We’ve all been there: you’re just about to drift off to sleep when you hear that familiar meow or scratch at your door. Yup, it’s your cat, and they’re wondering why they can’t come in and snuggle. It’s like that one friend who always wants to hang out right when you’re about to do something else. So, the big question is: should you let them in or not?
While opening your bedroom door at night can foster a closer bond with your cat, provide them comfort and help prevent separation anxiety, it can also present challenges, especially if you value uninterrupted sleep. If your cat lays in bed with you, it can trigger allergies and asthma, cause a potential spread of parasites and infections, or lead to accidents like cat scratches or lying on your kitty. Besides, your cat may become territorial in the event that you deny him access to your room.
The decision to let your cat in or keep them out boils down to you and your cat’s personality. Cats are unique, just like us. Some are super chill and just want a cozy spot on your bed. Others? They might be night owls, ready to play when you’re trying to catch some Zs.
Now, for some people, having their cat close feels comforting and worth a little nighttime play. But for others, uninterrupted sleep is a big deal.
So, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons. Consider your cat’s habits and your own sleep needs. Then, make the call that feels right for your situation. Well, this article aims to help you make an informed decision.
Cats are known for their desire for closeness and curiosity. Allowing them into your bedroom at night can foster deeper bonds and offer them added comfort. In this section, we’ll explore the benefits of sharing your nighttime space with your feline friend, it may worsen cat allergies or Asthma
By keeping your bedroom door open at night, you allow your cat to interact with you during one of their most active periods. They might come in for a quick cuddle, purring their way into a peaceful slumber beside you. This interaction can foster a stronger bond between you and your cat. Physical touch and closeness, even in the stillness of the night, can cement feelings of trust and love, making your cat feel more secure in its relationship with you.
Just as humans can suffer from separation anxiety, cats can too. Especially if your cat is particularly attached to you, being shut out from your presence for extended periods, like overnight, can be distressing for them. They might scratch at the door, meow incessantly, or become destructive. Keeping the door open can reduce separation anxiety, ensuring your cat feels safe, secure, and comforted, knowing they can access their favorite human anytime.
Cats are known for their stoic nature and often hide their discomfort or illnesses. Allowing your cat into your bedroom provides additional opportunities to observe them. You might notice changes in their sleeping patterns, any discomfort while settling down, or unusual night-time behaviors, all of which could be indicators of underlying health issues. Regular monitoring, even at night, can ensure you catch and address any health concerns in a timely manner.
Cats are curious creatures and love exploring new spaces and familiar territories alike. Keeping the door open offers them a change of scenery from the rest of the house. They can look out of windows, play with toys you might have in the room, or find a cozy spot. This kind of environment enrichment can be mentally stimulating for cats and can help prevent boredom. Playtime before bedtime is also important to promote good night sleep.
Cats have a strong preference for warmth and seek out cozy spots during colder months. If your bedroom is warmer than the rest of the house, or if you use heaters and blankets, your cat might find your bedroom to be the most comfortable spot. Conversely, in hotter months, they might find cooler spots in your room to relax. By providing access, you’re ensuring that your feline friend can find the most comfortable resting spots according to their preference.
While the idea of snuggling with your cat at night sounds delightful, there are practical concerns to consider. It’s essential to weigh the benefits against potential challenges. Here, we’ll discuss the reasons you might want to think twice before letting your cat roam freely in your bedroom at night.
One of the primary concerns is the potential for sleep disturbance. Cats are crepuscular, which means they are most active during the dawn and dusk hours. This could result in them moving around, playing, or even jumping on the bed while they are trying to sleep. The sound of a cat grooming, purring, or making playful noises can disrupt the sleep of a light sleeper, and the restless movements can be a source of discomfort.
People with allergies or asthma might experience exacerbated symptoms if a cat is allowed free reign of the bedroom. Cat dander, which is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats (and all animals with fur or feathers), is a common allergen. When inhaled or come into contact with the skin, these allergens can provoke symptoms ranging from itching and sneezing to more severe respiratory issues, especially for asthmatics. Keeping the cat out of the bedroom can help reduce the concentration of these allergens.
Cats often seek warmth and might find a cozy spot near your feet or body. There’s a risk of unintentionally kicking or moving, leading to the cat getting hurt or, at the least, disturbing your peace.
If something startles your cat, such as a sudden noise, their instinct might be to bolt or flinch. If you happen to be in their path or if they’re on your bed, those sharp claws might accidentally scratch you.
For households with kittens, there’s a more pronounced risk. Kittens are small and might snuggle up in spots that are hard to notice, making the danger of accidentally lying on them real.
Allowing your cat into your bedroom might increase the risk of exposure to parasites like fleas or ticks, especially if the cat goes outdoors or interacts with other animals. These pests can easily transfer to bedding or carpet, creating an infestation that can be difficult and time-consuming to eradicate. Furthermore, certain fungal infections, like ringworm, can be transmitted from cats to humans, and proximity can increase this risk.
