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Cat's Snoring - The Epitome of Serenading

What do cats dream? I’ve caught myself asking this question as I’m staring at my cat sleeping. It feels like looking down the barrel of a gun loaded with heart bubbles, burst firing directly to my chest.

This warm feeling starts to overwhelm me. His face starts twitching and he proceeds to do a tight air hug - like the ones you would do to a loved one you’re meeting in arrivals at Heathrow airport.

Then when I’m just about to melt from all this cuteness, the snoring begins…how!...seriously how! Can only cats turn something mildly annoying into the most adorable thing ever!


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I’m always surprised about how cats are so similar to us. Did you know that cats have sleep cycles, just like we do. Those moments where their eyes are flickering, their mouth is jerking or their paws are twitching, it’s because they are in the REM (rapid-eye-movement) phase of sleep.

When they relax more and get into a deeper phase of sleep, that’s where you’re likely to catch them singing that beautiful snoring lullaby. As the body relaxes, the airway passages between the nose and throat narrow causing the surrounding soft tissue to vibrate. This results in the loud frog breathing we call snoring.

inventor cat snoring

Snoring in general is nothing to be concerned about. It’s pretty cute and usually harmless. That being said, it is good to know what could cause snoring so that you can understand when it is a sign of something greater, that does merit concern.

We’re going to use a traffic light system here:

Green is go! – don’t stop to worry, this snoring is harmless.

Yellow is why? – There is an underlining reason as to why your cat is snoring. They require monitoring and you should seek advice from the vet.

Red is right, I’m getting help now. – These are more serious reasons for concern that will most likely need immediate veterinary analysis and intervention.


As you know all too well, the choice of where a cat sleeps is not always top tier from our perspective. This leads to strange sleeping positions also which can be cause of the snoring.

Brachycephalic (I’m so glad I’m not saying that word out loud) breeds of cats have a shorter skulls this creates a shortened nasal passage and elongated palate. Snoring is more frequent in these breeds of cat. It is important during your annual check-up, to have the vet check that their head structure is not disturbing their normal day-today breathing.


If your cat is overweight that will put more pressure on their nasal passages and increase the chances of them snoring, just like it would with us too. Your cat’s weight is the benchmark to your cat’s overall health so it is important to be able to tell whether your cat is overweight and to treat it with a diet plan.

Your cat can get ill from a common cold our cough. This can cause heavier than normal breathing and requires monitoring. The illness can cause snoring but the snoring should only last as long as the illness does. Typical first tell-tale signs that your cat may be ill is lethargy and loss of appetite, in all cases you should call the vet and seek advice.

Cats get allergies too. If snoring is onset by a factor e.g. not hoovered for a long time. Or seasonal, then it is likely to be an allergy the reason to your cat’s snoring.


Cats can also be asthmatic. Coughing, snoring and laboured breathing are signs that your cat may be asthmatic and medication will be needed to fix this issue.

Snoring can also be caused by an accumulation of mucus in the sinuses. This mucus stems from an upper respiratory infection and will cause discharge from the eye or nose, along with sneezing and sores on the nose. This thankfully is treatable with antibiotics.

There could be an obstruction, a foreign body that has lodged itself in an airway causing your cat to snore. Your cat will likely be agitated, be forcefully breathing and coughing if this is the case. If your cat is suddenly snoring after years of never hearing a peep and nothing has changed at home, then it might be wise to try to get a look. Never try to remove it yourself as you may do more damage than good. Also if it turns out to be a polyp or a tumour, surgery will be needed to remove it.

Cats seem to have a super high pain threshold. Even though they are very expressive animals they do well in hiding when they’re not feeling all too well. Look out for any of these signs that something is troubling them:

· A drop in appetite of lethargy are the most common symptoms that your cat isn’t feeling well.

· Unprompted panting, coughing or snorting air quickly are all signs of a respiratory problem.

· Discharge from the eyes and nose is a respiratory infection.

· Sitting with an extended neck and breathing rapidly are signs of laboured breathing and should be taken to the vet immediately.

Be sure to seek advice when you see any of these signs. Keep your eye open for symptoms that don’t seem like symptoms. Drastic changes in their behaviour or even a change in meow could signify a problem. Be vigilant, we want to act in time and before it gets out of control.

The bottom line is this. If your cat is playful, happy, has a healthy appetite, hasn’t changed their behaviour and snoring isn’t something new, try not to be concerned and just enjoy it. You’ve got another cute quirk to go mad about.

inventor cat snoring

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.



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