Are you one of the millions of pet owners who sleep with their cat or dog? If so, you may agree with the fact that people who drift off along with their furry companion(s) log less restful hours than those who confine their pets to other areas in lieu of the bed. Perhaps reading the following will help you understand why this trend seems to stand true. 

Like many pets, my kitties are active little whirlwinds. In the evenings, I try my best to calm down my Tasmanian devils before turning in. Something peaceful such as gentle petting and dim lighting seem to do the trick. I am not a fan of yoga; although, I find myself practicing this activity as I attempt to fall asleep at night. At the end of everyday, I saunter upstairs to discover my kitty, Praline, curled up in the middle of my twin bed. Being the wonderful owner I am, I try my best not to disturb her beauty rest by slowly sliding under the covers and maneuvering myself around her body. Given the space limitations of my mattress, I think I once slept in the shape of a C to avoid waking her. Once I’ve finally claimed my territory, I should be able to drift off into a soothing slumber. This is not the case. As I read my magazine, I shift my foot ever so slightly, which seems to upset Praline, and causes her to start the kneading process all over again. Even the tiniest movement or sound leads to a death glare as if I were the one intruding on a good night’s sleep—heaven forbid I sneeze and offend her sensitive ears. Finally, Praline has resettled. It’s time for lights out and we both snooze for a few hours…until 4 AM, which is the hour when Praline scratches at my door with her legs crossed. Once I let her out, she races to the litter box and then returns to scratch at my door once more to snuggle back on the bed. “No more disturbances,” I tell her.

One hour later, I awake to the sound of purring in my ear and a pair of cat eyes in my face. According to Praline, it’s breakfast time. Given the second wake up call (5 AM), I naturally pull my covers over my head, face the other direction, and ignore her persistent disturbance. In retaliation, the kook climbs over me and sits on my head, purring even louder now. Yes, this cat is such a nut that she would plop herself down right on top of my head as if this is the customary way of asking for food. Again, I ignore her since I’ll be getting up in just 45 more minutes (the actual time my alarm is set to go off).

A few more minutes go by and I hear a whack on the back of my door—again. This time, it’s all fun and games as Praline knocks around the mouse toy hanging off the door frame. I briefly regret buying her any toys at all. Since this is the third time I’ve been woken from sleep, I figure it’s just easier to get a head start on the day. Praline finally wins and races downstairs to her bowl. Today at work, I’ll be a little early and slightly more tired—though, I can’t quite figure out why. It may be because I insist on sleeping with a cat on my bed.

As much as we cherish the company of our beloved pet, allowing he or she to sleep on the bed may be causing more harm than good. If you notice constant nightly interruptions or frequent groggy mornings, simply designating a different area for your little one to slumber may be the answer. Investing in a comfy dog bed, or constructing your own (DIY style) with fuzzy blankets will feel just as cozy as your bed. I bet your snuggle buddy won’t notice a difference, and you may gain a bit more shut eye during the night.

~Written by guest blogger and Lansdale pet sitter extraordinaire Jenny B! 

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