Bed Cat and Beyond
By Abe Lerner
Should You Share Your Bed with Your Cat?
Stacey Cardell is facing a dilemma. She has grown attached to McPuffy, but is her cat overstepping his boundaries? Cuddling up on her lap is one thing, but parking in her bed for the night is another. Although Stacey appreciates McPuffy’s affection, she has to admit that lately she has been more tired than ever. A good night’s sleep has been hard to come by. Just last night at 2:37 AM, McPuffy began doing his best Pelé impersonation, kicking a ball back and forth on her bed. A prolific scorer, thunderous shouts of “Goooooal” were meowed throughout the night!
Stacey is not alone. According to an American Pet Products Association survey, 62% of cats sleep with their adult owners and another 13% sleep with kids. Although the statistics are clearly indicative of a popular trend, is it really practical?
For many people, owning a cat proves to be therapeutic. Studies have shown that being in the presence of a cat can prompt the hormone oxytocin to be released, triggering feelings of happiness. Research has also linked lower blood pressure levels and stress reduction to pet parenthood. Those taking it up a notch by sleeping with their pets achieve a sense of security when their feline counterparts are consistently within arm’s reach. Some insomniacs claim that they are actually lulled to sleep by the constant rhythm of the cat’s heart beating against their chests.
Many contend however, that insomniacs truly fare far worse when accompanied by a cat. As cats are of a nocturnal nature, they are more likely to awaken their human peers in the middle of the night. When sleeping with pets, even non-insomniacs endure many evenings without adequate shut-eye. As “night owls”, perhaps they really aren’t appropriate bedmates for humans who exhibit normal sleep patterns. Some cats snore as well, further adding to the chaos. The Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that 41% of sleep-deprived pet owners attributed their woes to hosting pets in their beds, while a whopping 58% stated that merely sleeping with them in the same room was cause for repeated nightly disruptions.
Additionally, pet allergy sufferers can compound their troubles by being exposed to a cat for the entire evening. Conventional wisdom would suggest that a nightly break would be advantageous. Furthermore, excessive contact can increase the chances of contracting infectious diseases spread by cats. The odds are diminished with standard casual contact. It’s also important to note, that cats are territorial by nature. Getting them to leave your bed won’t be an easy chore. It may be prudent to have that in mind before ceding them “territory” in your bed in the first place!
Let’s circle back to Stacey. Should she continue to host McPuffy in her bed or evict him from the premises? How would you advise her? We’d love to hear your opinion on the matter or your experiences sleeping with pets. Please share in our comments section below or post it on our Facebook page.
Abe Lerner is a member of the pack at NutralifePet, a division of Nutralife Health Products, Inc., which has been selling high quality dietary supplements since 1996. NutralifePet, the manufacturer of Ultra Joint & Liver Support with SAM-e for dogs and cats, caters to the individual needs of each pet. NutralifePet…caring about animals, one pet at a time…