an image of a cat in a bed
Last Updated on June 6, 2022 by Peter

Can You Allow Your Cat In Bed?

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”

Terry Pratchett once wrote. Cats certainly expect a royal treatment from us, and we’re happy to provide it. Showing your cat that they can enjoy sleeping on your cosy mattress right next you, is the great way to express your love and devotion. Anyhow, there some important things you should know before you jump into a decision to allow your cat in bed.

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    Why is your cat in bed?

    First of all, do you know why your cat likes to sleep with you? Recent studies uncover the reasons behinds cats’ love of sleeping with humans.

    Warmth and comfort

    Cats love warmth, you probably already know that. We’ve all seen cats dozing off in the sun or in front of the fireplace. Don’t they just love to settle near the source of heat in your home, right? Well, cats enjoy warmth a lot, same goes for the warmth that your body provides.

    Because they trust you

    These cute little creatures are highly alert and intelligent predators. Because of this, they are always on guard, even when they look lazy. They can wake up to smallest sounds and react impressively quickly. Cats appreciate if they can share the sleeping time with the creature that they trust, thus sharing the “watch”. When cats develop the trust towards their human, they get more relaxed when it comes to their safety. This especially goes for the sleeping.

    an image of a cat laying down in a bed

    Because they are kind and generous

    This one needs a bit more clarification. You see, there is a big chance that your cat is letting you sleep in their bed. You thought that it was another way around, right? Don’t get mad, the cat’s gesture of letting you sleep in their bed is very generous from their point of view. It means that they trust you, that they’ve accepted you and that they love you!

    Now that we know why cats want to sleep with us, let’s see some pros and cons of letting a cat in bed. (Or accepting the cat’s invitation, we are not sure about this one.)

    Pro: Psychological aspect

    A sleeping cat can be a great remedy for stress. They are one of the favourite pets for thousands of years because they make a very pleasant company. Cat in bed can be a very positive influence on your emotional state. They make us calm and instantly give us that “warm” feeling. After a long hard day, you may find dozing off with your cat a great stress relief. So, this is certainly a plus for having a cat in bed!

    a small kitten in a bed

    Con: unsanitary conditions

    Cats are cute, elegant, dignified, proud, fuzzy … and… same as any other animal, they can spread infections and diseases. Due to our love for them, we tend to look upon them as the part of the family, sometimes forgetting that they can get dirty as any other animal. Your cat is your friend, but they also spread around particles from the litterbox (Yikes). Don’t worry, this problem is not without a solution.

    Regular visits to the vet, vaccines and maintenance of cat’s hygiene should put the risk of any infections at a negligible level. A housecat that had all of the shots, that is clean and doesn’t skip checkups at the vet clinic, usually doesn’t represent a sanitary threat. Just be sure to keep an eye on your cat’s hygiene. Even though they are neat, they are animals.

    One additional and very important note on this one: if you are allergy prone, all of these precautions may mean a little. People who have a sensitive respiratory system just can’t have a cat in bed without an allergic outburst. Even if you are one of these people, that doesn’t mean that you can’t bond with your cat. You just need to do it by spending more time with them in a different way.

    Pro: Animal's wellbeing

    Cats love attention! It is important to them not to feel rejected. We all know that saying that you don’t choose your cat, but they choose you. Many cat parents will agree on this one.

    The part of the cats’ brain that controls emotions is very similar to ours. Their emotional understanding of the world is very complex. Once a cat expresses a desire to bond with you, don’t hurt their feelings. Unlike dogs or other pets, cats need a lot of time to develop this amount of trust. So, if they do, don’t let it go unnoticed. Also, did you know that cats’ purring sound that they make when petted can help them repair their bodies?

    an image of a bordeaux cat in a bed

    Con: Sleep disturbances

    Cats’ sleep cycle differs from ours. This mainly means that your cat can just keep waking you up during the night. For people who are light sleepers or suffer from sleeping disorders, cat in bed may not be the best choice. Sleeping disorders and cats in bed are not a good mix. Not just because of you, but because of the cat also. People who experience intense and sudden movements during sleep can be a big threat to the small animal! Cat’s safety is also a question when talking about sharing a bed with them. Those suffering from certain sleeping disorders can keep disturbing cat’s sleep, so, they should definitely avoid having their cat in bed.

