They’re soft. They’re fluffy. And they can beat the most efficient of bed-warmers. Why is it then a bad idea to let your kitty share the bed with you? Read on to know more.
1. Cats Hog The Bed
Pets hog the bed. A fact that almost all pet-parents will vouch for. But cats give bed-hogging a whole new meaning. No matter how tiny they are, they have a way of maneuvering their little bodies around you in a way that makes sleeping next to impossible for you. And sharing a bed with them also means being careful every time you turn, so as not to squish them.
2. They Cause Disturbed Sleep
Cats sleep for up to 16 hours a day. Which is way more than we do. And unfortunately, their sleep cycles aren’t the same as ours and they finish most of their sleeping during the day, when we are away at work They aren’t exactly nocturnal, but what’s called ‘crepuscular’ by nature, which means that they sleep way more in the day than in the night-time. If you have your kitty sharing your bed at night, you will need to be prepared for her to be wide awake and jumping in and out of bed and getting off and on other furniture, in the dead of the night.
She may even prod you with her paws for attention, despite the ungodly hour. And last but not the least, as she lounges on your bed, you’ll sleep trying to adjust yourself around her so that you don’t hurt her by accident. In short, your sleep goes out the window.
3. Increase In Allergies
Statistics say that up to 30% people have some form of allergic reaction to dogs and cats, and allergies due to cats are twice as common when compared with allergies occurring due to dogs. Cats sharing your bed can increase your allergies. And if your cat goes outside, it can bring pollen back inside on its fur which is especially bad if you have hay fever. While your physician may advise you against keeping cats if you have an allergy, you can find some relief by keeping them out of your bedroom and especially the bed. Using a HEPA filter is also a good idea to keep your allergies at bay while you sleep.
4. A Bad Idea With Babies Around
No. We aren’t talking about the old wives’ tale about cats sucking the life out of sleeping babies. Your baby’s crib may look very attractive to your cat, as it is soft and happens to be covered from all sides. But it’s a good idea to keep babies away from cats, as they can smother a sleeping baby quite inadvertently. And your baby’s immune system may not be strong enough to handle the nasty bugs that your kitty may be carrying.
5. Cats May Bring Litter Box Debris To Bed
While it is acceptable to let your cats cuddle with you and lick your face, it might be a good idea to make your bed (and possibly the bedroom) a cat-free zone. Cuddly and cute as they may be, your cats’ feet are breeding grounds of nasty bacteria that they pick up from the litter box. When you invite them to your bed, you are also inviting bits of cat litter and waste along with them. And these can pose a serious threat to your health if you happen to be immuno-compromised. Also, when you sleep with a cat, your exposure to the animal is for a much longer period of time and this raises the risk of catching bugs that they may be carrying.
6. You Can’t Keep Her Off The Bed
Your kitty can be pretty headstrong. Being a creature of habit, she may not accept changes in her routine or her environment lying down (no pun intended!). You can’t just decide to keep her off your bed and expect her to comply. She might respond to this loss of territory with destructive behavior like scratching the door and furniture or spraying. If you do decide to bring in a change, you may want to give her distractions like a cat-tree to climb onto at night or treat-filled toys so that she has something new to focus on instead of trying to get onto your bed.
7. Cats Can Transmit Bacterial Infections
Sleeping with a cat in your bed exposes you to the animal’s secretions and excretions and puts you at a risk of contracting illnesses that can result from the exposure. While a normal, healthy adult can ward off these risks, very young children, the elderly and immuno-compromised individuals are at high risk of contracting infections like cat-scratch fever, which happens to be a bacterial infection that can be fatal to those with a compromised immunity. As the name suggests, cat-scratch fever, also called bartonellosis, is transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected cat and can cause symptoms like swelling of lymph nodes, fever and fatigue, that can last for months. Another such infection is salmonellosis that causes diarrhea, fever and stomach pain in humans.
8. Cats Can Give You Parasites And Fungal Infections
Along with your cat, what you’re also inviting to bed, are the parasites that may be residing in her. And some of these parasites can be quite a pain. The fleas from your cat can bite you and cause itchy welts. So can mites, and cause an itchy rash. Also, parasites like roundworms and hookworms that live in your cat’s intestines can find their way to you by exposure to your kitty’s fecal matter.
9. They Can Transmit Protozoal Infections
There are a few other infections that cats can transmit to humans, although these aren’t easy to catch with direct contact. These infections include giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, and toxoplasmosis. The risk of contracting these can be avoided by keeping cats indoors, having them checked regularly by your vet and of course – keeping them off your bed.