Is It Normal for My Cat to Snore?

Not just humans and dogs – cats can also snore properly while they sleep! And that’s not all that rare: There can be several reasons why a cat snores. Here you can find out what these are and when you should call in a veterinarian.

No matter if human or animal: Behind the snoring sound there is a simple, physiological explanation. It is triggered when loose tissue in the upper airways vibrates while you sleep. For example in the nose, in the back of the oral cavity, or in the throat.

Why do you snore especially when you sleep? The reason for this is that the tissue in the upper respiratory tract is particularly relaxed, explains “The Spruce Pets”. It can then flutter back and forth particularly well when breathing.

If your cat snores, it doesn’t always have to be a cause for concern. Because kitties can “saw” for very different reasons. However, sometimes the trigger can also be a medical problem. We reveal when snoring is normal in cats – and when not:


So-called brachycephalic – or short-headed – cats snore quite often. This particularly applies to certain breeds of cats with a “flat” face, such as Persian cats or Burmese cats.

“These brachycephalic cats have shortened bones in their faces and noses, which makes them more prone to snoring,” explains veterinarian Dr. Bruce Kornreich opposite “PetMD”. “They can also have smaller nostrils that restrict breathing.”


Fat cats are more likely to snore than thinner cats, as the excess fat can also settle in the tissue around the upper respiratory tract. This makes breathing sounds louder – especially when you are asleep.

Certain Sleeping Positions Encourage Snoring

Does your cat snore especially when it sleeps in particularly twisted positions? No wonder! Certain head postures during sleep prevent air from flowing freely through the airways. The result: Your kitty saws what it takes. As soon as she changes her sleeping position, however, the snoring should stop.

Respiratory Problems

Asthma, bacterial or fungal infections can also manifest themselves in snoring – in cats as in humans. Often other symptoms occur at the same time, such as sneezing, watery eyes, or a runny nose.

Your Cat is Snoring Because of a Foreign Object in Its Nose

Lastly, your cat’s airway may be blocked. This can be the case with polyps or tumors, but also, for example, if a blade of grass is stuck in the nose or throat.

In young cats up to three years of age, nasopharyngeal polyps can be a common cause of snoring. While these are benign, they can grow to a size that makes breathing difficult. The cat then breathes so loudly that it appears to snore even when it is awake.

When Should a Snoring Cat See the Vet?

The good thing: you can do a lot to ensure that your puss no longer snores. If a tumor, polyp, or other object obstructs the airway, a veterinarian can of course remove it. So that these are discovered as early as possible, you should definitely attend the annual health check at the veterinarian.

While snoring is usually harmless, there are some circumstances in which you might want to have your cat examined by a veterinarian. For example, if your cat is always sleeping quietly and suddenly starts snoring, or if the snoring gets louder. Especially if your cat seems to be getting poor breath even when it is awake.

If You Have Additional Symptoms: Off to the Vet!

Even if your kitty develops additional symptoms of snoring – such as sneezing, loss of appetite or weight as well as breathing problems – a trip to the vet is due, according to the magazine “Catster”. As always, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you’re unsure why your cat is snoring, contact a veterinarian to rule out more serious causes.

If there is no acute medical reason behind the snoring, you can put your cat on a diet if you are overweight in order to get quieter nights. When overweight cats lose weight, their snoring often also subsides. Make sure that your cat is not getting more food than it needs and that it is getting enough exercise.

If your kitty snores but is otherwise all-around fine, it’s time to just accept the snore. Then it’s just another quirk that basically just makes your cat even more lovable!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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