Is It OK to Sleep With My Cat?
Feeding them, caring for them, pampering them, playing, and pleasing them as much as possible is what a human does with their pet. It’s normal to let your pet roam around the corners of your home and settle wherever it feels comfortable, even in bed. But this often leads many people to wonder: is there any risk if I sleep with my cat?
These animals stand out among the most frequent pets in homes because they’re intelligent and affectionate. Many people talk about feline independence. However, cats often seek to cuddle with their guardians.
Sleeping with cats has its pros and cons. Although a healthy and well-behaved cat doesn’t pose any danger, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the ways in which sleeping with a pet can influence people’s rest.
Sleeping with cats has its benefits
The National Institutes of Health report that interaction with animals lowers cortisol levels and blood pressure. In addition, pets reduce stress and loneliness in their owners, increase feelings of social support, and improve their owner’s moods.
If you sleep with your cat, you enjoy quite a few benefits, such as the following:
- You strengthen coexistence: sharing a bed favors the relationship between the guardian and the animal.
- You contribute to the pet’s good behavior: felines demonstrate positive and affectionate attitudes.
- You promote confidence: companionship with cats is conducive to improving emotional security.
- You promote tranquility: defenders of this routine affirm that purring leads them to a state of relaxation, ideal for falling asleep.
- You receive warmth: the warmth transmitted by cats is advantageous for the owner, especially in cold weather. This is because the animal’s body temperature is higher than that of a human.
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What are the risks if I sleep with my cat?
There are those who express doubts about the probable risks of sharing a bed with a cat. The concerns have to do with how harmful it may be both for the animal and for the owner.
Far from myths that speak of the hygiene problems that come from sleeping with cats or the balls that are formed with the pet’s hair, there are a few necessary conditions to keep in mind before giving your pet a side of the bed. The following are the contingencies that may arise.
In this case, the allergens released by cats tend to settle in the mattress, even if you change the sheets. The consequence is the probability of developing allergies or asthma.
According to a study published in the Revista Complutense de Ciencias Veterinarias, cat aggression can occur if the animal feels threatened in some way. They mention that the common causes of such behaviors of corrrespond to the following events:
- Sudden sounds
- New individuals in the house
- A change of furniture or address
- A lack of stimuli or physical activity
- Seeing other cats through the window
However, an aggressive reaction in which the cat seeks to control the area in which he or she is resting may also occur.
One risk if you sleep with you cat is scratching.
While sleeping with animals provides some people with a more pleasant sleep, for others it affects the quality of their rest. This is reported in National Geographic magazine, which argues that cats have different sleep cycles than humans; they get up frequently and change their position many times.
It’s also possible that they wake up before you and prefer not to sleep again, which may force you to get up earlier than you had planned.
The danger of contracting a disease
The American Association of Feline Practitioners states that cats can be carriers of infectious organisms without showing signs of the disease. But reverse zoonosis is also possible; in this case, the human infects the cat.
Those most susceptible to animal-borne illnesses are children, pregnant women, and immunodeficient patients. However, the probabilities of this are minimal, as long as you comply with the cat’s preventive medicine.
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How to avoid risks if I sleep with my cat
The magazine Farmacia Profesional emphasizes that cat welfare depends on the care they receive. In this sense, it’s a good idea to comply with conditions that make it safer for health to share the bed with cats.
- Limit their walks: If the cat is used to going out in the street, the danger of them catching diseases increases. Therefore, it’s best to avoid exposing the pet to the outdoors.
- Brush their hair regularly: Comb the animal every two days to get rid of dead hair and check if the skin shows any problems. During the routine, examine their neck, behind the ears, their groin, and armpits.
- Use dust mite-proof covers: One way to make sure there will be no parasites in the bed is to insulate the mattress with a dust mite-proof cover. These covers can be washed in hot water and are ready to use again.
- Take your cat to the vet regularly: Veterinary check-ups are a must. Visit the veterinarian’s office once or twice a year. The specialist is in charge of vaccinations and deworming.
- Watch what your cat eats: The food your cat eats should respect sanitary controls. Provide it with food made with quality materials. If you give them raw meat, it’s a good idea to freeze it first. You can also cook the protein a little.
Sleeping with pets is a personal decision
Having considered the pros and possible cons, sleeping with your cat is a personal decision. If you take precautions, the experience is not dangerous. On the contrary, you will get to enjoy the loving affection and emotional support that a pet provides.
When the cat is new to the home, allow yourself time to get to know it, and little by little, both of you will adapt. In the process, it’s important to keep the house clean, vacuum regularly, and change your bedding frequently.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Barroso García B, De las Heras Gozalo M, Valverde Monge M. La alergia a las mascotas y a otros animales. Fundación BBVA. España; 2021. https://www.fbbva.es/alergia/los-responsables-de-la-rinoconjuntivitis-y-el-asma-alergicas/alergia-a-las-mascotas-y-a-otros-animales/
- De Pedro J. Higiene de perros y gatos. Farmacia Profesional. Vol. 20. Núm. 10. pp. 68-71. España; 2006. https://www.elsevier.es/es-revista-farmacia-profesional-3-articulo-higiene-perros-gatos-13095633
- El poder de las mascotas. Institutos Nacionales de la Salud. Estados Unidos; 2018. https://salud.nih.gov/articulo/el-poder-de-las-mascotas/
- Fortunet J. ¿Es malo dormir con nuestros animales? National Geographic. España; 2022. https://www.nationalgeographic.es/animales/2022/04/contenido-pagado-es-malo-dormir-con-nuestros-animales
- López Benito MJ, López Rivera E. Caso clínico de agresividad redirigida felina. Revista Complutense de Ciencias Veterinarias. Vol. 4. Núm. 2. pp. 33-40. España; 2010. https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/RCCV/article/download/RCCV1010220033A/22316/0
- ¿Qué puedo contagiarme de mi gato? Zoonosis felinas. Asociación Estadounidense de Médicos Felinos. Estados Unidos; 2019. https://catvets.com/public/PDFs/ClientBrochures/Spanish/AAFP%20Feline%20Zoonoses%20Client%20Broch-Spanish_B&W.pdf