Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by Fumipets
The Cat’s Cradle: Should Your Feline Friend Share Your Bed?
Discover the Pros and Cons of Sharing Your Bed with Your Cat
Are you one of those pet owners who let their feline friends curl up beside them at night? If so, you’re not alone. More than half of pet owners, primarily cat or dog lovers, welcome their furry companions into their bedrooms.
But is it a purr-fectly good idea? Let’s explore the potential dangers and benefits of sharing your bed with your cat.
The Myth of Serenity
Cats are often praised for their calming influence on humans, and some can indeed be serene sleep partners. However, not all cats are created equal when it comes to nighttime habits. While Scottish author Murial Spark described them as creatures of serene tranquility, the reality is that cats can also be bundles of relentless nocturnal energy.
The Expert’s Perspective
To shed light on this topic, we consulted Dr. Amber Carter, a veterinary expert and owner of Cat Care Clinic in Ormond Beach, Florida. Dr. Carter weighed in on whether letting your cat sleep in your bed is a wise decision for both your sleep quality and overall health.
Cat’s Sleeping Patterns
Cats have a reputation for lounging around during the day, but they don’t always align their active hours with human sleep schedules. Contrary to the common myth that cats are nocturnal, they are, in fact, crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during dawn and dusk.
Benefits of Bedtime Cat Companionship
Spending quality time with your cat can reduce stress and encourage healthier habits. Research from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) suggests that pets contribute to managing emotional well-being and promote physical health.
Pros: A Cat’s Presence
Dr. Carter shared her experience: “I love sleeping with my cats, but it doesn’t always guarantee the best night’s sleep. You know those cartoons where people share their beds with multiple cats and sleep blissfully? That’s often the case at my house.”
Allowing your cat in your bedroom can deepen the bond you share with your feline companion. For those who work long hours away from home, it can reduce perceived restrictions, fostering trust and companionship.
Cons: Disruptions and Health Concerns
However, not all cat-human duos are the perfect sleeping partners. Dr. Carter emphasizes that several factors can impact sleep quality and, subsequently, your health.
- Sleep Requirements: Adults aged 18 to 60 generally need seven or more hours of sleep per night, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Quality of Sleep: Poor sleep quality, characterized by restlessness, frequent awakenings, or sleep disorders, can affect overall health.
- Risk of Health Issues: While cats can have positive health effects, sleep deprivation may increase health risks, including heart problems and mental health issues.
- Temperature Regulation: Cats have higher body temperatures than humans, and sharing a bed with a cat can make some people feel excessively warm.
- Nocturnal Disturbances: Cats may wake you up during the night by pawing at your face, attacking your feet, or even posing a slight safety threat if startled.
Tips for Peaceful Coexistence
If you’re keen on sharing your bed with your cat while minimizing sleep disruptions, consider these tips:
- Use an air filter to reduce allergies and irritations.
- Change your sheets regularly to keep pet dander and allergens at bay.
- Train your cat to sleep in a designated area of the bed or provide a separate cat bed nearby.
- For kittens, establish separate sleeping areas to encourage independent sleeping habits.
- For older cats, consider closing the bedroom door or consult your veterinarian for advice on supplements or medications.
While the idea of cuddling up with your cat is appealing, it’s essential to find a sleep arrangement that suits both you and your feline friend. After all, a good night’s sleep is crucial for the well-being of both parties.
For more insightful articles, visit Newsweek.