As I was researching for this blog, it became clear pretty quickly that people had strong views on this issue. They were either categorically for or against, with basically no-one sitting on the fence. What I would say is that you need to decide when your cat first moves in whether you are going to let your cat sleep with you, because trying to change the cat’s modus operandi later on down the track will be near impossible! So, let’s look at the reasons people cite for both sides of the discussion.
3 Reasons Why Your Cat Should Not Sleep With You:
- Disturbed Human Sleep: Cats tend to be nocturnal and having slept for a significant amount of the daylight hours, some cats will find their get up and go in the midnight hours. A good night’s sleep for we humans is about both quantity and quality, and being woken at 1am because puss has decided that it’s the optimum time to chase her tail, isn’t going to be doing you any good at all. Pussa and Soph weigh slightly under 4kg during daylight hours, but it seems that during the middle of the night around about the time when they’ve decided to use my thighs as a substitute bed, that their weight balloons to something akin to bags of cement. As someone who, so I’ve been told, likes to thrash around during the night, this becomes impossible to do when lumps of setting concrete are lying on top of you;
- Risk of Worsening Asthma and Allergies: Obviously if you are allergic to cats proximity to them is going to exacerbate the situation, and if there is anywhere in the house where you want to be able to breathe well, it’s in your bedroom. Some also say that those with asthma suffer more when cats are allowed in the bedroom. I think if you fall into either one of these groups, then perhaps you should have considered the situation more fully before you got your cat. Nevertheless, if you are already committed to the cause then either keep your cat shut out of the bedroom (degree of difficulty: very high) or get yourself an air purifier with HEPA filter;
- Zoonotic Risks: These are diseases that can be passed from animals to humans. A widely quoted study is one published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal which cited some rather gruesome, nope let’s call it what it is, disgusting, cases of disease being transmitted from pet to human. Keep in mind though, that the probability of this happening to you is low. Particularly when you consider that in the cases of disease discussed in the study the human was really, really stupid. One bloke let his dog lick him where he had a healing wound after a hip replacement! Eeeeuuuuuuuw! That is so many thousands of wrong I can’t begin to count. Responsible pet owners keep their pets healthy by keeping up to date with vaccinations, flea, tick treatments etc, and thus minimise the risk of transference.
3 Reasons Why You Can Let Your Cat Sleep With You:
- It’s Easier That Way: When Mr Pet Parent and I agreed to adopt Pussa, he was none too keen for her to be sharing the bed. However, a couple of things caused us to capitulate. I couldn’t sleep in the bedroom with the door shut because I felt like I was suffocating from the reduced the airflow through the room. Second of all, Pussa wasn’t having a bar of it. She would sit on the other side of the door and scratch, and scratch and scratch until we let her in. Cat: 1, Humans: 0.
- It’s Rather Comforting: Who doesn’t feel relaxed when there is a purring cat in close range? We all know that you can’t make a cat do anything they don’t want to do, so how loved do you feel when puss decides that on top of you is the only place in the world they want to be at that moment?
- You Have Your Very Own Furry Alarm Clock: I’m convinced that Pussa can tell time. Feeding is Mr Pet Parent’s job at Cat Habitat HQ, and Pussa is keen as mustard every morning to let him know that it’s 6am and time to get up and dish out breakfast. How much nicer is it being woken up by a hundred or so puss cat head-butts than an electronic alarm shrilling in your ear?
As you’ve probably figured out we let Pussa and Soph sleep ON the bed, but I don’t let them under the covers. Not for any particular reason – I just don’t like it. We have a few Feline Futons which lie around the place, including on the bed, for daytime cat naps. They contain the fur to one area, can be put anywhere, and are easily washable. Especially during winter, do make sure wherever your favourite feline sleeps that they are warm and cosy, and kept out of drafts. It can be hard to find cat beds that don’t look they’ve been made with the leftover fabric from a 1980’s legwarmer factory. If you’re looking for cats beds that fit in with the rest of your home furnishings, take a look at our Cat Cots, Cat Cosy’s and Slumber Yards too. We also personalise the Slumber Yards with your favourite feline’s name. Nice touch huh?!
So, whether you let your cat sleep with you or not is a decision based on what you feel comfortable with. Don’t however let them sleep with babies or young children so as to avoid any chance of suffocation. There’s only one thing left to do…..teach the cat how to turn the light off.