Pets Sleep Together: Are They Pals?

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Jonesy (JRT) tolerates Lucy in his bed

Jonesy (JRT) tolerates Lucy in his bed

Sophia Yin, DVM, MS December 10, 2009.

Clients frequently tell me that they think their cat or dogs like each other but they aren't sure. They sometimes point out that their pets sleep together, but does that mean they're best friends? It could but it doesn't necessarily. They could just be sharing beds because it's comfortable or convenient. True “friends,” actively seek each other and hang out, play together, and perform affiliative gestures such as mutual grooming.

Here's a photo of Jonesy and his bratty younger, but bigger sister, Lucy. Jonesy pretty much just tolerates her. Sometimes he puts up with her pestering, and other times he exercises his Sailor's mouth. When she's in the more comfortable bed he sometimes joins her because that's the most comfortable spot.

Here's Jonesy with Homer (tricolor JRT) and a visiting JRT. Homer would actively seek Jonesy out and lie next to him. That would sometimes make Jonesy grumble under his breath. Homer did indeed look up to Jonesy. But, as usual, Jonesy could care less about Homer.

Tell me about your pets who sometimes share a bed. Are they best friends or just convenient buddies?

Jonesy puts up with two others sharing his bed

Jonesy puts up with two others sharing his bed

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4 responses to “Pets Sleep Together: Are They Pals?

  1. I don’t know… my cat seems to get annoyed with the puppy constantly pestering him to play… although he eventually gets coaxed into a playfight… which usually ends up with the cat hissing and clawing the dog’s face and the dog yelping because the dog got too rough and tried to grab the cat’s head / neck or stepped on the cat… but it’s the cat that always seeks out the dog to sleep together. Whenever the dog is curled up he goes and curls up on her, not just next to her. The dog seems to get agitated and a bit annoyed at the cat using her as a pillow…but eventually gives up and lets him sleep there. Maybe the cat does it for revenge for all the pestering?
    The dog always greets the cat with tail wagging and face licking, and the cat often rubs against the dog and cleans her but I do think that although they appear to get on some of the time, they do get on each other’s nerves a lot! I suppose it’s because they “speak” different “languages” and sometimes don’t understand each other.

  2. my cat and dog they love each other as brother and sister they sleep together and eat together i was a good mother taking care of my pets…..😄😄😄😄😄😍😍

  3. My two cats (both female, 16 and 12 years) tolerate each other at best but generally are not interested in interacting with one another. Besides the occasional hiss. But I do find that they like to sleep in close proximity to each other. One will be on the higher backside of the couch while the younger is asleep on the cushion right below. Or, usually one on one side of my bed, the other on the opposite side most of the day while I’m at work — can tell by the color of the fur on the blanket. Can’t stand each other but have to sleep together! Never ceases to amaze me.

  4. My cats, a one-and-a-half year old tomcat and a 10 week old kitten, always sleep in the same chair together and the older one always cleans the little one. The big one, Oz, always follows the kitten around and hits the dogs if they play to rough with him. I’m not sure if Oz took in the kitty as a baby or what, but it sure is cute!

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