There are many different types of cats. These cats differ from each other in appearance and character traits. What these different types of cats do have in common is that they sleep a lot. A cat sleeps on average between 12 and 15 hours a day. Many people buy a cat basket for their cat to sleep in. However, you often see that a cat prefers to sleep in his master’s bed. Are you curious why this is the case and what the advantages and disadvantages are? You can read it in this article!
Reasons why a cat prefers to sleep in bed with its owner
Besides the fact that cats are very active pets that generally like to play with their owners, they also need a lot of sleep. On average, a cat sleeps between 12 and 15 hours a day, spread over the entire 24-hour period. A cat doesn’t often sleep one long stretch at a time but takes several naps throughout the day.
During the day, a cat can fall asleep almost anywhere. You can think of the floor, the couch or for example a cat basket. Still, a cat prefers to sleep near its owner. Especially at night – when it is dark – a cat prefers to sleep in bed with its owner. There are several reasons for this:
- Cats feel safer when they are closer to their owner
- Cats like the warmth
- Cats value their territory highly
- Cats like company
One of the main reasons why a cat prefers to sleep with you is the feeling of security. Cats are predators by nature and are used to being hunted by larger predators. When sleeping, a cat is very vulnerable and cannot resist possible attacks. Despite the fact that a cat is in a safe environment in a household, it still keeps this in mind. Because a cat sleeps close to you, it provides an extra defence. Your cat trusts you and knows that you are not a danger.
Another reason why a cat often sleeps with you is because of the warmth. Cats love warmth and are therefore often looking for warm places in the house. The body temperature of a cat is 102 degrees Celsius, which means that a cat also has a great desire for warmth. It wants to keep its own body temperature well up. At night, this is one of the reasons why a cat prefers to cuddle up to you in bed. A cat will especially lie near your head or feet because this is where the most heat is released.
It is also possible that your cat sees your bed as its territory. Cats are real predators and mark their own territory. They do this by rubbing their head against something but also by walking on certain objects. A cat also has pheromones in the cushions under its paws that mark its own territory. When your cat considers your bed as part of its territory, chances are that your cat also likes to sleep in your bed.
Finally, it is also possible that your cat enjoys your company. Because your cat likes you and trusts you, he likes to sleep with you. Despite the fact that cats can often manage on their own, they also enjoy interaction with their owners. When your cat likes to sleep in your bed, it means that your cat enjoys company and likes to spend time with you.
Advantages of sleeping with your cat
So there are several reasons why a cat likes to sleep with its owner. But is it actually good to sleep with your cat? There are several advantages and disadvantages to this. The main advantages of sleeping with a cat are:
- It is calming
- It causes less stress
- It is possible to spend more time with your cat
- It provides warmth
- Cats purring is good for your health
One of the biggest advantages of sleeping with a cat is that it can have a calming effect. For many people, their cat is one of their best friends. Especially when you suffer from nightmares or depression, it can be very nice and calming to have someone with you in bed.
Sleeping together with your cat also reduces stress. It has been scientifically proven that cuddling increases levels of oxytocin. This is a happiness hormone that has a great influence on your mood. Cuddling also lowers the levels of cortisol, which reduces stress. So by snuggling with your cat in bed, you can significantly improve your mood and chances are you will get a better night’s sleep.
It may also be that your busy life does not allow you to spend much time with your cat. When you sleep with your cat you still have time for this and you can bond with your cat a little. You can play with your cat before going to bed and enjoy the company of your other friends.
When you sleep with your cat, both you and your cat get extra warmth. Especially in colder climates or in winter, this extra warmth can be very nice. Finally, it is also very wise for your health to sleep with your cat. By sleeping together, there is a big chance that your cat will purr. This purring is not only healthy for the cat itself but also for you. Purring reduces stress levels, lowers blood pressure and improves muscle recovery.
Disadvantages of sleeping with your cat
Besides the advantages mentioned above, there are also some disadvantages of sleeping with your cat. These disadvantages are:
- Your cat can pull you out of your sleep
- It is not always very hygienic
- Cats are difficult to get out of bed
One of the biggest disadvantages of sleeping together with a cat is that a cat can disturb your sleep. Especially when you are a light sleeper, the chance of this happening is very high. Cats don’t sleep the whole night through but sleep a lot during the day and are by nature used to hunt at night. The chance is therefore very big that your cat leaves your bed at night.
Besides, it is not always very hygienic to sleep with your cat. Especially when your cat is free to go outside, it can bring a lot of filth with it. Bacteria from the litter box can also be brought to bed. When you sleep with your cat in one bed, there is a small chance of a bacterial infection. Moreover, all kinds of hairs stay behind in the bed. If you have a slight form of cat allergy, this can be very annoying.
The last disadvantage of sleeping together with your cat is that it is very difficult to get your cat out of bed. Cats are very attached to habits and once a cat is used to sleeping in your bed, this is difficult to change. So it is important to keep this in mind when you decide to sleep with your cat.
How to improve your sleep when your cat sleeps with you
When your cat is sleeping with you, there are a number of ways to improve your own sleep. Cats do not usually sleep through the night. By playing intensively with your cat before going to sleep, it will have less energy and sleep a lot deeper and longer. It is also a good idea to leave the door open and have toys lying around freely in the room.
If your cat wakes up in the night and wants to play, he doesn’t have to wake you up for it. Buying a second cat is also an option. The two cats can then keep each other busy. Finally, it is wise to create a higher place on top of your bed. In this spot, your cat has a good overview of the room and does not have to worry about possible threats.
Do you sleep with your cat?
As the owner, you have the choice to sleep with your cat or not. However, it is important that you do not force your cat to sleep in your bed. We would love to know if and why you sleep with your cat. You can let us know by leaving a comment on this article!