Do you sleep better with your cat or dog in bed?
A significant majority of respondents in a recent survey said yes. British polling and survey firm OnePoll asked 2,000 Americans that question, with about 70 percent saying they get better rest with their furry friend next to them.
Most said having their cat or dog snoozing with them made them feel safer and more comfortable, while 58 percent admitted they sleep better with their pet in the bed than their significant other. While most people like having their animals sleep in their beds, some said pets could disrupt their sleep.
Of course if you’re like me, you never really had a choice. There was no adjustment period when I brought Buddy home for the first time. He didn’t hide under the bed and refuse to come out, or dash for the nearest small space.
That’s pedestrian behavior for a cat of his stature. Instead, the little guy came striding out of his carrier like a feline Genghis Khan and immediately started conquering territory.
“So this is my new bedroom, huh?” Buddy the Kitten seemed to say as he mewed excitedly. “Oh, look at this bed. Mine! Hey, that’s a sweet chair. Mine! I’m just gonna climb up onto your desk and survey my new territory if you don’t mind. The desk, by the way? Mine!”
He decided from the very beginning that my bed was his bed, and while I was to be his butler, waiter, masseur and personal groomer, I would also make a fine human mattress.
Thus our nightly routine: Buddy watches me impatiently as I get settled in bed, then makes himself comfortable either by draping himself over me, or wedging himself between my legs.
Readjusting and changing sleeping positions are severely frowned upon. I swear I can hear the annoyance in Bud’s voice, and his impatience as he waits for me to turn over so he can attend to what’s really important — his comfort.
Do I sleep better with him there? Mentally, yes. Physically, no.
Recently I wrote about his new habit of getting “sleep scritches,” which came about after he realized he could get me to raise my hand while I sleep. It took me a while to realize it was happening: At most I was dimly aware until I had a dream I was petting him, woke up and realized I was holding my hand up while Buddy was rubbing his face against my palm and purring happily.
He doesn’t wake me up for food, since I set aside a bowl of dry kibble and a bowl of fresh water for him before bed every night. If he gets hungry, he slides lazily off the bed, pads over to his little dining nook and quietly munches a snack before going back to sleep.
The little stinker’s proximity, and his tendency to meow in his sleep, also means he gate crashes my subconscious while I’m sleeping and appears in my dreams.
I can’t get away from him, but that’s okay with me.
The OnePoll survey was commissioned by Sealy, the mattress company.
Do your cats sleep in your bed? Does their presence make your quality of sleep better or worse?