Kittens are excellent snugglers. Just the mere thought of sleeping next to your kitten’s warmth is probably enough to fill you with vestiges of bliss and tenderness.
However, as enticing as it sounds, sharing a bed with your kitten does not come without its caveats.
Sleeping alongside your furry friend exposes you to the germs and infections it harbors. It also threatens the young kitten itself, as it could be accidentally trampled under your weight.
Thus, in this article, we will delve into the risks involved with sleeping next to your kitten and how you might stop it from doing so.
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Is It Okay To Let My Kitten Sleep In My Bed?
Yes, it is perfectly fine for your kitten to sleep in your bed as long as the arrangement is mutually comfortable.
Even though the consensus on kittens sleeping in the same bed as their owners are inconclusive, studies suggest that a majority of cat owners prefer to sleep with their kittens.
Here are a few reasons why sleeping with your kitten might be advantageous :
Spending time with your pet is a therapeutic experience and is capable of alleviating tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety.
Petting your kitten and cuddling close to her releases a happy hormone called oxytocin while lowering the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
This chemical reaction positively affects one’s blood pressure and heart rate.
2. Increases bonding
Sharing a bed with your furball will enhance and deepen the bond you have with her. Your kitten will associate you with feelings of comfort and protection.
If you’re someone who doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with your kitten because of work constraints, then snuggling with her at night might be a good way to make up for the deficit.
3. Improves quality of sleep
Cats purr between a frequency of 20 and 150 Hertz. These rhythmic vibrations have calming properties and help in regulating your biorhythm while you’re sleeping.
Cat expert Prof. Leslie Lyons informs that the purring of cats decreases stress and blood pressure and helps one sleep.
Thus, sleeping with the warm presence of your kitten and her comforting purrs might be beneficial for your sleep and mental health.
Interesting Read: How To Get A Kitten To Sleep At Night?
What Are The Risks Of Letting My Kitten Sleep In My Bed?
While there are undoubtedly many benefits to sleeping with kittens, cat experts still advise that kittens should sleep separately, at least until they reach a certain age.
Cats are fiercely territorial, and once they get used to sleeping on the bed with you, it will be very difficult to change the habit. Your kitten could also be harboring infectious, bacterial diseases which can have an adverse effect on your health.
Let us have a look at the potential risks involved with sharing a bed with your kitten:
1. Troubled Sleep
Cats are notorious as bed hogs and crepuscular creatures, they are also quite active at night.
Data collected by Swedish CardioPulmonary Bioimage Study (SCAPIS) cohort suggests that cat owners reported higher odds of failing to achieve even 7 hours of sleep.
Thus, you likely won’t get much sleep with your kitten pouncing or leaping at you in the middle of the night.
2. Litter box debris
Even the cleanest of cats have litter box debris stuck to the bottom of their paws. It’s safe to assume that your kitten is no different.
If you allow your kitten in your bed, then you’re also exposing yourself to all the fecal or waste matter stuck to her paws.
3. Asthma & Allergies
Cats produce a multitude of allergens (bacteria that can cause allergies). Allergens can come from your cat’s saliva, dead skin, fur, or even urine. The symptoms of cat allergy include coughing, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing.
Jennifer Maniet, a veterinarian at Petplan Pet Insurance says ‘Adults and children with a compromised immune system due to certain human diseases may be at a higher risk for contracting diseases from cats.’
‘Do not snuggle up to your furry friend if they are showing any signs of illness such as hair loss, skin rashes, sneezing, coughing, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea’ she warns.
Thus, if you have known allergies, then it is highly recommended to keep your kitten out of the bedroom.
4. Fungal & Bacterial Infections
If you sleep with your kitten, then you are making yourself susceptible to all the fleas, parasites, germs, fecal bacteria, and other transmissible diseases that it is carrying.
Even if you’re extremely meticulous and clean your kitten regularly, there is still a slight risk of transmission. There’s also the possibility of contacting Cat Scratch Fever, an infection caused by cats’ scratches or bites.
