I typically look at life from a cat’s point of view. Such was the case when I was talking with the folks at The Purrington Post about whether or not it was beneficial for owner’s to sleep with their cats. My immediate reaction was, "is it good for the cat?" They even quoted me in their recent article Should Your Cat Sleep with You espousing the benefits to both cats and their humans to slumber together.
Many animals sleep together for warmth and protection, others simply for comfort and security. It is a very natural thing to do, especially for cats. While I couldn’t imagine an empty bed and willingly share my covers with several fluffy critters, there are some people who prefer the solitude of sleeping alone. And while I find joy in waking each morning to a cat staring directly at me or pawing me awake, I realize it is not every owner who feels as blessed as I do to be chosen by a cat.
So for those who feel the need to correct their cat’s behavior, skip the advice in the infographic and try this method instead:
- Instead of creating a naughty corner (it is absurd and will never work) create a bedding area your cat finds irresistible. Why try negative reinforcement when positive works so much better? Try different types of beds, caves, cocoons and try placing them in cool places like corners, on top of furniture, next to your bed or next to you on your bed. There are many DIY ways to create beds from your clothing, towels, and linens and buying expensive ones are unnecessary. Cats nap often and therefore several bedding options work best. Our Hide and Sneak cat tunnel is a feline favorite that a majority of cats prefer to sleep in. Finding places they are more comfortable to sleep in than your own is easy once you put your mind to it.
- Giving your cat the appropriate attention when he wakes you up will make life easier and better, not worse, for the two of you. It is when their needs are unmet that problems are created and ignoring them is not the solution. Hungry cats should be fed, especially those with medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, diabetes or gi disease, and ignoring them is not only harmful but won’t teach them a thing. Leaving food in puzzle feeders or allowing them opportunities to forage or graze at night will completely eliminate the yowls of a hungry cat and you will be able to sleep longer. While you should not get up to play with your kitty, you can set them up with novel toys at night and create playgrounds in other parts of the house for them to romp in. Making sure they have activities that tap into their natural behaviors will help keep them quietly entertained while you sleep. Again, the Hide and Sneak is a great toy to leave out for cats at night and one they will enjoy exploring. Activity puzzles or scent toys strategically placed around the home all contribute to ways in which cats can entertain themselves without having to resort to asking you to play with them. If your cat consistently awakens you during the night figuring out how to fulfill his needs will eliminate the problem more effectively than trying to ignore him and it will be better for you both in the end.
I sleep with cats and it looks like I join the majority of cat owners who do too. The folks at The Purrington Post surveyed almost 300 of their Twitter followers and found that 88% sleep with their cats, so I know I am in good company. Are you one of them?