Is it OK if My Cat Sleeps in My Bed?
Few things are more pleasant than cuddling with your cat right before you go to sleep, but if you’re used to letting kitty sleep in your bed every night, you may want to rethink this. While not always dangerous, the truth is that there are, in fact, certain risks associated with having a cat sleep in your bed next to you.
Having your cat in bed with you each night might be comfortable and cozy, but before you decide to make this a habit, you might want to take a look at the following risks that you might be up against, some of which are more serious than others.
1. Allergy Problems Can Be Made Worse
If you’re an allergy sufferer, the condition could be made much worse by letting your cat sleep in your bed each night. Approximately 12% of all people are allergic to cats, but even if your allergies aren’t this type, they can still become more unbearable if kitty is in your bed while you sleep. For those allergic to cats, you may have to remove them from your home, but if you don’t want to do anything that drastic, keep your bedroom door closed and sleep with a HEPA filter device to keep out as many allergens as possible.
2. Cats Can Be Dangerous to Babies and Toddlers
While smothering small children is a relatively rare thing for cats to do, why take any chances? Sleeping with cats is dangerous because there is always the possibility that your feline family member will harm your baby or toddler. If you want to take those adorable photographs of baby and kitty together, do so while both of them are wide awake so that nothing bad happens to either one of them.
3. You Can’t Always Evict a Cat
Once your cats start sleeping in the same bed with you, it can be nearly impossible to stop the habit. Cats do not like change, so if you suddenly decide that you don’t want them in your bed any longer, they are very likely to respond negatively. They often do this by retreating to behaviors such as spraying and scratching furniture, neither of which is pleasant. Instead of placing them in your own bed, give them toys or even a kitty tree to enjoy while you go about your sleep.
4. Your Sleep May Be Disrupted Often
Before you ask yourself, should I let my cat sleep with me, consider this: cats spend a large part of the day sleeping, which means that it’s very likely they’ll be up during the nighttime hours playing and catching up on their awake time. This usually means disrupted sleep for you, which results in a feeling of drowsiness and sluggishness the following day. In fact, many pet parents complain about being very slow-moving day after day, and this could very well be the reason why. This is a very important reason why cats should not be sleeping in your bed at night.
5. You Could Suffer From Parasites and Other Insects
Cats usually harbor fleas and mites of many types, and it is super easy for these pests to be passed on to you. While pests such as fleas and others cannot actually live on humans the way that they do on animals, they can bite your skin and leave behind redness, welts, and a lot of itching. In this respect, sleeping with cats is bad for your health and is something to consider before you decide to sleep with kitty night after night. Feline intestinal parasites can also present a problem, making it best not to make it a habit to have kitty lying beside you at night.
6. They Can Track in Debris From the Litter Box
Litter boxes are not clean places and because cats’ paws are constantly stepping in it, they are naturally going to track some of that nasty debris into the bed with them. This makes for a less-than-clean bed — the one place that you consider it important to be super clean night after night. And even just a tiny bit of that debris can make you ill or even cause serious sickness, which makes it even more crucial not to have kitty sleeping next to you each and every night.
7. It Is Possible for You to Get a Bacterial Infection
While rare, people can get bacterial infections from the secretions and excretions of cats. As a general rule, these infections are not dangerous, but for those with weakened immune systems, they can be fatal. Sleeping with your cat every night simply increases the odds that this will happen. It’s more of a concern for children and the elderly, not to mention people whose illnesses have already weakened their immune systems. Once again, it is best not to risk a bacterial infection, which is yet another reason not to sleep with your kitty each and every night.