Shutting your cat out of the bedroom at night

You want to shut your cat out of the bedroom at night or you have already done it. Quite a lot of people do this. There is no absolute right or wrong but for me it is wrong. Domestic cats are meant to be part of the family. You're meant to love them as a family member. You treat them as a family member, as a son or a child or even a husband! And you know what, you'll get used to your cat being on and off your bed at night. It might bother you for a while and then your brain learns to ignore it and you're back to normal. And your cat is happy. They really want to be there as it is the smelliest place in the home -- of you.

Montage by Michael based on images in the public domain.

To lock them out of the bedroom is a bit like preventing your wife from driving the family car. Or it's banning your husband from watching the television. Or it's withholding sex with your partner for the next three months. You are removing quite a big chunk out of the life of your cat. The bedroom is an important place for a domestic cat.

It is a room where the smell of a cat's caregiver is the strongest. The bed clothes smell of you and your husband or wife if you have one. The smell is very reassuring to your cat. Cats identify people by their body odour. It's perhaps the most important room in the house for a cat. Jackson Galaxy the famous cat behaviourist calls bedrooms 'scent soakers'. They are soaked in the scent of humans.

To lock your cat out of such a room is very unfriendly. It is unkindly and it is not the behaviour of a good cat caregiver. I'm going to be a purist here. I believe that when you adopt a cat you adopt him or her for their lifetime. You've heard that one before haven't you? It's obvious though. And when you adopt a cat there is an unwritten contract which states that you accept and respect your cat. You accept their behaviour. You don't qualify the relationship or place conditions on it.

This means that you accept them coming into your bedroom. That's respecting your cat. If you really, really hate the thought of your cat coming into your bedroom because she disturbs your sleep then you should find a compromise. Perhaps you might put your cat's bed in the corner of the room and gently encourage her to sleep there at night. That might work. It will allow her to be surrounded by the smell of her human companion and it would keep the peace, hopefully.

You will find that all the true and great cat owners allow their cat to sleep on their bed at night and whenever they like. This is because they want to please their cat. And they want to be near their cat. It's really great having your cat in bed at night particularly if you live alone. Even if you don't live alone it is perfectly fine. You should get used to it and learn to enjoy it. That's what respecting the cat means and it is part of cat ownership or let's rephrase that guardianship.

Forget all those stories about diseases being transmitted from cat to person and the bed is a place where those diseases can attack you! It's pretty well all scaremongering. The experts even say that toddlers should sleep with cats because it boosts their immune system. If you place a toddler in a sterile environment their body does not develop immunity to anything. Another reason why sleeping with your cat is good for you. And yes, your cat might be active at two or three or four in the morning. That's the way it is with domestic cats. They prefer to be active at those times and when you adopted your cat you knew that didn't you?


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