Letting Your Cat Sleep in Your Bed May Be Good for Your Health

published Oct 5, 2019
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Fickle little gremlins as they can be, cats give us so much: endless entertainment in real life and through the screen, inspiration for beloved characters like Hello Kitty and Pusheen, and, of course, snuggles, if you’re lucky enough to have a cat who won’t scratch you the moment you try to put your arms around it. But apparently there’s also scientific justification for keeping your cat close. PureWow compiled a list of reasons why you should let your cat sleep in your bed, and say no more — we’re already convinced.

One of the most surprising items on the list: Owning a cat may actually lower your risk of heart attack, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis. The study, presented at a conference of the American Stroke Association in 2008, examined over 4,000 people between the ages of 30 and 75 over a period of 10 years. Cat owners showed 30% lower risk of dying from a heart attack. Researchers behind the study expected to find a link between cat ownership and heart health, but they were still surprised by the extent of their findings.

The study was not the first of its kind, however. Kathie Cole, a clinical nurse at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Center and School of Nursing, presented a similar study done with dogs in 2005. That study showed that “contact with dogs helped improve heart and lung function in people with heart failure,” according to Medical News Today.

“I would be inclined to think that any animal that is perceived as meaningful to a person in a positive way would have health benefits,” she told US News and World Report.

Other arguments for letting cats sleep in your bed with you, according to PureWow? Pets have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. They also provide a sense of security, according to a survey conducted at the Center for Sleep Medicine, Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

You heard the scientists! It’s time to go cuddle with your cats.