Why Does My Cat Snore?

And how much noise is normal? 💤💤💤

cat sleeping on a pillow

Have you ever been enjoying a quiet evening only to hear a loud noise — and realize it’s coming from your cat? You might have wondered, “Is that sound snoring, and do cats snore?”

Cats do snore — and depending on the underlying cause, it may or may not be an issue.

The Dodo spoke to LeeAnna Buis, a certified feline training and behavior consultant with Feline Behavior Solutions, to find out everything you need to know about why cats snore and how to know if you should talk to your vet about your cat’s snoring.

Why does my cat snore?

“Cats can snore for a number of reasons,” Buis told The Dodo. “Some are completely harmless. But many are medical and require veterinary support.”


Some types of cats snore simply because of the shape of their nose.

“Brachycephalic (or flat-faced) cats may snore or snort due to the structure of their face and nasal passages,” Buis said.

Some brachycephalic breeds of cats include Persian, Himalayan and Burmese — you can tell because their faces look a little smushed (in a cute way).


Cats who are overweight can be more prone to snoring, too.

“If your cat is a little on the chonky-chonk side, they may have weight around the neck that impacts their ability to breathe,” Buis said.

Respiratory problems

Just like people, cats can also have respiratory problems, such as allergies, rhinitis and upper respiratory infections, that can cause snoring, Buis said.

Rhinitis is basically a stuffy nose, which makes it harder to breathe and leads to cats snoring. Rhinitis can be caused by allergies or a respiratory infection (more on those below).

If your cat has allergies, you may notice one or more of these other symptoms in addition to snoring:

  • Itchiness
  • Rashes
  • Sneezing
  • Ear infections
  • Bald patches

Symptoms of an upper respiratory infection include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Lethargy
  • Runny nose
  • Lack of appetite

If you notice any of these symptoms in addition to your cat snoring, it’s best to take your cat to the vet to make sure nothing else more serious is going on.

Objects stuck in his nose

“Even the random foreign object lodged in your cat’s nose can trigger snoring,” Buis said.

If you think your cat has something stuck in his nose, you should take him to the vet because that could cause breathing problems in addition to snoring.

Sleep position

If you have a cat, you’ve probably seen him curled up in the most random places — like your kitchen sink.

Curling up in those random places can cause your cat to snore because of the weird positions he has to contort himself into to make himself fit. If your cat’s snoring is limited to when he’s sleeping in strange positions, there should be nothing to be concerned about.

Is it normal for cats to snore?

If your cat has been snoring for a long time and you haven’t noticed any recent changes or other symptoms, there’s most likely nothing to worry about.

“When it comes to cats and any health concerns, one of the biggest things to watch for is change,” Buis said. “A sudden onset of snoring for a cat who doesn’t normally snore or worsening in a cat who does snore are red flags that say, ‘Take me in for a checkup.’”

You should also look for breathing issues when your cat is awake, such as wheezing, panting or open-mouth breathing. Any sudden changes in your cat’s breathing are a sign that something could be wrong.

“If your cat’s breathing seems labored or they’re lethargic, that’s your cue to call your veterinarian or veterinary E.R. clinic right away,” Buis said.

How to stop your cat’s snoring

As always, if you’re 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 there’s a medical cause, they may be able to treat it and get your cat back to sound sleeping.”

If he’s overweight

If your cat has gotten a little chunky, make sure you’re feeding him the right amount of food and that he’s getting enough exercise.

The first step is talking to your vet to make sure you’re feeding your cat the right diet and the right amount. You can also help your cat get the exercise he needs with a cat tree and other toys that encourage active play. (He’ll get tons of exercise jumping and climbing on a cat tree like this one, which is 72 inches tall! You can get it from Amazon for $89.99.)

Taking your cat for his vet checkups is the best way to make sure he doesn’t become overweight in the first place — so be sure to schedule your cat’s annual vet visits on time.

If your cat has respiratory problems

If your cat has allergies, your vet will recommend different types of medications depending on what kind of allergies he has.

If your cat is sick, your vet might prescribe antibiotics for a bacterial infection or virus or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation (rhinitis makes your cat’s nose stuffy by causing inflammation of the lining of the nose). If your cat has a fungal infection, your vet might prescribe an antifungal medicine.

If your cat has an object stuck in his nose

If your cat has something stuck in his nose, the vet will remove it — don’t try to remove it yourself, or you could injure your cat!

So if your cat suddenly begins snoring or shows any other signs of breathing problems, take him to the vet to make sure nothing more serious is going on. But if your cat has always been a loud snorer, you may just have to deal with it.

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