When Should You Worry About Your Cat's Snoring?

Hearing your cat's snoring is usually completely normal, but there are times when it could be a sign that your cat might actually be suffering from a serious illness.
When Should You Worry About Your Cat's Snoring?

Last update: 02 May, 2019

As any cat owner will know, cats love to nap. Sleep is as important for cats as it is for humans, and is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But what about snoring? Did you know that your cat’s snoring might actually be cause for concern.

Is my cat’s snoring normal?

The sleep cycle and brain activity of a sleeping cat are surprisingly similar to that of a human. Our feline friends don’t just dream, but they also demonstrate similar behavior to that seen in sleeping people.

Snoring is a good example of this. Just like humans, cats often snore when they sleep, and there are several different causes of it.

A cat that has always snored and doesn’t show any other symptoms is probably no cause for concern. It might snore because of the position it sleeps in, or the result of the brachiocephalic make up of that particular breed.

Snoring can be caused by the position your cat sleeps in.

However, if your cat starts snoring suddenly, it might be a sign of some underlying issue. In the next section, we’ll take a look at some of the main causes of snoring in cats.

When should you worry about your cat’s snoring?

As we’ve already mentioned, there’s no one definitive cause for a cat’s snoring. Every cat is unique, so the same behavior could have multiple explanations, depending on the individual characteristics of each cat.

If you want to work out why your cat’s snoring, you need to pay attention to its health, morphology, routine and environment. Some cats just snore. It’s an inherent part of the way they sleep, and doesn’t have any implications for their health.

But, if your cat starts to snore suddenly and excessively, it’s best to take it to a vet, so that you can rule out any underlying health issues early on.

A cat at the vet.

What’s causing your cat’s snoring?


Unfortunately, cases of feline obesity are being diagnosed with alarming frequency in domestic cats. Excess weight is almost always the result of an imbalanced diet and a sedentary lifestyle, and, if you don’t seek treatment in time, it can quickly lead to obesity.

As a result of a build up of fats around their vital organs, obese cats often snore while they sleep. This build up of fat makes it difficult for air to flow through their airways, causing them to snore.

Obesity has serious implications for feline health. An obese cat that snores should set off alarm bells for any owner, and you should seek veterinary advice on how to manage their weight.

Getting your cat’s weight under control is essential if you want to prevent obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a particular external factor. Nowadays, there is an extensive list of possible allergies which includes both natural and artificial items. As a result, there are many things your cat might be allergic to, such as pollen, mold, mites, certain foods, chemical substances, cleaning products…

The best and most reliable way to work out if your cat is snoring because of allergies is to take it to a vet, who can run tests. If they confirm that your cat has an allergy, they’ll be able to prescribe a treatment and care plan.

Respiratory issues

Sudden, excessive snoring in cats can also be an indication of respiratory issues. If the airways are compromised in some way, it will affect the circulation of oxygen around the body. As a result, your cat might have symptoms such as snoring, difficulty breathing, or nasal secretions.

The most common respiratory illnesses in cats include:

  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Cat flu

Any respiratory issues need to be treated by a vet as soon as possible. So, if your pet has any breathing issues, you need to seek immediate veterinary advice.


A cat that starts to snore suddenly could have small tumours in its nasal passages, which are known as nasopharyngeal polyps. These abnormal masses obstruct the airways, making it difficult for air to flow through them and causing snoring.

While this isn’t one of the most common causes of snoring in cats, it’s important to rule it out by taking your cat to a vet. If it’s a necessary and viable option, your veterinary surgeon will operate on your cat to remove the tumors and improve your cat’s respiratory health.

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