My Cat Makes Groaning Noise When Sleeping, Should I Worry?

Discover the reasons behind your cat’s groaning noises when sleeping and whether or not it is a cause for concern.

Cats make various sounds to communicate both to humans and other animals. Overall, this sound is usually harmless. After all, cats also dream in their sleep as humans do. Still, groaning in its sleep can also mean that your kitty might be ailing. Below, I discuss a few possibilities that you should consider discussing with your feline’s veterinarian.

cat makes groaning noise when sleeping

My cat makes groaning noise when sleeping! Possible reasons

Why is my cat groaning while sleeping

Why does my cat makes groaning noise when sleeping? In general, it’s normal for cats to make various sounds while sleeping. But if you’re curious, here are the most common explanation for this phenomenon:

1. Your cat is dreaming.

Cats are known for their ability to sleep for long periods throughout the day. In fact, the average cat sleeps for around 12 to 16 hours a day. During sleep, cats go through different stages, including light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep. It is during REM sleep that cats may exhibit various behaviors, such as twitching their paws or making sounds.

Cats can dream in their sleep and like us, felines can also ‘sleep talk’ when they are in a deep state of REM. Aside from your cat groaning when sleeping, your cat may also twitch or act out its dream.

Overall, this is normal and the your cat groaning when sleeping will stop once they wake up. However, you should be careful as your cat may accidentally scratch or bite you while dreaming. Please read here: What Does it Mean When a Cat Bites You Hard

2. Your cat is caterwauling.

Caterwauling is the sound felines make similar to a howl, shrill, or wailing. It’s a cat’s gentler version of growling in dogs. Please read here: Cat Growling in Sleep

It can be a sign that your kitty is unhappy, imposing its territory, anxious, or in pain. It’s possible that your cat is dreaming and caterwauling at the same time. But if the caterwauling also happens while your kitty is awake, you should consider consulting a veterinarian.

3. Your cat has breathing difficulties.

Another possible reason why a cat groans in its sleep is breathing difficulties. Such difficulty can be due to an injury, trauma, bleeding, respiratory problem, or a genetic disorder. Conditions such as asthma, allergies, or upper respiratory infections can cause wheezing or snoring sounds. If you notice other symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or difficulty breathing, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian.

It’s also important to check if something is stuck inside your cat’s nose. This is quite common for kitties who are allowed to roam outside. Please read here: Why Do Cats Noses Get Wet When They Purr

Take note that some medications can also trigger temporary breathing problems in cats. Whatever the reason is, it’s best to consult your cat’s veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

4. Your cat is snoring.

In some cases, a cat’s groaning while sleeping is actually snoring. Nevertheless, snoring is far less common in felines than in dogs, but it can still happen to some breeds.

Specifically, brachycephalic or flat-faced cats are more likely to snore while sleeping. Their small nostrils and short airways will restrict breathing, leading to the groaning sound.

Aside from groaning and snoring, a brachycephalic kitty can also make all sorts of sounds while sleeping. This is normal, but you should still watch out for any signs that could indicate that your kitty is in pain.

5. Your cat has other health problems.

Lastly, groaning while sleeping can be a sign that your kitty is suffering from a painful health problem. Cats with digestive issues, such as acid reflux or gastrointestinal problems, may make groaning noises during sleep. These sounds can be a result of discomfort or pain in the digestive system. If you notice other signs like vomiting, diarrhea, or a decrease in appetite, it is advisable to seek veterinary advice.

Moreover, a cat can groan in its sleep if it’s suffering from nasal polyps, tumors, or a foreign object stuck inside. It is important to observe your cat’s behavior and overall health to determine the cause of the groaning noises. If you are unsure or concerned, it is always best to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Other cat sounds and what it means

cat sounds meaning

Aside from groaning, cats can also make other sounds while sleeping. Here are some that you may observe on your kitty:

  • Purr. Purring is perhaps the most popular and enjoyable sound a cat will make. It’s a sign that the kitty is happy, which they can also do while sleeping.
  • Chirrups. These are bird-like sounds that cats learn during their kittenhood. Usually, kitties do this when they want attention, but they can also chirrup when excited.
  • Hiss. Hissing is a sign that your kitty feels threatened and is not one to mess with. It can be toward another pet, person, or you.
  • Chatter. Chattering is commonly observed when a cat’s predatory instincts are active. It’s how a kitty expresses frustration about not getting its target.
  • Yowl. Yowling is a cat-to-cat communication, which indicates territoriality, discomfort, or even mating issues. However, older kitties may also yowl due to cognitive decline.

Each cat is different and so are the sounds they make including your cat groaning when sleeping. As long as your kitty’s unusual sounds aren’t getting out of hand, it shouldn’t be a cause of concern.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I wake up my cat if it’s groaning in its sleep?

Groaning while sleeping isn’t really harmful to cats, especially if they are just dreaming. However, if you noticed that your kitty is having difficulty breathing, you can try waking up your pet.

Also, you should watch out for sudden movements when your cat is dreaming. Make sure that the kitty won’t fall on an elevated space.

Why does my cat sound like a pigeon while sleeping?

Chirrups are sounds that cats make, which is quite similar to how birds chirp. If your kitty does this while sleeping, there’s nothing to worry about.

Felines chirp or chirrup when they are happy, excited, or wanting attention. It’s rarely a sign of something bad unless it doesn’t seem to stop.

How do you know if your cat is having a nightmare?

Cats can also get nightmares like humans. It can be something about their bad experience during the day, which manifests in sudden movements and sounds.

Many cats will meow, hiss, or groan while sleeping when they are having a bad dream. Some will have sporadic movement as if they are running or fighting something.

Overall, these bad dreams aren’t harmful to felines, but make sure that the kitty isn’t located in a dangerous spot. You can try moving your kitty to a safer spot slowly to avoid scaring it.

Should I worry if my cat snores?

Should I worry if my cat snores

Snoring isn’t common in cats, but it can still happen to some. It’s fairly normal and shouldn’t be a cause of concern.

However, if your feline is snoring all the time and is being jolted awake by the loud sound, you may want to consult the vet. Kitties can suffer from sleep apnea, which will impact your cat’s energy level and overall health.

If you suspect that your cat has sleep apnea, you should bring it to the vet for proper examination.


If your cat makes groaning noise when sleeping, you shouldn’t panic right away. A cat groaning when sleeping is considered normal as long as you don’t notice any behavioral and overall health.

But if you’re worried, it doesn’t hurt to consult your cat’s veterinarian. You can also bring your kitty to the vet’s clinic for a thorough examination.

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