Why does my cat snore and not meow?


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Our question this week was:

Hi Dr. Debra, we adopted a couple of kittens (a male and a female) a few months ago. They were 3 ½ months old when we got them. After a few weeks the male cat Montie started snoring! He snores extremely loud when he sleeps. Besides that, he can't really meow. It seems to be an effort for him to make any noise. He only does it in "emergencies" e.g. he get locked out in the garage or so. And even then he only Meows once or twice and then waits until we go looking for him. Should I be concerned?

Karin Zimprich


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your cat snores and doesn't really meow. Snoring is more common in dogs than in cats.. Some cats will snore if they are obese (just like people) or if they have an obstruction (such as sinus, allergies or a polyp).

Some breeds tend to snore more such as Persian cats because their nostrils are very small causing tissue movement when they breathe which leads to snoring.

Just to be on the safe side, I'd have your cat examined for a polyp. Some cats get Nasopharyngeal polyps, which can cause snoring. It would be best to rule that out.

Some cats meow more than others. Some have a loud meow, some high-pitched, some low–pitched, and some almost squeak. Some cats with a history of feline upper respiratory tract disease will not meow or have a silent meow for a period of time. A polyp could also affect a cat's ability or desire to meow.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.