Sharing a bed with your cat can have both advantages and disadvantages. What to think about, according to health professionals
Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, but those who believe this have obviously never had a close cat relationship.
Even while each cat is unique, cats all share a few characteristics. Cats have super-kitty skills that allow them to scale any obstacle, but they can also sneak into our hearts and adopt us, bringing us comfort and joy.
Cuddling in bed at night is one option for doing that. Some cats might not be interested, whilst others would want to get as near to humans as they can. And a lot of people appear to prefer it that way.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 50% of pet owners in the US let their animals lie in their beds.
There are clearly benefits to letting your cat sleep with you each night, according to Bill Fish, cofounder of Tuck.com, including a feeling of physical and mental security for both of you.
He added that having a guest in bed with you gives warmth and comfort and lowers stress as well. You feel calmed and fall asleep more quickly when you can feel your cat breathing rhythmically.
But whether your cat snoozes peacefully all through the night is a different matter. In addition to disrupting your sleep, they also pose a variety of other health risks in your bed.
a cat’s impact on your sleep
Dr. Steve Weinberg, the founder of 911 VETS, stated that having your cat sleep on your bed with you might feel wonderful and comfortable, with some cats physically sleeping on your head, possibly reducing anxiety and night terrors.
The drawback, he explained, is that cats are nocturnal creatures. “The human sleeper may be awakened at a relatively early hour or have their sleep interrupted in the early hours of the night.”
Because of this, according to Weinberg, sleeping with a cat can be harmful to a person’s regular wake-sleep cycles.
Many cats enjoy playing, and they’ll claw or even bite at anyone moving around under coverings, the man claimed. Other issues include allergies to cat dander or the possibility of getting bitten by fleas if fleas are not kept under control.
Although cats may desire to play the role of caretaker in the household by cuddling up to babies and young children, experts advise against letting cats spend the night with the youngest members of your family.
There is a chance that a cat could unintentionally suffocate a baby by resting on its chest or face, according to Dr. Jennifer Maniet, a staff veterinarian at Petplan Pet Insurance.
She warned that if the cat is startled or scared, it may try to flee and may bite, scratch, or step on the baby. “Cat bites and scratches are frequent ways that a cat might infect a baby with illnesses.”
For advice on how to keep the cats out of the nursery, Maniet advises speaking with your veterinarian.
Next, consider whether your cat sleeps in the same bed as any other animals except people. While some cats would not mind, others might perceive them as a threat, which could cause unwelcome chaos in the bedroom.
According to Fish, having your cat in your bed might also encourage dominance in the pet. If someone else gets into the bed, they could become upset because they start to feel like it is their domain.
Outdoor versus indoor cats
Some cats lead dual indoor-outdoor lives, while others are content to live an indoor-only existence and rule their respective interior kingdoms. This may provide several dangers.
Maniet claims that cats kept outside are more likely to come into contact with disease vectors. Other outside cats, feral cats, prey, worms, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and a wide variety of other insects are included in this.
All of these carriers have the capacity to spread infections like viruses, germs, parasites, and many other ailments, according to Maniet. It’s also crucial to remember that indoor cats’ litter boxes can harbor pathogens that could infect the family’s people.
What kind of illnesses? Giardiasis, ringworm, toxoplasmosis, the plague—yes, that plague—and hantavirus infection, according to Maniet. This is in addition to the common allergies that pet dander might produce.
Professionals in the pet industry advise routinely inspecting your cat’s fur and skin for potentially disease-spreading piggy-backers throughout the summer, when ticks and other parasites are more active. Health-wise, both cats and people will benefit from this.
The CDC advises pet owners to frequently take their cats to the doctor so they are up to date on their immunizations in order to avoid the risks of catching these health hazards from your cat.
What to think about before snoozing with a cat
Although a cat’s independence may give the impression that it will do whatever it pleases, many of our furry family members like cuddling. Before we do that, Maniet adds there are a few things to think about.
Again, the first is the comparatively low risk of spreading diseases. Talking to your human doctors, including pediatricians, can help reduce that.
According to Maniet, people who have had certain human illnesses that have weakened their immune systems may be more susceptible to getting infections from animals.
Nevertheless, there are some unmistakable indications that you should avoid the cat since it might be experiencing health problems of its own.
If your pet exhibits any symptoms of disease, such as hair loss, skin rashes, sneezing, coughing, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, to name a few, she advised against cuddling with them.
Take your cat to the vet in situations like this to ensure that they have given you a clean bill of health before bringing your pet into the bedroom.
To evaluate your pet’s general health state and to ensure they remain disease-free, Maniet advised that you should always get your pet checked as recommended by your veterinarian.
There are many unique moments that can be shared with our furry family members, whether they be indoor or outdoor cats.
We may prevent health concerns and guarantee that we have many more purr-fect moments with our favorite cats by being aware of the potential hazards associated with sharing our beds with them.