Ask Smalls: Why does my cat snore?

Snoring cats are much more adorable than their human counterparts. While it’s not as common for cats as it is for other animals, and if your cat occasionally snores, it may just be the position they’re sleeping in. Cats who snore all the time are also probably fine, but only if they’ve always snored and haven’t shown any other health problems. If your cat is snoring for the first time, you should monitor its snores as it may be caused by an underlying health problem.

Overweight cats are more likely to snore since obesity can contribute to existing respiratory problems. Brachycephalic cat breeds — like Persians and Himalayans — snore more than other cats because of adorable, flat facial conformation. Their nasal passages are more narrow or short than usual and their soft palates are long, which cause snoring.

But, if you notice your cat having difficulty breathing in addition to snoring, you should seek further medical care. Your cat may try to extend it’s head and neck straight out or use open-mouth breathing. Other symptoms also include nasal discharge (from one or both nostrils), facial swelling, sneezing, coughing or a change in voice. While snoring is relatively harmless (and adorable), it may be a warning sign for a foreign object obstructing a respiratory passageway or some other inflammation in the body.

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TLDR: If you cat has always snored, it’s probably harmless and might be caused by the position it’s sleeping in. Overweight cats are more likely to snore since obesity can contribute to existing respiratory problems. But, if your cat is having difficulty breathing in addition to snoring, seek further medical care as it may be a warning sign for other health problems.

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