5 Reasons You Should Never Share Your Bed With Your Cat

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally published on March 14, 2015. Enjoy!

Do you let your cat into your bedroom at night?

Sleeping with your feline friend isn’t unusual in the United States. According to a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association, 62 percent of cats sleep with their adult owners, and another 13 percent of cats sleep with children.

It’s a great idea, right? Cats are wonderfully therapeutic; they can help calm nerves, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, that doesn’t mean you should allow your cat into your bedroom.

Here are five really good reasons to never share your covers with your kitty.

1. Cats Disturb Your Sleep

The last time I let my cat Sargent Pepper into my bedroom, she decided at 3 am that it was time to get up and have fun. First she jumped on and off the bed a few times, then she poked at my hair, and finally she stuck her paw against my mouth.

A study released by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that 10 percent of sleep-deprived pet owners said the disturbances in their sleep come from letting their pets share the bed.

And snoring isn’t just a people problem. The study also found that 21 percent of sleep clinic patients had snoring dogs and seven percent had snoring cats.

2. Cats Are Nocturnal; Humans Are Not

The problem is that cats are nocturnal, mostly because they spend much of the time sleeping all day. Humans, however, are not. Enough said.

Cats just like to be active all night long: there’s the midnight stare, for example, and the endless meow. Then there’s the human mattress: cats just deciding to sleep on your chest, or on your stomach.

And the “Look what I caught” game can take a strange turn in the middle of the night. My friend Ellen was woken at 2 am last week by her kitty bringing her a paint brush, and thrusting it towards her. Huh? What was the kitty trying to tell her?

3. Cats Make Your Asthma and Allergies Worse

Over eight percent of adults, along with nine percent of children, suffer from asthma; if you’re one of those people, bringing a cat into the bedroom will only make you suffer more.

If you have asthma or allergies, you’re better off with no cat presence, but maybe you already have a feline friend, or  your kids have fallen in love with an adorable kitten? If the cat has to stay, limit your exposure to the kitty and restrict her to certain sections of your home. Above all, keep the cat out of your bedroom at all times. Instead, install a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter in your sleeping area to clear the air and give your nose a few hours a day to recover.

4. Cats May Pass on Infectious Diseases

Emerging Infectious Diseases, in conjunction with the CDC, released an article called “Zoonoses in the Bedroom.” These are diseases that animals can spread to people. In this article they give a few scary examples, including a young boy who got plague after having his flea-infested cat sleep with him.

Approximately 60 percent of all human pathogens could have been transmitted by an animal: rabies, ringworm, hookworms, toxoplasmosis, roundworm, giardia, even bubonic plague.

Ugh! Who wants to risk getting any of those?

5. What About Sex?

Can having a cat in your bedroom interfere with your sex life? I don’t know about you, but for me the idea of sexual intimacy while my cat is on the bed, or even in the bedroom, creeps me out.

However, not all cat lovers agree with me. Elizabeth and Charles Schmitz, love and marriage experts who wrote “Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage,” report that many of their successful couples have pets and many sleep in the same room as those pets. But when it comes to being intimate, “Some put them outside the bedroom because they don’t want them to watch,” Elizabeth Schmitz says. “Some give them a treat to distract them. Some don’t mind if the pet stays on the bed.” So it all works out as long as you both agree on how you feel about your cat being in your bedroom.

Of course, just because you don’t allow your cat into your bedroom doesn’t mean she won’t object. Almost every morning, around 5:30 am, I am woken by a loud thumping and scratching on the bedroom door, Sargent Pepper’s way of informing us that she is wide awake and ready for breakfast.

What do you think? Do you let your kitty friend into your bedroom?

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

1373 comments

Cindy S
Cindy S17 days ago

cats are awesome

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Jennifer L.
Jennifer L.18 days ago

My cat acts mopey if he's not able to pressed his fur body to my side. I think it makes him feel safe and loved. I noticed a huge difference when he's allowed to sleep close as opposed to the end of the bed. He's a cuddler.

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heather g
heather g1 months ago

Let the cats decide

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Jess M
Jess M1 months ago

Ultimately it’s a personal/lifestyle choice. Many nights my little guy sleeps near me, but not always... maybe some of these points are debatable. What kills me is the commenters here that react as though what she’s written here is a personal attack or some law they’re being forced to follow. While I assume most of the folks here are technically ‘adults’, it’s hard to take you seriously when you’re reduced to calling the article and author “stupid” over and over. Gold star for vocabulary :). We can disagree with someone without resorting to juvenile and unoriginal name-calling. Some can, anyway. But that’s the internet for you :)

If you love having your kitties sleep in bed with you, great! If you prefer they don’t, for *whatever* reason, great! Guess what? No one is forcing you to do either. What a life!

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R1 months ago

I wonder if Judy's dogs sleep on her bed???

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Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga1 months ago

bite me, who cares

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Ril'Riia Kil'Urden
Rilriia Kilurden2 months ago

Stupid article by someone who obviously has an issue with cats to begin with. I have three, all rescues. My oldest is from a crack house, my two youngest are maternal siblings from a very nasty place. They're 8 - 9 years old, all spade/neutered.

My youngest male is my baby and usually sleeps by my stomach. No problem. I don't even notice if he gets up to go nom dry food or sleep on the couch. My female woke me up today, but that's because their dry food bowl was totally empty (my fault, as they're accustomed to having it at all times). The only one I have trouble with is my crack house rescue, and that's because he's a special boy and touched in the head anyway.

2. Dander, i.e. allergies. ....Shouldn't people who are allergic to cats... maybe not have cats? Just saying. And there's a great deal of non-med treatments you can use for dander, or allergy meds if you insist on putting yourself through misery. But, realistically, perhaps looking into a goldfish, or a plush cat that meows? Just saying.

3. Stupidity in a box, ie not keeping a cats' box cleaned or allowing them to suffer with fleas (which usually means it's an indoor/outdoor cat) or other such nonsense you shouldn't be doing with cats anyway as it SHORTENS THEIR LIFESPAN AND CAUSES ILLNESSES TO THE CAT ITSELF.

Also, the bubonic plague (what I'm assuming the author meant because they're unaware that there are many forms of plague) is still alive and active and can be passed

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R2 months ago

HaHaHa! That might happen! :))))

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara3 months ago

Worms and fleas are species specific. We do not have plague in Ireland.

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Danuta W
Danuta W3 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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