Cats sharing the bed disturb a woman’s sleep as much a human, but dogs disturb them less

It’s all a bit negative in that dogs were perceived to disturb sleep less than feline or human partners who share a woman’s bed.

Woman shares bed with cat
Photo: crisisangels, via lorenzens-soil.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

For woman, domestic cats are just as disruptive as humans when bed partners. So there. Dogs, however, reign supreme in the aspect of the human-companion animal relationship and it may be to do with the feeling of security a dog brings to a woman at night. I actually believe that men don’t really understand the issues that women face in respect of feeling safe and secure.

A study – Quality and Sleep Routines in Relation to Pet Ownership and Bedsharing – explored the benefits or detriments that pets have on sleep for women.

There were 962 participants in the USA. Fifty-five percent shared their bed with at least one dog and 31% slept with a cat. Fifty-seven percent of women shared their bed with a human.

Dogs came out better than humans and cats in terms of less disruption to sleep because of stronger feelings of security and comfort. It is also speculated that dogs are better at warning of dangers.

Another less disruptive aspect of sleeping with dogs is that women are more likely to stick to a routine which can lead to better sleep. Dog owners had earlier bed time and wake times than people who only lived with cats.

However, under an assessment protocol called the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) a ‘high percentage of participants did experience sleep quality deficits’. The researchers appear to have concluded that pet ownership contributes to poorer sleep quality but less so for dogs than for humans and cat partners who share a woman’s bed.

Personal experience

My personal experience is that my cat makes sleeping harder. That sounds harsh but I have to be truthful. He restricts my movements at night which makes it harder to get to sleep. I believe that we all have our pre-sleep routines and movements and we have to be free to do them.

Cat companions sharing the bed restrict the owner’s movements because she or he is concerned for their cat and modifies their movements. This compromise affects the ‘getting off to sleep’ process. How about you?


The named researchers were: Terrie Vasilopoulos, Christy Hoffman and Kaylee Stutz. Link to the study.


My cat died in my bedroom while I was still asleep and I feel guilty because I might have heard her die

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7 thoughts on “Cats sharing the bed disturb a woman’s sleep as much a human, but dogs disturb them less”

  1. Our cats have trained us to sleep around them, they rarely wake us.

    It feels wrong if they are not there, our bedtime routines mesh perfectly.

    The feline purr is a perfect lullaby

    • 🙂 I wonder what the truth is about men and women – husbands and wives – sleeping together. All the mags present this lovey dovey perfect world but in the real world it is a bit different.

  2. I sleep in a twin bed, and always allowed room for my cat, Mitzy to sleep next to me when she wanted to. Mostly she slept on top of my blankets at the foot of my bed, but that meant arranging my legs to accommodate her. She preferred sleeping between my legs, so many times when I wanted to move, I didn’t….so as not to disturb her.

    This last year 2018 she cried many times every night, and I was a wreck without much sleep. She cried at my bedroom door to go out, but I never allowed her to go out unless I was with her. I always taken her out twice a day. I had blood work and urinalysis done, which were good, except that she was “borderline” hyperthyroid. No medication needed. She also had 3 teeth pulled, and I thought that might have been the cause of crying, but it didn’t make a difference.

    I tried so many things in an effort to calm her, but nothing worked. She was eating and eliminating and maintaining her weight. So, the crying was mysterious.

    About 3 months ago, she started rejecting her favorite treat of coconut oil, and RAD CAT raw venison. I tried many different kinds of food. She ate a little, but began to vomit which she’d never done. The vet said she was now hyper-thyroid, and prescribed Methamizole. She had a reaction to that, and became hyperactive. When I came home on Oct 19th, she was in my chair, looking up at me with enlarged pupils. I picked her up, and she immediately wanted down. She dropped to the floor and crouched. Then she hid from me. I knew that it was time to let her go.

    I made the difficult decision to put her down because I couldn’t afford the treatments they were suggesting. They also wanted me to surrender her to a shelter so someone could adopt her. I wanted to scream at the vet! There was no way I would put my kitty back in a cage, after rescuing her from euthanasia 9 years before. She was a previous feral who was fearful of everyone but me, and considered “unadoptable”.

    Even though she’s been gone a month, I still have problems sleeping, and wake during the night wishing she was there. She will be my last cat, because I have to rent a room, and most people don’t want renters with pets. The best I can hope for is that my next rental will have a cat that I can love.

    I feel so alone without my sleeping companion and best friend.

    • I am truly so deeply sorry for your loss. I go to sleep listening to the heathens pound through the house playing games with each other and wake up careful not to move until I do a headcount to see who’s sleeping on me where. Because Kitten’s loss was so sudden and unexpected the one true thing I could say is we loved and cherished her everyday. No one ever walked by her without a kind hand reaching out to scritch a chin or rub an ear or head. How we view things and I’m tossing all scientific studies out here is if we choose to have a selfish heart or one that is giving , accepting and appreciates the love that our companion animals heap on us.

    • Oh my dear Sandy, your comment is so hard to read. I am so sorry. It hurts to read it. Can I make your comment an article in memory of Mitzy?

      “She preferred sleeping between my legs, so many times when I wanted to move, I didn’t….so as not to disturb her.”

      This is exactly what happens with me and my Gabs.


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