Should You Sleep with Your Cat?

Your bond with your cat is so special that you want to co-sleep. Is this the right move?

By Loren Bullock

Cat owners love their feline friends; so much so that they want to spend time with their cat even while they’re sleeping. But just like deciding whether or not sleeping with your dog is a good idea, there are many things to consider when it comes to cat co-sleeping. This guide will help you figure out if having your kitten sleep in your bed at night is a good idea, or if they should keep their own cozy sleep location.

Sleeping with Your Cat

Cat Sleeping in Bed

Sleeping with pets isn’t exactly a crazy idea—people have been doing it for decades. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly 50% of pet owners co-sleep with their animals.

But sleeping with your cat has to be a symbiotic relationship: you have to be happy sleeping with your cat just as your cat has to be happy sleeping with you. Cats sleep about 16 hours per day, so it is unlikely that they will be content lying around the entire time you rest. They may get up in the middle of the night with a burst of energy, interrupting your sleep.

This isn’t the case with all cats. If you have a cat that never seems to get enough of cuddling, then it won’t matter if they are asleep or awake—they’ll stay by your side all night long.

Do You Have an Indoor or Outdoor Cat?

Whether your cat spends the majority of the time outdoors running around or inside lounging depends on the breed or what fits into your family’s life the best. But this distinction has a major influence on whether or not you should be sharing a bed with your cat.

Sleeping with outdoor cats poses more of a risk to your health than sleeping with an indoor cat. Outdoor cats disappear outside for hours at a time, coming into contact with other cats, parasites, worms, and fleas. Brings these cats into your bed could expose you to these dangers as well as you rest. If you insist on sleeping with your outdoor cat, regularly check their fur and increase their visits to the vet.

The Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A Sense of Security: Not only do you find it comforting to fall asleep with your loving feline, but they do too. Biologically speaking, when cats sleep in the wild, they are at their most vulnerable for attack. Co-sleeping will make them feel more comfortable and secure, especially if they trust you.
  • Relieves Stress: There is a reason that emotional support animals exist. Your bond with your animal reduces stress because pets are intuitive. Your cat can tell when you’re sad, and they make it their mission to stay by your side until you feel better.

Cons

  • Health Risks: As much as we love our felines, they are often a harbor for germs, especially from the litter box. Litter boxes house waste, fecal matter, and harmful bacteria that gets stuck to the bottom of a cat’s feet. Tracking that into your bed doesn’t do your health any favors. Young children with a compromised immune system should certainly not cuddle with the cat at night.
  • Disrupted Sleep: As we mentioned earlier, cats love to be active at night. If your cat scratches, plays around, and purrs for your attention so much that you can’t sleep well, it may be time to rest with your bedroom door closed.

Summary

So, should you sleep with your cat? The answer depends on if you’re willing to weather the risks. If you have an indoor cat, the health risks are reduced to the litter box. An outdoor cat is definitely more risky. But, keeping your cat up to date with their shots and regular fur checks should keep this issue to a minimum.

The sudden midnight bursts of energy might be more of a problem. But if your cat can chill throughout the night, and sleeping with your cat has a more positive impact on your sleep than a negative one, cuddle away!


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