Does your cat get to sleep in the bed with you? I’ve experienced
all sides of this issue. When I was
single, I had cats. They got to share
the bed and it was no big deal. They
loved it, and it made me happy to
see them happy.
But things changed when two
humans started sleeping in the bed.
We let the cats join us at first, but
with a full-size bed — and cats who
either didn’t move at all or moved in
ways to wake us up — we discovered
that the quality of our sleep had gone
down the drain. I love my sleep, and I
was forced to reconsider the issues of
cats getting to sleep on the bed.
Recently I met a nice woman who
does a lot of work in foster and cat
rescue, and she seemed surprised that
I shut my cats out of the bedroom.
But I’ve learned that I really don’t
function that well without good sleep.
And how can I take care of my cats if
I’m not functioning at my best? See? It
always comes back to the cats.
Here are some things to consider if
you’re thinking about letting the cats
on the bed:
Are you getting any sleep? Is having your cats on the bed worth sacrificing a full night of sleep? Only you can
answer that. Some fortunate people
need little or no sleep. I envy these
people. Oh, the stuff I could get done
if I didn’t need eight hours of sleep.
Are you getting enough sleep? Is
your lovely deep REM sleep interrupted suddenly when your bed-sleeping
cat decides to jump on your face?
Does the tender pat pat or scratch
scratch of a gentle paw wake you up
earlier than usual? But more important, does this bother you? If not,
great! If I could go without sleep, I
would surely and generously share the
bed with my cats.
Are your cats happy? If sleep
doesn’t matter, or if you sleep so
deeply that no cat could wake you up,
consider whether bedtime privileges
make your cat deliriously happy and
add to his quality of life. Maybe that
sounds over the top, but honestly, I’ve
had cats that light up for hours after
getting coveted time on the bed with
us. Note that in our household, bedtime with people in the bed seems to
be much more special than time napping on a bed devoid of humans.
Does one cat need special atten-
tion? I have occasionally used the bed
to give a cat needed attention in cer-
tain situations. For example, if one cat
is really tired out with the arrival of
a new kitten, I might give him a break
from the kitten by allowing him some
nighttime bedtime, even if I know that
he’s going to get very lovey at about
4 a.m. with the intention to wake me
up. When my cat, Chester, was griev-
ing the loss of his buddy, I gave him
lots of bed time. He needed the extra
attention. I’m not completely rigid
about keeping cats out of the bed
when we are sleeping!
Do your cats turn into concrete
bricks on the bed? It’s one of those
magic tricks that cats pull. If you can’t
sleep because you run into a feline
brick every time you toss and turn,
well, the cat might have to get off the
bed. Some cats have also perfected
the art of being fluid concrete bricks,
as they drape themselves over your
sleeping body and refuse to move.
Do your cats make a fuss at the
closed bedroom door? If you have
clever cats who have figured out how
to make noise on the other side of
the bedroom door, letting the cats on
the bed might be the lesser of two
evils. You decide!
Catherine Holm is a regular writer for Catster.
com and the author of The Great Purr, Driving
With Cats, and two short story collections.
She writes, teaches yoga, and plays outside
in Vermont, where she lives with her husband
and six wonderful indoor cats.
BY CATHERINE HOLM
CATSTER DEBATE YOU
I wouldn’t have it any other
way. My bed is also their
bed. They do have cat
beds, but they usually sleep
beside me, especially in
— Jenni Brady
Yes, and it works for us.
Shutting the bedroom door
would result in nonstop
pushing and scratching on
— Lynn Edwards
Every night, there are three
cats sleeping on top of or
right next to me.
— Sandra Lipo
The door is open a crack
every night, and they do
what they want. However, I
almost always wake up with
them sleeping with me.
— Becca McKinnon
Do You Let Your Cats
Sleep on the Bed?