5. Threat To Children
Cats can have parental instincts but that still doesn’t entirely safeguard young children from your feline friend. She could unintentionally suffocate or hurt the child.
Dr. Maniet notes ‘If the cat is startled or frightened, the baby can get bitten, scratched, or trampled on as the cat tries to run or jump away. Cat scratches and bites are common ways that the cat can transmit diseases to a baby.”
Therefore, it’s best to keep babies and young children out of the reach of cats.
Must Read: Where Should My Kitten Sleep At Night?
How To Stop My Kitten From Sleeping In My Bed?
Once a kitten is used to sleeping on the bed, it can be extremely difficult to reverse the accustomed habit.
Cats are possessive of their belongings and if they start perceiving your bed as their own rightful place, they will likely stick to it like glue.
However, with time, it is possible to change the habit.
Let’s look at all the ways this can be done:
1. Allocate an alternate space
If you don’t want your kitten to sleep in your bed, then set up another cat bed or a separate room for her.
Kitten-proof the room by ensuring that all the furniture in the room is stable and firmly attached.
Remove all sharp or spiky objects from the room. Cloak your kitten’s new bed with soft, warm blankets and hot towels. Keep her food bowl, water bowl, and litter box nearby.
Interesting Read: Why Are Kittens Sleeping In Separate Rooms?
2. Get your kitten used to the new bed
Make sure that your kitten is comfortable with the new bed or room before you shift her to it.
Play with your kitten in her new room for gradually increasing periods of time till she is familiar with the surrounding. Slowly start leaving her alone in the new space.
3. Distract your kitten
Whenever your kitten tries to sneak into your bed, distract her with toys or her scratching post.
4. Use catnip or other deterrents
If your kitten is still hard-pressed to leave your bed, then you might resort to using deterrents.
Spray only minuscule amounts of catnip as large quantities can cause vomiting or diarrhea. You can spray your bed with a natural and non-toxic cat deterrent to keep your kitten away from it.
Interesting Read: Should My Kitten Sleep In A Crate?
When Can My Kitten Sleep In My Bed?
It depends entirely on the mental and physical characteristics of your kitten, whether she is up to sleeping in your bed.
Some kittens are so small that you could accidentally roll over and squash them in your sleep. So you might want to wait until your kitten is big enough to climb up on the bed herself.
If your kitten is very energetic at night and is liable to disrupt your sleep, then too, you would want to arrange a separate bed for her.
Thus, the decision of your kitten’s sleeping arrangement is a flexible one and is influenced by both, your and your kitten’s comfort.
Tips For Sharing A Bed With A Kitten
If you’re determined to share a bed with your kitten, then here are some tips that will make the arrangement easier :
- Assign a designated space for your kitten on the bed. You can even use heating pads or kitten pillows/bedding to specify her space on your bed.
- Start a bedtime routine. Play with your kitten in the evening to wear her out so she feels more sleepy come bedtime. Feed her meals at night as it is easier to fall asleep with a full stomach.
- Use water, citrus scent, or cat repellants to prevent your kitten from urination on your mattress.
Interesting Read: Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my kitten sleep in my bed?
Kittens seek security and protection. If your kitten prefers sleeping in your bed, then that indicates that she feels comfortable and secure with you!
What if it starts crying at night?
Your young kitten will inevitably start crying for the first couple of nights in her new home as she has just been separated from her family and close littermates. The best thing you can do in this circumstance is to make your kitten feel as protected as possible. Keep a hot water bottle near her blankets and cloak her in soft clothes. Make sure that she feels at ease in her new home.
Kittens are wonderful bed companions and snuggling with them at night brings immense joy and comfort to all cat owners. However, this source of happiness can also be jeopardizing and hazardous.
Kittens are small creatures and get hurt easily. They also bring in bacteria and infections with them, which could be threatening to your health.
Therefore, if you wish to let your kitten sleep in your bed, do it at your discretion and after carefully evaluating all consequences.
Interesting Read: Why Won’t My Cat Sleep With Me Anymore?