Sleeping With Cats – Is It Safe?

Is it safe to sleep with a cat?

The majority of cat lovers I know share their bed with their feline companion. While non-cat-lovers balk at the idea, most cat owners love sharing their bed with their cat(s).

In general, it is perfectly fine to sleep with your cat, but as they can pass on many zoonotic diseases (diseases transmissible from animals to humans). Make sure that he is up to date on his vaccinations and receives regular flea and worm treatments.

Many cats are active during the night, which could cause a restless night if he’s jumping around on your bed while you try to sleep, but in my experience, I find that cats generally settle down well when they are in the bedroom with their human companions. But do factor this in, especially if you are a light sleeper. Have a play session with your cat before bedtime, then feed him. He will be more likely to sleep himself after a hunt, kill, eat routine.

Who shouldn’t sleep with cats?

People suffering from allergies to cats or asthma should keep cats out of their bedroom as they can make the problem worse, but if you are in good health, there is no reason not to.

Babies and young children should not have cats in their bedroom. By young children, I would say children under 4 or 5, and definitely, don’t let a cat near a sleeping baby. While I have only found one suspected case of a cat smothering a baby, the fact is a 4-5kg cat sleeping close to a small baby does pose a risk. My children are now 8 and 9 and our cat happily, shares their bed on a night. Both cat and children seem to enjoy it.

Decide early

There is no point in letting your new cat sleep on your bed and then changing your mind two weeks later when he’s already become accustomed to sleeping with you. Start as you plan to go and if you don’t want your cat in your bed, then find a suitable alternative.

Kittens who have just left their mum and siblings can sometimes be restless and lonely for the first few nights in their new home. If he is having trouble settling some useful suggestions include wrapping a ticking clock in a blanket and placing it in his bed, giving him a hot water bottle wrapped in a soft blanket or providing him with a cuddly toy to snuggle up.

Do make sure that if your cat sleeps in your bedroom that he still has access to his litter tray, food, and water bowls. So if he is in there, sleep with the door open so he can go to the loo without disturbing you should the need arise.


  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio

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