If you sometimes allow your cat in the bedroom and other times you don’t, it might send mixed signals. Your feline might become frustrated or territorial, leading to behaviors like scratching at the door or meowing loudly for entry. This inconsistency can unintentionally reinforce negative behaviors, making training and establishing boundaries more challenging.
Cats have their unique personalities and habits, but if your feline friend has taken up the practice of visiting your room at night and you prefer solitude during sleep hours, here are some effective strategies to discourage this behavior.
Cats are often drawn to places that offer warmth and coziness. Invest in a good quality cat bed or blanket. Plush materials that retain heat or even beds that come with built-in warmth can be enticing for them.
Occasionally, add a piece of your old clothing or a used towel to the bed, as your scent can be comforting for your cat, creating a sense of security.
Ensure that their bed is in a place where they won’t be frequently disturbed, away from high-traffic areas or loud noises. Cats value their rest as much as humans do, and a quiet environment is conducive to their relaxation.
Cats generally detest the smell of citrus. You can use this to your advantage by placing peels of citrus fruits, such as oranges or lemons, at the entrance of your bedroom. Alternatively, use citrus-based sprays on the outside of your door. However, ensure any sprays used are safe for pets.
Placing double-sided tape around the entrance of your room or on your bedroom door can act as a deterrent. Over time, the cat will associate the unpleasant sticky feeling with your room and be less inclined to enter.
Engage in interactive play sessions with toys like feather wands, laser pointers, or interactive treat puzzles in the evening. This provides them with the physical and mental stimulation they need during their active periods.
By incorporating food puzzles, you make your cat ‘work’ a little for their dinner, engaging their mind and body, leading to a more fulfilled and tired cat as bedtime approaches.
Additionally, cats are creatures of habit. Try to establish a consistent evening routine. Feed them at the same time, followed by play, then a period of relaxation. Over time, they will associate this routine with winding down for the night.
Some cats prefer high vantage points, while others may seek out secluded, low-lying areas. It’s important to identify your cat’s preference. If they love height, consider a multi-level cat tree placed near a window. If they’re more ground-oriented, a hideaway bed in a quiet corner might be ideal.
Also, cats are often fascinated by the outside world. Keeping their bed near a window where they can watch the outdoors, particularly if there’s a bird feeder or some nature activity, can make the spot more appealing.
The chosen spot should be away from areas of high foot traffic, loud appliances, or anything else that might disturb the cat during their resting hours.
Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell for comfort and security. When it comes to their bedding, having their scent present helps them feel at home. This is why, if you’re cleaning or washing their bedding, it’s a good idea not to wash every item simultaneously.
A bed that carries a familiar smell reassures them that it’s their personal space. This is why you’ll often see cats kneading or rubbing their face against their bedding. They’re depositing their scent, making the bedding feel more like “theirs.” It’s akin to us using a blanket or pillow that smells comforting.
Placing toys on a cat’s bed can serve as an incentive for the cat to spend more time there. Toys are both a source of entertainment and comfort to cats. By associating the bed with these positive feelings, it’s more likely that a cat will become accustomed to resting and playing on the bed. Over time, as they play with the toys and rest on the bed, the cat will form a habit and recognize the bed as their preferred resting spot.
Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your cat when she exhibits the desired behavior, in this case, sleeping on her bed. By offering treats, praise, or affection each time she chooses her bed over other spots, you reinforce that behavior, making it more likely she’ll repeat it. This method capitalizes on a cat’s associative learning, helping her connect sleeping on her bed with positive outcomes, thus encouraging the preferred behavior over time.
If your cat struggles with sleeping outside your room, bringing her bed into your space can serve as a middle ground. By placing her bed inside, you provide her with a familiar and comforting spot that carries her scent, while still establishing a boundary. This approach respects her need for security and closeness to you, and over time, with consistent reinforcement, it can ease her into the habit of sleeping on her bed rather than directly with you.
Cats are crepuscular, which means they are most active during the dawn and dusk hours. This is a trait inherited from their wild ancestors, who chose these times for hunting to avoid larger predators and the harsh midday heat. Domestic cats may not need to hunt for their survival, but the instinct remains. So, when your cat gets the “zoomies” at 4 a.m., it’s likely tapping into this ancestral hunting rhythm.
Deciding to let your cat into your room at night isn’t just a simple yes or no. It’s a bit like choosing if you want a roommate who doesn’t understand personal space.
First, think about how you sleep. Do you enjoy having your cat around for company, or do you need total serenity? Some people love the comfort of their cat’s purring, while others get easily disturbed by any small noise or movement.
What about any allergies or health issues you might have? If cat hair or dander makes you sneeze or have breathing problems, it’s probably a good idea to keep them out of your sleeping space.
Also, consider your cat’s behavior. Not all cats just curl up and sleep; some like to play or wander around at night. If your cat is the playful type at night, you might end up with a few surprise pounces in the middle of your dreams!
Safety is equally paramount. If you move a lot in your sleep, you wouldn’t want to accidentally hurt your cat. Besides, cats might bring in some fleas or infections into your bed.
In the end, think about what’s best for both of you. Maybe try both ways for a few nights and see how it feels. After all, it’s all about making sure both you and your cat are happy and comfortable.