Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can't Sleep? It Could Be Your Cat.

Chicago, IL 
Cosmo prevents his human companion,
Noah Hope, from falling asleep.
Cats have now surpassed depression, anxiety, and chronic stress as the leading cause of insomnia.  A recent nationwide poll found that cat owners average 4.9 hours of sleep per night, slightly less than those who suffer from depression, anxiety or chronic stress.  Predictably, those who boast both cats and mental health concerns fare the worst by far, averaging only -2.7 hours per night.

Noah Hope (42) suffers from both feline-induced and stress-induced insomnia.  "My shrink told me a pet might help relax me, but boy did that backfire.  If Cosmo doesn't keep me up at night, the stress does.  If the stress doesn't keep me up, Cosmo does.  I'm at my wit's end."

Noah's family and friends have urged him to reconsider his new companion, but after two months, Noah has already become attached.  "People don't understand." he explains.  "All they see is that my blood pressure has gone way up, I'm more stressed than I've ever been, and I can barely function.  They don't see the tender moments Cosmo and I share, like when I clean up his litterbox or when he throws up all over me. Moments like that make it all worthwhile." 

Depression sufferer Manny Downs reports that he feels cheered by the findings.  "I'm starting to realize that I don't have it that bad compared to a lot of people.  I feel numb and hopeless a lot of time.  I'm lonely and don't have much to live for.  But with no cats to speak of, at least I get some sleep at night."
Needless to say, cats across the country have responded to the recent poll with outrage. However,  few have denied its accuracy.  Sassafrass (4)  explains, "It's not that we aim to keep you humans awake.  It's  more that we place great value on our own comfort and honestly, not much on yours."  Heathcliff (10) agrees.  "A comfortable spot is a comfortable spot.  I'm not going to tax myself worrying about whether or not you can move or breathe."
While cat ownership may not be advisable for those who tend toward insomnia, it may be just the thing for those who tend to oversleep.  Cat owner Ivana Snooz reports, "I used to sleep through my alarm in the morning and show up late to work, but not anymore.  Thanks to my Butterball, who jumps onto my chest and starts licking my face at 6 a.m. like clockwork, I'm out of the house by 7 and in the office everyday at 8 a.m. sharp."
If you are considering cat ownership, it may be wise to first consult your physician or mental health practioner.  If you already have a cat who is keeping you awake at night, please remember that abandoning an animal is neither humane nor forgiveable.  In other words, you're just plain screwed.
Written by Diana Shapiro
Photo courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment