According to a recent study, 62% of cat owners in the United States share the bed with their furry friend. What could be nicer than snuggling up against a warm, silky ball of fluff?
There are of course questions of hygiene, or a lack of sleep because of the animal's presence, and yet some people cannot go a night without their beloved feline friend.
Whether you have a cat or a kitten, it is important to have rules so that your sleep, and theirs, is not disturbed. Is it good to sleep with them? Where do they sleep if they don't sleep with you? What are the advantages and disadvantages of sharing a bed with them? This article will answer all those questions for you.
Why does your cat like sleeping with you?
You will have undoubtedly noticed that the moment you settle into bed, your cat will automatically join you. But why exactly do cats like to spend their nights cozied up with us?
Firstly, they love warmth. During the day and night, cats have a tendency to gravitate towards warm areas, even snuggling under a blanket or a duvet to achieve maximum warmth.
It goes without saying that cats spend a lot of time sleeping, 15 hours a day to be precise. Between snoozing and deep sleep, they spend a lot of their time relaxing. It's therefore hardly surprising that your cat enjoys joining you for this activity.
If they like sleeping with you, it's also because you give them a feeling of security. Despite their legendary nonchalance, cats are nervous creature and having you by their side reassures them.
But do not forget that the cat is a territorial animal that likes to make their mark and impose their presence. If they sleeps with you, it may be that he considers your bed as his. In this case, you sleep with him, not the other way around. At least, that's what he thinks.
Is it good for you to sleep with your cat?
Thanks to the many studies that have been carried out on the matter, we understand much better today why the presence of cats is reassuring for humans as well as cats. In fact, cat's purring has a very calming effect on humans.
When a cat purrs within a frequency range of 20-140 Hertz, nearby humans may be therapeutically benefiting from these vibrations. Purring has been linked to lowering stress, decreasing symptoms of Dyspnoea, lessening the chances of having a heart attack, and even strengthening bones. All of these contribute to a better nights sleep.
Source: Terra Femina
As well as these health benefits, what is more lovely than waking up next to your cat, ready to cuddle you and give you the perfect start to your day.
Why can sleeping with your cat be problematic?
Sleeping with your cat does have its advantages, but can also be problematic. It's up to you to determine what your limits are.
From a hygienic point of view, many veterinarians put forward the risks linked to the transmission of diseases. When a cat shares your bed, they will not hesitate to nestle up next to you, sometimes even licking your face as a sign of affection. But this seemingly cute habit can quickly become problematic if your little ball of fluff is carrying any diseases.
Among these risks is zoonosis which is when animals transmit diseases onto humans and vice versa. The pathogen is therefore transmitted directly from the animal to humans. Diseases from the cat's claws, staphylococci by licking, dermatitis … the risks are all there.
If you sleep with your animal, it is important to adopt an impeccable hygiene routine. Wash your hands before touching your cat, deworm it two to four times a year to prevent the appearance of worms (also transmissible to humans) and remember their annual vaccine booster. They must also be protected against fleas and ticks.
Another problem linked with sleeping with your cat is the disturbance of your sleep. If your cat tends to grab the duvet or move a lot during the night, you may wake up frequently, and your sleep will be disrupted. In this case, the soothing properties of your cat will not be very useful because you will not be sleeping properly.
If this is the case, it is important to put in place a routine so that your cat gets into the habit of sleeping at the same time as you. You could make sure they eat at a fixed time every evening, then give them certain times to play and blow off steam. This will set them up nicely for a lovely, long sleep.
Control where they sleep
Generally speaking, cats sleep where they want. They are extremely independent making it difficult to impose a specific place for them to sleep. But if you don't wish to share your bed, you can provide them with enough comfort for them to sleep elsewhere.
- Think of closing the door to your room before getting into bed, and prepare a comfortable and warm place for them to sleep. Over time, they will understand that it's their place and will be able to sleep by themselves.
- Give them a basket, covers, as well as a bowl of water so they can stay hydrated throughout the night.
- Cats generally like places that are higher up, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare several little comfy corners for them to snuggle in.
- Finally, cat's do not sleep for eight consecutive hours like we do. Therefore, it's important to give them games and something to distract them while you sleep in your room.