    Same goes for small children, they can be a treat to fragile animals.

    Pro: Relationship with the cat

    Allowing your cat in bed can help you bond with them. They will trust you more and have a deeper relationship with you. Having a cat in bed regularly can help you develop a more meaningful friendship with them.

    a small Siamese cat

    Con: The negative effect of the possibly different future arrangements

    This may just be the most important thing… Once you show your cat that they are welcome in your bed, changing this can have a very negative effect on your cat’s psychological well-being. They are very emotional beings and they don’t accept change easily.

    For instance, if you and your partner are now a young couple, you may enjoy allowing your pet in bed. But, if you soon become parents, you may decide to evict the cat in the other room due to the new arrival. In this case, your pet can suffer a lot emotionally.

    Or, a different scenario, you are talking about moving in with your partner that doesn’t like cats? A cat can find this new arrangement extremely stressful. Unless you make a different choice, of course.

    So, if you are not quite sure yet about whether something significant in your home is about to change, maybe it’s better not to get your cat used to sharing the bed with you.

    To sum up, let’s list situations in which a cat in bed is definite “no” and a definite “yes”.

    Definite "NO"

    • You are planning to change your sleeping arrangements in the near future.
    • You have a baby or a young child that is co-sleeping with you.
    • You have sleeping disorder due to which you may hurt the animal.
    • Your cat is temporarily suffering from an infection or undergoing a treatment.

    Definite "YES"

    • You are peaceful at sleep and don’t have sleeping disorders.
    • You are not allergic to animals.
    • You don’t have small children.
    • You are sure that your sleeping arrangements won’t change.
    • You take a good care of your cat’s hygiene.
    an image of a woman covered with a duvet in a bed

    How about some trivia?

    As a cat lover, you are in a very good company. Let’s give a small homage to all of the cat lovers. Here’s the list of some famous, talented and great people who brought the beauty to the world with their loved cats by their side:

    Francesco Petrarch – him and his dear cat were so inseparable that the creature was put to sleep after his death;

    Edgar Allan Poe – his beloved cat Catarina used to keep his sick wife a company;

    T.S. Eliot – well-known cat lover, author of the famous “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”;

    Lord George Byron – kept cats as well as many other animals;

    Ernest Hemingway – said about cats: “A cat has absolute emotional honesty; human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”;

    Marie Antoinette – had six white cats that followed her around the court;

    John Lennon – raised more than 10 cats;

    Mark Twain – at one point, had eleven cats;

    Charles Dickens – his cat kept him company in his study while he worked;

    Pierre Auguste Renoir – dedicated many paintings to cats;

    Alexander Borodin – had many cats during his life. One of them was named Ryborov;

    The three sisters Brontë – all three sisters were quite famous for their love of cats;

    Henri Matisse – when sick, he shared the bed with his beloved black cat;

    Nikola Tesla – enjoyed the companion of his dear cat Macak;

    Florence Nightingale – had more than 60 cats;

    Maurice Joseph Ravel – his opera “The Child and the Enchantments” includes a homage to cats;

    George Sand – apparently, she sometimes shared a bowl with her dear cat;

    Sir Walter Scott – devoted cat lover, once said: “Cats are a mysterious kind of folk. There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.”

    Final thoughts

    Having your cat in bed overnight can be a real cosy, warm and emotionally rich experience. Just avoid sleeping with cats if you are very prone to allergies or have small children. Also, if you move a lot and change sleeping positions during sleep, consider the animals safety. Remember that cats are very emotional. Once you give them that amount of attention by sharing the bed with them, try never to change that! Other than these things, there are not many complicated precautions that you need to take before allowing your cat in bed. The bottom line is, be sure to maintain your cat’s hygiene and you are all set.
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