Those of you who read my blog know we recently got a cat!
She was my birthday present from the OH and she’s the best cat in the world (though I know everyone says that about their pets).
My number one rule was that she would never sleep in our bed, it was out of bounds.
This lasted two weeks.
When I was emailed by fitted bedroom specialists DM Design about the issue, I knew I had to write a post to see what others thought. DM Design have analysed the arguments for pets in the bedroom, and against. Here’s what they found.
The case for pets in the bedroom
The Mayo Sleep Clinic, a leading clinic based in the US, carried out a study. They surveyed 150 patients, of which 50% owned at least one pet. The researchers found that over half of those with animals allowed them to sleep in their bed.
Those who did allow their pets to sleep in their bed felt safer, more secure and more relaxed. Only 20% complained that their pets kept them awake.
Lois Krahn, the author of the study, commented: ‘Many pet owners view companion animals as family members that they wish to incorporate into as many aspects of their life as possible. Because humans spend considerable time sleeping, a pet owner’s desire to have animals close at night is understandable.”
The case against pets in the bedroom
Although the Mayo Clinic is in favour of pets in the bedroom, it believes that people who already struggle to sleep should kick their pets out as it only makes sleep quality worse.
John Shepard, the medical director of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, advised: “Every patient has to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping with pets and make a personal decision about the sleeping arrangements in the household. Some people are very attached to their pets and will tolerate poorer sleep in order to be near them at night.”
I’ll be honest, our cat does occasionally keep us up. Not really during the night, but more from 6am onwards. She wakes up at dawn because it’s her natural hunting instinct. It’s not that she does anything annoying that wakes us up, she just wanders around the house and the bedroom which causes us to stir. I always go back to sleep, so I don’t find it an issue.
People might also be worried from a hygiene point of view. Our cat is an indoor cat, so never gets dirty or has a chance of bringing in fleas. She doesn’t shed much hair (at the moment, though I’ll retract that statement in Spring) so cat hair isn’t an issue either.
We change our bedding often enough that the cat hair doesn’t build up too much. Occasionally she plays, and there’ve been times when I’ve woken up in the morning with her toys on the bed too.
When we first got her, we kept her locked in the spare room, but that kept us up more. She would howl and scratch at the door, so much that it would wake us up. It’s a more peaceful night to have her in our bed. And, really, is there anything better than going to sleep with a cat on your tummy? I don’t think so.