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Should I let my cat in my room at night?

Having a furry friend by your side while you sleep can be comforting. But is it a good idea to let your cat sleep in your bedroom? There are pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to give your cat nighttime access to your sleeping space.

Pros of Letting Your Cat in Your Room at Night

Here are some potential benefits of letting your cat stay in your bedroom overnight:

  • Companionship. Your cat may enjoy sleeping near you and keeping you company throughout the night.
  • Reduced stress. Some research indicates that the presence of a pet in the bedroom can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
  • Security. Your cat may act as a natural deterrent to pests or make you feel more secure.
  • Bonding. Allowing access at night can strengthen the bond between you and your cat.
  • Better sleep. Gentle cat purrs and warmth may lull you to sleep.
  • Convenience. Gives your cat full access to you and your bedroom.

For many cat owners, having their furry companion nearby at night provides comfort and reassurance. And some cats appear to enjoy the bonding time and chance to keep an eye on their territory.

Cons of Letting Your Cat in Your Room at Night

However, there are also some potential downsides to consider when it comes to cats in the bedroom, including:

  • Disrupted sleep. Active or vocal cats may pounce on feet under blankets, walk across you, or meow for attention.
  • Allergies. Dander could aggravate allergy symptoms for sensitive individuals.
  • Clutter. Cats may knock items off nightstands and dressers.
  • Dirty litter box. A litter box in your room could mean smells or dirty paws in your bed.
  • Aggression. Playful cat bites or scratches could lead to injury.
  • Accidents. Cats may occasionally urinate or defecate if stressed or marking territory.
  • Chewing hazards. Cats may chew on and damage plants, chargers, or other tempting items.

For some, having a cat in the bedroom is a disruptive annoyance, while others may not be able to tolerate cat dander or the mess. Setting clear rules and boundaries for the cat during nighttime hours may help mitigate some of these cons.

Tips for Smoothly Transitioning Your Cat Into Your Room at Night

If you decide to let your cat into your bedroom, here are some tips to help the transition go smoothly:

  • Start slow. Don’t give them full access right away. Try leaving the door open for short periods while you’re still awake.
  • Give them a designated sleeping spot, like a cat bed, to help prevent wandering at night.
  • Make sure their litter box is clean before bed to discourage any accidents.
  • Play with your cat before bed to tire them out so they’re less active at night.
  • Consider using a Sentry Calming Collar or Feliway diffuser to curb anxiety or marking.
  • Set ground rules like keeping them off counters or not swatting feet under the blankets.
  • Provide plenty of enrichment toys to keep them occupied during the nighttime hours.

With patience, setting clear expectations, and positive reinforcement, your cat can successfully transition to spending nights in your bedroom.

Ideal Nighttime Setup for You and Your Cat

To create an optimal sleep situation for both you and your cat, consider these bedroom additions:

  • Cat tree near window for climbing and perching.
  • Scratching post to redirect nails from furniture.
  • Cat beds in multiple spots so they can switch sleeping positions.
  • Litter box, ideally in a spot convenient for your cat but out of your main walking path.
  • Night light so your cat can see without fully bright lights at night.
  • Baby gate to keep cats out when door needs to stay open.
  • Treats or catnip sprayed on preferred sleeping spots as positive reinforcement.

Providing appropriate outlets for natural cat behaviors along with comfortable sleeping areas can help your cat settle contentedly into your bedroom routine.

Setting Nighttime Rules for Your Cat

While cats will exhibit natural behaviors like scratching, climbing, pouncing, or vocalizing, you can set some house rules to maintain your sleep sanity. Try these nighttime guidelines:

  • Keep off kitchen counters and dining tables overnight when unattended.
  • No swatting or attacking feet and hands under the blankets.
  • Do not allow access to cords, houseplants, or antiques that may be chewed on.
  • Place soft bells on collars to monitor location and activity.
  • Provide ample cat toys and activities so they’re not bored.
  • Keep petting to a minimum if meowing for attention at night.
  • Consider closing them out of the bedroom if they are overly disruptive to your sleep.

Start training your cat on these rules during waking hours. Use treats, praise, distraction, and timeouts as needed. Eventually, they should understand that nights require more muted activity.

