Can You Love Your Cat and at the Same Time Lock Him Out Of the Bedroom at Night?

Cats love us unconditionally. This is what we hear and what we know. So if we lock our cat out of the bedroom at night or at least for part of the night then we are applying a condition to our love for our cat. The condition is that your cat cannot enter the bedroom at night because it will disturb your beauty sleep or annoy you or for whatever reason that the ban is in place.

cat wakes up owner

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

When I first started thinking about this I thought it was unfair if a person decided to ban their cat from their bedroom. I thought that the person could not really love their cat.

However, I’m coming around to the belief that for simple, practical reasons it may be sensible, on occasions, to lock your cat out of the bedroom, at least for part of the night. The part of the night that I’m mainly referring to is the early hours of the morning when domestic cats are likely to be active well before we wish to be disturbed.

We know that domestic cats have a different biological clock to ours. When we wish to be sleepy and dozy or sitting relaxing in the evening they want to be active and in the early hours of the morning, once again, the domestic cat’s natural instinct is to be active because this is a time when, if they were wild cats, they would be out hunting.

Therefore, because we are two very different species cohabiting successfully together it may be sensible to introduce some practical rules into the relationship. I don’t think this is necessarily hurtful to the relationship. I don’t think it indicates that the person does not sufficiently or genuinely love their cat.

cat wakes up owner

It’s a bit like a married couple who have been together for decades and who sleep in different bedrooms. The current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, sleeps in a different bedroom to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. They have a highly successful marriage. There are many marriages which are successful which are run along similar lines. It does not mean that they don’t love each other, it just means that they have found a way to be comfortable in each other’s company on a day-to-day basis. There has to be some practicality and pragmatism within a relationship bound by love.

This is my current way of thinking and if I’m right then, as mentioned, it is okay for practical reasons to, on occasions, lock your cat out of the bedroom at night. Your cat might not like this because your cat will certainly normally like to be on the bed with you and sometimes sleeping throughout the night with you. We normally get used to that and like it. But there may be occasions when you don’t want to wake up at 4:30 and mess around as your cat wishes. My cat wants me get up at 4:30 or 5 o’clock in the morning to go out hunting with him. He tries to get me up and, in typical fashion, uses a variety of tricks to wake me up and force me to be active.

Being a bit older as I am (in my late 60s) I am less interested in getting up early. I like to have a bit of a snooze in the morning. I feel that this displeases my cat, Gabriel. Despite that feeling, I do, on occasions, ban him from the bedroom in the early hours of the morning to stop him pestering me and being a bit naughty (he likes to lick the side of the bed which drives me crazy). It goes without saying that I love him dearly.

Do you think I’m being unreasonable? Do you love your cat and lock him/her out of the bedroom for a part of the night or throughout the entire night?

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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17 Responses

  1. Dee (Florida) says:

    There are a few permitted in bed with me because they don’t create chaos. The remainder are locked out but have the run of the house.
    “And, whatever happens. I’ll fix it in the morning…”

  2. Nicole says:

    Here is an example of the pet heater I had that never broke. Hope it comes out.

    Michael, it sounds like your kitten needs another boy kitten to play with at night!

  3. Nicole says:

    If warmth is the issue as with Ruth’s Jeff, you could try a pet warmer. It seems to use little electricity and cats love it. As to safety, the cats that used it lived to 22 & 23. I even used it to warm a cockateil and canaries inside in a snowy climate since heat rises. The one I had was hard plastic with a protected cord. About 11″ by 2′. Um, less than half a meter :}

  4. Cass says:

    In 1980 when we got our first pair of Siamese kittens, we left the door open to our bedroom for about a week – having a pair of marauders race across your face in the middle of the night got old fast. They were banished to the garage and that was the way it went for all kitties until we got our Singapura – he was too thin haired to allow to get cold – his favorite sleeping place was under the covers between the two of us, while we clung to the edges of the bed. Now, everyone gets to stay inside – I guess we’ve mellowed in our old age, but it is entirely possible to get banished to some other part of the house for the night.

  5. My cat access to my bedroom at all times. She rarely sleeps on the bed. Instead she sleeps all over the house. If she’s not visible, sometimes I have to look in several places to find her. Maybe from being born a feral.

    Sometimes she does get a little wild in the wee hours, but many times I just get up and play with her for awhile. Then we go back to sleep. If she wakes me up, I don’t get upset since it’s just normal behavior.

    If I tried to lock her out of my bedroom, I think she’d just cry, scratch at the door, and keep me awake anyway. So, I just go with her flow, daytime and nights.

