Posted by Mary

Whisker Fabulous Blogger Mary Tan

I don't know about you, but my pets are family and that means my dog Josie and cat Farley Waddlesworth get the same creature comforts that I do. They sleep with me every night. But at a recent doctors appointment, my allergist told me that was bad for my health because I have allergies and asthma. Yes, I have reactions to animal dander, mold and pollen, but I politely told him I would rather suffer than be without my animals.

Whisker Fabulous Pets in Bed: Josie and Farley Waddlesworth

Josie the dog and Farley Waddlesworth the cat lounging in bed

He is actually the third allergist I have had in 20 years who has told me that. Every time, each of them lectured me on why I should not sleep with my pets. Here are some very valid reasons:

  • I could get the bubonic plague: According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) from 1977 to 1998 there were 23 cases of the disease caused by the family cat. Some people even died.
  • I could get hookworm or ringworm: If Josie is infected with a parasite like ringworm, the parasite's eggs are on her coat. When she cuddles up next to me, those eggs could get on my skin. 
  • I could get scratched by my cat. (Those of you who know this blog have read multiple posts on how Farley has bitten me repeatedly, especially as a kitten.)
  • I could get meningitis by kissing Josie on the lips. (Done that before! Nothing has happened yet.)
  • Either of my pets could give me staph infections, which is made up of bacteria resistant to antibiotics.