It's very common for us cuddle-loving cat fans to let our feline friends sleep in our bed. However, there are diverging opinions as to whether your cat should share the mattress with you. We show you the pros and cons in the following text. On this basis you can decide for yourself what viewpoint you take and how you wish to handle things with your cat.
Should I let my cat sleep in the bed?
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What are the positive aspects of snoozing with a cat?
As we cat fans know, there are numerous positive aspects to snoozing with a cat:
- It strengthens the connection between us and our furry friend, with their purring and proximity having a relaxing effect on our nervous system. Not for nothing is it claimed that singletons who share their home with a cat are much more relaxed than those who don't have a cat.
- Proponents of letting cats sleep in the bed are convinced that cats trigger inner peace and calm for humans. If the cat falls asleep on the bed covers in the evening or jumps into bed in the morning purring to greet its human housemate (or to remind them where their food bowl is), this mostly has a positive effect on the human's overall wellbeing. Purring in particular has a soothing effect on humans and tranquility is transmitted from cats to humans.
- In this context, it's important to make clear that it isn't the cat's responsibility to compensate for their owner's deficits. In fact, it's all about the equal wellbeing of the human and cat. They are both on a par in terms of their needs. If the cat and its owner like snoozing at the same time, it's a win-win situation.
Cats neutralise negatives and want the best for their humans
- In addition, theory states that cats tend to lie on interference zones in houses or the human's weakest area. One case describes a cat lying on the head or face of its owner's partner in the mornings. According to this theory, that wouldn't be very flattering to the partner in question.
- An esoteric viewpoint claims that cats diminish and neutralise the so-called “negative energy” of their human housemates. The cat is not encumbered by doing so, meaning that it almost has a positive effect on the energy in a house or apartment.
- As well, many cats also provide a type of care for their beloved human family – as is mainly said about dogs – and have a tangible interest in their welfare. Of course, it has a positive effect on humans alongside the cat if they sense that the cat perceives their moods and is there for them, just as they are for their cat.
How do I combine “hygge” and hygiene?
However, there are naturally also a few factors against cats sleeping in the bed. For instance, parasites can be transmitted from the cat to humans.
If the cat is regularly vaccinated and dewormed though, this is at least slightly less problematic. Nevertheless, an outdoor cat can potentially bring parasites from fellow outdoor cats into their owner's bed.
If contact is much too close, parasites can be transmitted from animals to humans. In dental literature, there are even some isolated cases whereby resorptive processes in the teeth possibly affect cat owners more than on average. However, these findings have not been definitively confirmed.
A cuddly cat bed is a good solution
With the simply endless choice of cosy sleeping berths for cats in the form of cuddly beds, you will definitely find one where your cat will be happy to spend its nights – and probably a large part of its days too.
If you communicate to your cat from the beginning that it isn't allowed to sleep in bed with you, generally speaking it accepts this. In contrast, if you only decide over time to no longer let your cat sleep in your bed with you, it potentially struggles to take on board the change in the rules. Hence, you should enforce this rule from the beginning as far as possible and provide your cat with a cosy sleeping berth like a cuddly bed.
Your cat will feel safe and sheltered day and night in its own cuddly bed and is protected from draughts. Having a place to retreat is extremely important for the wellbeing of your feline friend.
Withdrawal at an advanced stage can be a real strain both for humans and cats. With positive reinforcement though, possibly in the form of clicker training or simply treats as a reward, it is fundamentally possible.
What must I take into account if I let my cat sleep in my bed?
Deworming that takes place every three months is equally as important as ensuring that your beloved cat is free of fleas and ectoparasites, since they can transmit Lyme disease to humans in the worst case scenario. In addition, not just parasites but also bacterial illnesses can be transmitted from cats to humans, triggering diseases. The otherwise positive aspects of sleeping in close proximity to your pet become negatives.
If your cat is allowed to sleep in your bed with you, better hygiene is called for than in a bedroom where no pets are allowed, since animals lose a lot of fur by nature.
Special caution is advised if you are suffer from allergies or asthma. In such cases, you should completely avoid your cat sharing your bed if possible.
In addition, your cat has no place in your children's bed. By mounting a protective grille, you can prevent your cat from jumping in your child's bed at night. During the day, your offspring can obviously cuddle and play with the cat away from their bed as much as they – and the cat – wish. However, certain hygiene measures are required there too.
However you wish to deal with sleeping arrangements, we wish you and your cat great joy in living together!
46% of UK households own a pet, with a total pet population of 58 million, including 7 million cats and 0.5 million indoor birds. Many pet owners provide a home for more than one type of pet, with cats sometimes sharing a home with a budgie, parakeet or other bird, but what happens when you have a cat and a small pet?