If you’ve read our guide on the benefits of sharing a bed with your dog, then you’ll know that sharing your bed with your pet is great for both of you! From feeling protected to having your blood pressure go down, there are some great side effects to sleeping with your pet, and in particular, to sleeping with your pet cat.
In this guide, we’ll explain the reasons why your cat chooses to sleep with you and sleep on your bed. We'll then list all of the health benefits for you (and your cat!) of sleeping together and provide our top tips on how to make sure you're keeping your bed clean and hygienic.
Should I let my cat sleep with me in my bed?
The answer to this question isn’t the most conclusive – essentially, it’s up to you and whether you feel like the benefits outweigh the downsides! If your cat loves to snuggle up next to you while you’re in bed, you might be wondering if it’s even safe or hygienic for your pet to share your bed with you. There are several benefits (and a couple of downsides) to sharing your bed with your cat that we’ll go into detail here.
What are the benefits of sleeping with your cat?
- It can help to relieve stress
Those who own pets are likely to cope with stress much better, according to a 2021 study, largely because pets can help us cope with feelings of loneliness. Petting and cuddling your cat at night boosts the levels of oxytocin and reduces cortisol levels in your brain, meaning you feel much happier and less stressed after spending time together.
- They can provide comfort
Not only do they help you to reduce your stress levels, but sleeping with your cat can also provide you with a feeling of security and comfort. Their presence can help you to feel less anxious about being on your own or trying to fall asleep, which can be especially helpful for people with sleep anxiety – you can read more about ways to help with this condition in our guide on ‘What is sleep anxiety?’.
- Encouraging full-body wellness
Pets are proven to help improve the physical health of their owners by decreasing their levels of cholesterol and reducing their blood pressure, likely because of the positive side effects of improving your cardiovascular system. Touching and petting your animals also provides that calming effect we mentioned above, which can help to improve your mental well-being too.
- It can help you bond with your pet
Alongside benefits to you, sleeping together can also be very beneficial to your cat. If they choose to sleep in your bed with you, this means that they trust you and find that space safe. This increases the levels of trust between you and helps to build your relationship up quickly. You can provide emotional support to each other when the other shows signs of distress and this further improves your bond.
Are there downsides to sleeping with your cat?
While sleeping with your cat does bring with it a whole lot of benefits, there are some factors that you need to keep an eye out for:
- Outdoor cats can often bring in muck from outside that you’d probably rather not have trailed into your bed, so keeping outdoor cats out of your bed is good for keeping your sheets clean.
- Even indoor cats will bring traces of cat litter with them into your bed on their paws, and this can contain traces of cat faeces which are not great for your health.
- If you already have a pet allergy, sleeping with your cat will not help to reduce those allergies, in fact, it could potentially make them worse.
Cats can disrupt your regular sleep cycles – if you’ve read our guide to sleep cycles, you’ll know that interrupting the rhythm of your sleep isn’t great for you, and cats are much more active at night than we are. This means that they can keep you awake for longer, and also disturb your sleep more often.
Why do cats sleep on your bed?
If you’ve ever wondered why cats like sleeping with their owners, you’ll be intrigued to know that cats enjoy sleeping in your bed with you because it reminds them of sharing a bed with their siblings and their mum when they were kittens. It shows their affection for you and it’s also a way of them marking their territory.
If they choose to include you in their territory, then count yourself lucky that you have such a good bond with your feline friend!
Top tips for sleeping with your cat
If sleeping with your cat is something you’d like to make more of a regular habit, then why not try these tips to boost the sleep quality that both you and your cat can get?
- Wash your bedding regularly – having a clean bed is good for keeping allergens away and promoting good hygiene.
- Keep a consistent bedtime routine – this will help you both unwind and prepare for sleep, encouraging your cat to settle down at the same time as you and discouraging restless nights.
- Exercise your cat before bed – whether you like to walk your cat or just have a play session before bed, exercise can help get them to settle down in the evening. This will ensure that they move less while they sleep and get deeper sleep.
- Use a mattress that’s the right size to accommodate all the sleepers who use it, including pets. If more than two adults are sleeping in the bed alongside your pets, then opting for a larger bed like a king-size mattress would suit you best.
If a new mattress sounds like exactly the solution you need to get a better night’s sleep, why not use our MattressFinder to find your perfect bed and mattress today? We have a wide range of insights in our Snooze News section that can help you sleep better and make your bedroom the most comfortable and relaxing place possible.