity or when they are stressed or excited. Their breathing should return to normal after a few minutes.
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Cat Breathing Loudly While Resting
Your cat breathing loudly while resting or asleep isnt always a symptom of an underlying problem because cats can snore. It can be soft or loud. It can seem like your cats breathing weird, but its fine. However, snoring can also be a result of issues in the throat, nose, or lungs. Listen closely to the snores for any:
Also, check for coughing or discharge from the eyes or nose. If you are concerned about your cats snoring, record it while making the noise and show it to your vet.
Is It Bad If Your Cat Snores
Most of the time, cat snoring is normal. Make an appointment with your vet if your cats snoring is loud or new, or your cat has other symptoms, like coughing, sneezing, or behavioral changes. If your cat is showing any of the following symptoms, call your vet immediately: wheezing, panting, or difficulty breathing.
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