Should your beloved feline friend be allowed to crawl in bed with you or not? This certainly isn’t a new question, and how you answer really boils down to a preference. It’s a personal choice, kind of like how you choose a pillow: Do you pick one based on stuffing and size or do you want the best pillow for neck pain? One person might say stuffing and size while another says neck pain.
Cat Bed Pros
If you allow your cat to sleep in bed with you, you’re not alone. According to the American Pet Products Association, 62% of adult cat owners make that decision and another 13% of children snuggle up with their cats.
There are definitely some rewards that come from cuddling up to your kitty. Plenty of studies have proven that interaction with your pet is a de-stressing mechanism. Not only can petting your cat and hearing it purr in response help you unwind after a long, busy day, there are physical benefits, too. For example, one research study discovered that people with hypertension lowered their blood pressure when caring for pets.
Felines reap rewards, too. Cats continue to be convinced of their importance in your lives. Sleeping together provides that contact. It also may help cats stay warm during cold winter nights.
Cat Bed Cons
On the flip side, sleeping with the family cat can be anything but restful. These creatures are known to sleep up to 16 hours a day, but the term “catnap” exists for a reason. Those hours are divided up into many mini chunks. The species just isn’t programmed to snooze for eight hours at a time like us humans. Therefore, your kitty might wake during the night, fidget in bed, or even walk across your body on his or her way to a nighttime adventure.
According to a Mayo Clinic survey, more than half of the people who admit to catching zzzzs with their pets experience disrupted sleep, and that can affect human health, such as a lack of attentiveness during the day.
Also, health experts cautioned against allowing outdoor cats into your bed. These felines are more susceptible to encountering fleas and worms and then introducing them to the bed, not to mention bringing in dirt and “unexpected gifts” of kills. There is less concern for cats that remain indoors.
If you choose to let your cat climb in bed with you or a family member, make sure it’s up to date on all vaccinations and flea treatments. Also, wash the sheets frequently. Not only will human inhabitants appreciate the freshness, but felines like to sleep in clean places, too.
And, if you like to have your cat nearby, but not in bed with you, think about putting a cat condo in the bedroom. Tip: Put the unit near a window so the cat can be entertained by the nightlife outside and not mess with your sleep.