    Sometimes we nap together in the afternoon. Then she lays on my chest, which is very sweet. I love the relaxed feeling of her body. Fortunately, she’s a small cat. It wouldn’t feel the same if she was 25 pounds!

    • Michael Broad says:

      I am the same as you Sandy except for the past weeks when Gabriel has been a bit too active and “naughty” (if that is the right word) at 4am. I have just had to keep him out of the bedroom for a few hours while I get some sleep.

  6. Alan says:

    If there’s ever a good reason to lock the cat out of the Bedroom it’s because you have a water bed.
    Cat+water bed=accident waiting to happen.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Now that is very sensible. Obligatory in fact! There are probably very few water beds left I would have thought. I wonder how many were punctured by the family cat.

      • Ruth (Monty's Mom) says:

        Ours was. We repaired it. Now we have a bed pad and a quilt on it under the sheet. In winter I have five quilts on my side of the bed plus the quilt, bed pad and sheets. His claws are not going through that, even with him leaping on and off the bed onto his new cat tower. Initially it was the fact that we had a water bed that made Jeff want Monty to be declawed. That would have been a tragedy. At first Jeff kept Monty out of the bedroom because of the water bed but I noticed that when he did sneak in Monty did not even go on the bed. He liked the tunnel under where the bed overhangs and my blankets hang over the side of the bed. I put a long pillow under there and that is Monty’s bed now, although he will come up and lie on Jeff. My husband is always warm so Monty likes his body heat. It makes Jeff sweat because Monty’s small body puts out a surprising amount of heat. Jeff says he does not love Monty, only tolerates him– but he never moves Monty off him even as the sweat is beading up on his forehead, he just lets Monty lie on him.

        • Michael Broad says:

          Interesting comment Ruth. The bit about a cat’s body heat is something I can definitely relate to. I have always found my cat warms up the bedroom substantially! Or at least it seems that way. I might do a page on it.

  7. Ruth (Monty's Mom) says:

    Monty gets locked out of our room at night on occasion. For the first few years we lived with him he slept in his own room at night and because it was all he ever knew he accepted it as part of his routine. But I wanted him near me at night so we started to allow him in our room. He usually sleeps under the bed, not on it. Jeff gets up for work at 4:00 so that works out. It’s just sometimes on the weekends lock him out of he will not let me sleep in. And lately he has been wanting to play at two a.m. He is very persistent, putting his cold wet nose against my closed eyelid. I do not need that kind of nonsense at two a.m!

    He just got a new cat tree next to our bed. We may regret that as he leaps off of it onto our water bed and it sloshes.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Well, Ruth, I am very pleased that you have a similar attitude and experience to me. It is the first time I have ever locked my cat out of the bedroom for a few hours but times have changed. I am older and my cat is still a juvenile.

      I do worry about doing it though. I let him back in after a while. But he might go outside and then I worry about him. Loving a cat has its worries.

      • Ruth (Monty's Mom) says:

        I still don’t understand the British practIce of having a cat flap. Monty can only go out if I open the door for him. He is not allowed out when it is dark out.

        When he is in his enclosure I leave the door unlocked, when he comes in I lock it– that way I know where he is. Otherwise I forget, he goes in and out so much. I have locked Jeff out there because I forgot Jeff was doing something in the garage and Monty came in. With Monty’s fence in place the only way back into the house is through the back patio door.

        It was several degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) yesterday and still Monty begged to go out so I opened the door and watched as he tentatively stuck his nose out and then abruptly backed up fast and retreated into the house.

  8. Alan says:

    I never lock my cat out of the Bedroom, how would I ever wake up on time without my furry Alarm clock? Her inbuilt clock is better than mine. I remember as a boy my parents nightly ritual of “putting the cat out”, something they may have learned from Fred Flintstone. I think they missed a lot of the pleasure of having a cat.

    • J Carlson says:

      Michael doesn’t need the bedroom for “kitty-love”. He does “it” while typing to you.

      http : / / web . archive . org / web / 20150923012029 / http : / / pictures-of-cats . org / my-cat-likes-to-have-sex-with-my-left-arm-i-allow-it . html


    • Michael Broad says:

      Yes, there was a time in the 1950s when people put the cat out at night. It seems so backward now. I have never locked my cat out of the bedroom until recently and then it is only on occasions because my cat is still a juvenile and he can be difficult to deal with at 4am. Plus I am older and grumpier 😉 .

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