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Is your cat the king of the mountain when it comes to your bed? Cats know a good thing when they sleep on it. You look forward to the comfort of your bed every night, so it's only natural your cat would as well. After all, it's warm, cozy and it's where you are. So, should you let your cat share the bed with you, or are you falling into a power struggle nightmare?
In or out
Many cat owners swear by letting their cats sleep with them. Others are firm believers that cats belong in their own area when it's time to hit the hay. Regardless which side of the bed you fall on in this debate, one thing is undeniable: certain cats make better bedmates than others. So exactly what's a cat owner to do?
Bedmate or bed ruler?
Aside from your personal preference, whether your kitty should sleep in your bed or not boils down to one very important factor – your kitty. Simple as it may seem, some cats make great bedmates, happy to sleep with you and considerate when they do. But then there are those that seem to transform into little monstrosities around the stroke of midnight. If you have a cat that's not a snuggle bug, sleeping with them may not just be difficult, it can also be painful.
Some cats will bite and scratch when they feel they're being infringed upon while sleeping. If you have one of these cats, you know what a dilemma it can be. Then there are other cats that begin the night peaceful and purring, but end up pouncing on you at an obscene hour of the night. Remember one thing: it's your bed, and it's your cat's privilege to sleep with you, not her right.
One common problem cats can pose when they're in your bed is that while you're sleeping, they're not. Cats are instinctually crepuscular animals. Their stalking skills and acute night vision are the result of a need to hunt at nighttime, when in the wild it's cooler and provides the cover of darkness, making it easier to catch prey. In the middle of the night when they're looking for something to stalk, you rolling over may make you the perfect target for your cat to practice her pouncing skills on.
This issue is only compounded when everyone in the house is away at work and school all day. Most likely while you're slaving away at your job, your cat is home counting sheep, or maybe mice. One way to make sure your cat is ready for bed at the same time you are is to make sure you engage in energetic playtimes with your cat after you arrive home. Tiring your cat out will lead to a cat that's more likely to sleep at night.
Not so sweet dreams
Ultimately, what will probably determine the type of bedmate your cat will be has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your cat's personality. It can be difficult to convince a domineering cat that your bed is not her bed. If you have a cat that's convinced she owns the bedroom, you can attempt to correct her bad bed manners by removing her from the bedroom for a few nights. Upon her return, remove her immediately if she misbehaves.
Some cats may eventually get the message. Others will not. If your cat simply refuses to behave, then it may be time to accept that she's better suited to spending the night in the living room than your bedroom.
A purr-fect night's sleep
You may be a person that's simply not comfortable letting your cat sleep on your bed, and that's absolutely fine. But if you do want to catch some Z's with your kitty, make sure she knows sleeping in your bed is a privilege. Helping your cat understand the ground rules of bedtime will ensure that you can both enjoy a relaxing night's sleep.