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

1350 comments

Lesa D
Lesa D9 days ago

my cat Furio shares HIS bed with me...

SEND
Danii P
Danii P10 days ago

Thank you

SEND
Elaine W
Elaine W10 days ago

Noted.

SEND
Stephanie s
Stephanie s14 days ago

How often and when was the last time anyone heard of someone getting some disease from a cat?

SEND
Stephanie s
Stephanie s14 days ago

Sorry i'm just not on board with this what i believe to be utter stupidity.

SEND
michelle t
michelle t14 days ago

Stupid article.This would be one of the worst Care 2 articles that I have ever read.The person who wrote this dumb article is obviously not an animal advocate.

SEND
Freya H
Freya H1 months ago

I have probably commented on this article in the past - I'm not about to scroll through over 1300 comments - but if I have, then once again I call B.S. on it. I have been sleeping with cats since I was six and never suffered any ill effects, other than the occasional scratch. (Wish I could tell Aida and Helena NOT to play "Kentucky Derby" in the middle of the night and make my bed part of their race track!)

SEND
Peggy B
Peggy B1 months ago

Nonsense.

SEND
Mia G
Mia G1 months ago

thank you

SEND
Richard A
Richard A1 months ago

Sleeping with one's furry companion is not for everyone.

SEND