Health and Safety Considerations

When sharing your sleeping space with a cat, be sure to keep these health and safety implications in mind:

  • Parasites – Cats can carry fleas or intestinal worms that may get passed to humans, especially young children. Keep your cat on a monthly preventative medication.
  • Scratches – Cat scratches can become infected. Clean wounds thoroughly. See a doctor if redness/swelling persists.
  • Allergies – Dander, fur, and saliva can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people. Use an air purifier and limit fabric surfaces that collect allergens.
  • Asthma – Cats may worsen asthmatic symptoms. Keep the litter box clean and limit dander to reduce irritation.
  • Bites – While rare, cat bites can cause serious infection. Seek medical attention promptly for any cat bite.
  • Chemicals – Keep all household cleaners, essential oils, medications, and toxic products safely out of your cat’s reach.
  • Second-hand smoke – Smoking around cats increases their cancer risk. Take it outside.

By adopting smart preventive care and awareness, you can prevent many health issues for both you and your feline roommate.

Signs Your Cat Is Disturbed by Your Bedroom

Cats are good at masking stress. But watch for these signs that your cat may not be comfortable with your current nighttime arrangement:

  • Excessive meowing or crying at night
  • Urinating on bed or clothing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Skin rippling when pet
  • Over grooming fur
  • Hiding under furniture
  • Aggression or unusual shyness
  • Refusing to enter your bedroom
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive sleep during the day

If you notice any of these behaviors, your cat may be distressed by situations in your bedroom. Try adjusting their sleeping arrangements to help them feel more secure and comfortable at night.

Alternatives to Letting Your Cat in Your Bedroom

If allowing your cat in your bedroom at night really isn’t working, try some alternatives:

  • Cat trees/perches outside bedroom door to let them feel near you
  • Portable heated cat beds placed in another room for comfort
  • Leaving a piece of worn clothing in their bed to smell your scent
  • Radio/TV left on low volume so they hear human voices
  • Night light in room where cat sleeps
  • Plug-in anti-anxiety pheromone diffuser
  • Durable puzzle feeders to entertain them at night
  • Catnip sprayed on toys before bed
  • Extra playtime right before bed to tire them out

With patience and experimentation, you can often find ways to help a cat feel relaxed, content, and secure at night even without access to your bedroom.

Special Considerations for Kittens

Kittens have some unique needs when it comes to nighttime routines. Here are a few tips for a kitten sleeping in your room:

  • Kittens sleep more than adult cats, so expect lots of downtime.
  • Have a litter box in your room until they consistently use it.
  • Play with them vigorously before bed to tire them out.
  • Feed them a meal right before sleep to help them sleep longer.
  • Consider a crate with soft bedding to help them settle down.
  • Discourage nighttime play with firm “no” commands.
  • A stuffed animal and clock ticking mimic litter mates.

With time, your kitten will settle into more adult sleep patterns and nighttime behavior. Be patient during this transition.

Making Adjustments

Re-evaluate your cat’s nighttime setup periodically and make adjustments as needed. Changes that warrant re-training your cat’s bedroom access include:

  • Introducing a new pet – Cats need slow acclimation to a new animal roommate.
  • Move to a new home – Unfamiliar territory can be startling at night.
  • New family member – Babies or elderly relatives may require cat restrictions.
  • Sickness – Ill cats may need isolation or closer monitoring at night.
  • New work hours – Your shifting sleep schedule may disturb the cat.
  • Remodel bedroom – They’ll need time to get used to the new layout.
  • Travel – Upon returning from travel, reintroduce bedroom access slowly.

Stay alert to any circumstances requiring you to re-establish night routines. Be patient, as your cat will need time to readjust.


There are certainly both pros and cons when it comes to letting your cat into your bedroom overnight. Take into consideration your own preferences, your cat’s temperament, and steps to optimize the setup for everyone. With patience and the right approach, many cat owners find a happy balance that allows them to enjoy restful nights with their furry companions in the room.

Test out different scenarios and make adjustments until you find a nighttime arrangement that promotes quality sleep and comfort for both you and your feline roommate. And be ready to re-evaluate as needed when situations change in your home.