MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you let your dog or cat hop into bed with you at night it could make you sick, according to a new study.

The study by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, found you could pick up several nasty illnesses by sleeping next to your pets.

They include heart and digestive disorders, cat scratch disease and even the bubonic plague.

The researchers found several cases of infections being spread by getting licked by a pet.

Fortunately, the risk is rare, and it’s highest for those with compromised immune systems.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said to take common sense precautions like washing your hands and make sure your pets get regular checkups.

USA Today reports as many as 60 percent of pet owners sleep with their pets.

Comments (31)
  1. JLKF says:

    Yikes! I better not let my husband see this. He hates that our cat sleeps with us!

  2. rooster says:

    Farting next to an active volcano might also be a risk. Or eating a banana while distracted.

  3. Lee says:

    “Fortunately, the risk is rare, and it’s highest for those with compromised immune systems.” …………….Why report it then???

  4. Nancy Aleshire says:

    I am not going to stop sleeping with my 17 year old cat, Kiki. She sleeps on one pillow and me on the other. She is an indoor cat and has had all of her shots. I have never gotten sick from her, I have lots of allergies, but surprisingly not to cats. Maybe if she slept against my face it would be different. I slept with my dogs, when I had them.

  5. Berleen Hollenkamp says:

    Why am I not dead yet then? 30 years of sharing my bed with pets? Last night alone was 3 cats and a golden retriever…. and a husband!

  6. Mary Jane Cobb says:

    How much does the person who wrote this garbage get paid?

    1. mito says:

      It’s like the :”leading stories” from local news. ex: “could the water you’re drinking be slowly killing your children?” and then the story reveals, that no..almost 100% NOT.

  7. i can has rea newz says:

    And why is this “sleeping with” and not just “having” pets? More scare tactics.

  8. tmr says:

    Rooster……Thanks for making my day!!!

  9. joe smith says:

    The f…..moron who wrote this needs to find another line of work,probably doesnt own a pet.Im still alive with my cat. this columm writer needs to recieve a swat on the side of his/her head.stupid incompetant sob.

  10. Sean says:

    I count my self among the lucky few to still be alive after letting our cat sleep with us…time to buy a lottery ticket!

  11. Common Sense says:

    If you play the lottery it could make you rich….

  12. Ralph says:

    I’ve woken up a few times with my cat on my chest and licking his chops…if/when I die, I know the first thing he is eating is my eyeballs, and since he always doing this I’m guessing they will be fresh. I’m thinking I should probably have my eyes removed from my organ donation thingy.

    1. Lee says:

      LOL I loved waking up to my cat sitting on my chest just staring at me! It made my day!

  13. Nanci Agre Dempsey says:

    There are so many serious risks in life and this is not one of them. Why sensationalize this in your reporting? This is ridiculous….people get more diseases from other people than from their pets.

  14. RF says:

    Wow, obviously a REALLY slow news day….

  15. Hehehehe says:

    Carrots cause cancer. Slow news day CCO?

  16. Big Gov says:

    Hey, Big Gov. should ban us from our selves. That should protect us, eh?

  17. Victim Du Jour says:

    Mother Nature will always find ways to make us die. It’s a natural part of the world.

  18. insignificant says:

    Princess Fiona ,our calico cat, hops up in bed for a snooze with us once in a while…The real threat to my health is my wifes horrific gargally snoring she been doing lately!

  19. Gina Lovelace says:

    I don’t believe it.I’ve been sleeping with animals all my life don’t have any these diseases. If you get bitten you get scratch cat fever. If you don’t take care of your animals then it could be a possibility.

  20. Rat says:

    Squirt slept between the misses and me for 17 years and he died a year ago I’am thinking could it have been the misses and me that gave Squirt something to do him in? Pets are the best thing for people and maybe we need to research more important things, Right…

  21. RC says:

    Batonella may be one of the causes of autism.

  22. John says:

    Anyone who allows an animal in there bed is just plain “NASTY”.

  23. Joel says:

    Really, so some scientist just figured out that a pet giving you a kiss after licking its butt is bad for your health. And you could get nasty diseases from this.
    I think the Pilgrims might have already known this when they arrived in America.

  24. r.d.c. says:

    this is not a laughing matter… i caught parasitic worms from a cat 3 months ago, and am still dealing with it. i am disabled with a less than perfect immune system, and have gone to various doctors that don’t have a clue how to treat this. it is true that normally a person is safe from illness, but it IS POSSIBLE! you are not immune from disease, and there are nasty things growing all around you all the time. with all the international travel happening every day, people from third world countries are dragging diseases here every constantly, it’s just a matter of time.

  25. Mr Bill says:

    Not only does our pet Schnauzer sleep with us, eventually his ashes will comingle with ours for eternity…..or until someone vacuums them up !

  26. dean says:

    dean e . My doughter tried sleeping at a friends with cats… she at 4:oo am call to pick here up…write you when she gets ill from damm cats. a hole

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