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Home > Cats > Should I Let My Cat Sleep With Me? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQs

Should I Let My Cat Sleep With Me? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQs

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are independent creatures, but many love to snuggle up with their human companions in bed throughout the night. The question is, should you be letting your cat sleep in bed with you? There is no right or wrong answer here. It depends! There are pros and cons of letting your cat sleep with you, so it’s important to consider both before making a decision that is right for you and your feline family member. Here’s what you should know.

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The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Cat

Letting your cat sleep with you can be beneficial in certain ways. For example, cuddling and close interaction with a kitty can help reduce stress, which is something most humans can benefit from. Your cat can help keep your bed warm at night when it’s chilly outside too. Sleeping with your cat at night provides an opportunity to bond and create a stronger relationship as time goes on. Overall, letting your cat sleep with you is a great way to improve your mood while bringing you closer to your kitty.

man is sleeping with a cat on a bed
Image Credit: NancyP5, Shutterstock

The Drawbacks of Sleeping With Your Cat

There are a few potential cons of sleeping with your cat to consider before deciding whether sharing your bed is a good idea. First, a cat that moves around in the bed can disrupt your sleep and make it hard to get up in the morning. If you’re feeling unrested after a night’s sleep with your cat, try a night without sharing the bed to see if it helps. Your kitty can always sleep next to you in their own bed.

Other cons to be aware of include:
  • Allergies: Cat dander can contribute to allergy symptoms, especially when the dander builds up in the bed and you are breathing it in all night long. If you know that you have allergies, it might not be a good idea to sleep with your feline. If you develop allergy-like symptoms after sleeping with your cat, it may be a sign that you’re developing allergies due to the practice.
  • Parasites: Unfortunately, cats can harbor parasites no matter how well they are cared for, and those parasites can be spread to you when sharing a bed, including pesky fleas. Fleas are annoying, to say the least, and parasites can be dangerous if not eradicated quickly. Indoor cats have less risk of contracting internal parasites and fleas but not 100% zero chance.
  • Zoonosis: This is the word for infections that can be transferred from animals to humans. As well as the above-mentioned parasites other infections can be passed on by close contact. These include ringworm, salmonella, E.coli, and cat scratch disease. The risk of catching a serious infection from your cat is more likely in the elderly or immunosuppressed people.
  • The Risk of Smothering: Cats that love to cuddle may lie on top of babies in the bed, which can accidentally create a smothering effect that is a danger to the babies. For this reason, if you sleep with a baby or toddler, it is a good idea to make sure your cat doesn’t sleep in the same room.
cat sleeping near man's face
Image Credit: Maliflower73, Shutterstock

So, Should You Sleep With Your Cat?

Deciding whether to let your cat sleep with you should be a personal decision. If you are unsure, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. However, in general, if you aren’t worried about the risks of sleeping with your cat as outlined here, there is no reason not to let your kitty sleep with you. No matter what you decide, your cat may have their own ideas so be consistent in your approach.

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Final Thoughts

To sleep with your cat or to keep the bed to yourself — that is not an easy decision to make if you enjoy cuddling with your kitty. Hopefully, the pros and cons listed here will help make your decision easier.


Featured Photo Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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