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Noisy Breathing in Older Cats

Friday, January 27, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

oldercatcheckMy cat Molly is 17 1/2 and sometimes I hear a low pitched type of snore when she is sitting with me. Other times, I hear nothing at all. She is not having any difficulty breathing and still seems quite comfortable. It usually stops when I start petting her and maybe it’s even an attention getting device. She has an appointment with the Vet next Saturday and I will ask them what it could be. Since she has other medical issues, I want to keep an eye on this. Here is what Pet MD says about this type of breathing.

Stertor and Stridor in Cats

Stertor is noisy breathing that occurs during inhalation. It is a low-pitched, snoring type of sound that usually arises from the vibration of fluid, or the vibration of tissue that is relaxed or flabby. It usually arises from airway blockage in the throat (pharynx).

Stridor is high-pitched, noisy breathing. The higher-pitched sounds result when relatively rigid tissues vibrate with the passage of air. It often occurs as the result of partial or complete blockage of the nasal passages or voice box (larynx), or collapse of the upper part of the windpipe (known as cervical tracheal collapse).

Unusually loud breathing sounds are often the result of air passing through abnormally narrowed passageways, meeting resistance to airflow because of partial blockage of these regions. The origin may be the back of the throat (nasopharynx), the throat (pharynx), the voice box (larynx), or the windpipe (trachea). Abnormal breathing sounds of this type can be heard without using a stethoscope.

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