A cute cat sleeping under a white blanket.

Sleeping with Your Cat – It’s Mutually Beneficial

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It might be Cat Health Month but how about how healthy cats can make their humans? Sleeping with your cat can have enormous wellness benefits. But as with many parenting decisions, there are some drawbacks with giving cute cats your doona space.

For example, if you do decide to let your meow in bed with you when they’re still small, make sure it’s an informed decision. They won’t feel happy if you change your mind later…

Of course, letting your fur-legged friend share your bed is ultimately up to you, then your cat. Or is that just your cat? 😉

Here are some facts to help you decide…

Black and white cat curled up on white bed.

Firstly: cats’ body temperature

Whether yours is a Ragdoll cat or a Maine Coon, all cats have a higher body temperature than we do. This slight temperature difference can make sleeping so much cosier. Your cat loves the warmth they get from you too. Cats love to be where the heat is.

Have you ever seen a cat sitting next to a ray of sun? Exactly, the answer is no. Rather, cats will always sit directly in the light to get the maximum temperature benefit, even on a warm day.

Why do cats like to sleep with their owners?

Sleeping with your cute cat can be comforting and provide a sense of security. These benefits are reciprocal. Cats are by instinct always on the alert, so when they sleep in your bed it means they feel secure with you.

More than 40% of Australians let their pets sleep in bed with them.

Kittens sleep in litters, so by sleeping with you your cat is showing affection and creating a deeper bond with you. In addition, cats are territorial. By sharing your bed, your feline bestie is saying “you’re my person.” Knowing you’re wanted and needed makes for a good night’s sleep.

Cat sleeps next to its owner on bed.

Why do cats sleep on you?

The reason many cute cats prefer to stay near our head is that we tend to move our arm and legs when we’re asleep, which is disturbing to our feline friends.

Having said that, cats have a reputation for sleeping on faces, which is dangerous for children and babies. But do note that children also benefit from the security and companionship of having a cat sleeping with them. (Read about the benefits of children growing up with pets). Just make sure they’re old enough to push puss off if necessary.

Is it good to sleep with cats?

Of course, if you have an outdoor cat, you might find co-sleeping with them leads to all sorts of weird debris landing up under the covers. If this is a problem but you’d still like your cat in your bed, try a cat basket on top as a deterrent.

Then there’s also the possibility of finding a dead mouse in your bed or worse… Cat behaviour can be quirky sometimes.

Why doesn’t my cat sleep with me?

There are several reasons for your cat not wanting to sleep with you at night:

  • You might be a serial fidgeter and your cute cat probably doesn’t like being kicked or shoved during their sleep. When they’re comfortable, cats have little patience for being disturbed.
  • It may hurt your feelings, but your cat may have found a better place to sleep than in your bed.
  • Cats prefer to sleep up high. Reason being, they need to be somewhere where they can spot danger approaching.
  • When you have an ageing cat, some other places might seem like a better choice than your bed since it’s getting harder and harder for them to jump up and down. Perhaps they’re experiencing pain or discomfort due to a health issue. A trip to the vet should shed light on their behaviour.
Siamese kitten lies on pink blanket.

Interested in learning more about cat health issues? Here are some articles you may find helpful:

  1. Average Cat Weight: Is Yours Under, Over or Just Right?
  2. What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?
  3. Common Plants That Are Toxic to Pets
  4. Should You Desex Your Cat?

Health concerns re: sleeping with your cat

Despite cats usually being easy pets to look after, sometimes people have allergic reactions to them (read about a vaccine for those allergic to cats). If so, sleeping with a cat can make symptoms worse. Unwanted cat fur, fleabites, germs and parasites can also be a concern for co-sleeping with your cat.

Happily, routine pet care such as grooming, worm/flea treatments, and vaccinations can help curb these risks. So, regular visits to the vet could improve your chances of peaceful co-sleeping with your feline bestie.

Are cats nocturnal?

Not 100%. So, while many cat parents might have concerns about being kept awake at night, it’s noteworthy that cats are actually crepuscular. This means they’re most active at dusk and dawn (when rats and mice are most active).

So, while it’s true that cats are more active than humans are at night, this can be curbed by routine playtime in the evenings. An hour or two of playtime before bedtime (your bedtime) will help allow you and your fur-legged bestie to lock into a similar sleep routine.

Tabby cats fall asleep on each other.

Does a cat’s purr have healing powers?

Yes. A cat’s purr operates at between 20 and 30 vibrations per second. The constant rhythmic vibration helps to relieve stress and lower blood pressure. In fact, purr frequencies correspond to vibrational/electrical frequencies used to treat many painful conditions.

These include:   

  • Bone growth
  • Healing fractures
  • Pain reduction
  • Swelling
  • Muscle growth
  • Muscle strain
  • Joint flexibility
  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)

To sum it up, cats may purr to heal themselves and stay healthy, but their purrs also provide us with healing benefits too. In fact, cat owners may have 40% less risk of having a heart attack.  

Lastly, have you ever wondered is a cat purr really peaceful? As it turns out, a cat’s purr is used to communicate a multitude of feelings, from fear to a request for food and of course contentment.

What all the purrs have in common is that they promote wellness, making them an ideal sleep tonic.

A good night’s sleep for everyone

The best night’s sleep often comes from knowing your loved ones are protected. Pet insurance protects your pocket so you can give your cat or dog medical protection when they need it the most.

Cover your cat and your pocket for accidents, illnesses, infections, third party property damage and more via our award-winning cat insurance plans.

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