is it safe to sleep in bed with my newly adopted cat?

mitsismoke

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i posted about my rescue the other day, and so far, i’ve still had no direct incidents with him. he is very anxious and has a lot of trauma, so he’s constantly looking around at the slightest noise and goes to investigate it. he was going underneath the bed and even sleeping under it for the first two nights, but was never consistently hiding.



as soon as he got comfortable sitting on the bed with me, he has continuously gotten up there. this makes me happy because i believe it is a sign that he trusts me. however, on the third night of owning him, i rolled over and told him goodnight, and minutes later he was up on the bed, curled up right against my back.



while i love this and have always allowed my cats to sleep in bed with me, i’m a bit nervous because he was surrendered for aggression and has attacked people in the past. he hasn’t shown ANY signs of aggression towards me - he scratched my dad because my mom screamed while she was in my room with him and terrified him, but none of these incidents have been in my presence. i do have to verbally reassure him a lot throughout the day over noises that seem to startle him, but he has not hissed, growled, lunged, scratched, or even made offensive/defensive poses towards me. he has grown very comfortable with me quickly, though i am extremely quiet, slow, and careful around him.



once i realized he was prepared to start sleeping next to me, i got a bit nervous. i’m scared that something will spook him during the night when i’m not awake to reassure him and he’ll come at my face (the only visible part of my body during the night). while this may be completely out of paranoia, i’m just very unsure. i know i tend to move around throughout the night, so i’m scared i’ll bump him and he’ll go into panic mode.



i’ve slept outside of the room the past two nights, but have been going in early in the morning to take naps with him. i took a two hour nap with him on saturday and woke up to him still next to me; today i napped with him for over four hours, and he remained asleep against my leg, the same spot as when i fell asleep. however, i don’t think i’m in as deep of a sleep during these naps, so my position did not change at all, either.



on the first night that he tried to sleep next to me, i tried to fall asleep but couldn’t because of my worry about him scratching my face. i opened my eyes at one point and he was sitting very close, staring at me with wide eyes. i’ve had cats glance at me while i’m asleep in the past, but this was a bit unsettling. he looked startled by something.



i also feel very bad leaving him for the night because i feel like i could be breaking our trust, and i worry that he might not sleep as much without me in the room. we will be moving into my apartment soon, but for now, he is confined to just my bedroom because he doesn’t do well with other cats. basically, i just want to know some other thoughts about this. my friends are encouraging me to sleep in there to help strengthen our trust, but my parents, who have met him, are worried about it. what do you think?
 
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mitsismoke

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to add a bit more background: keeko is 2. he was surrendered for biting his owner multiple times… though i have a strong feeling this owner (who had him since he was a kitten) may have abused him. he is EXTREMELY anxious and alert, more than i’ve ever seen a cat be before. i adopted him with this knowledge because i thought i could handle it and give him a good life (he’s the only cat that will be living in my apartment and the alternative was that they’d make him a barn cat). i really think he deserves a solid chance with someone who really cares about him.

while he has only had one aggressive bout with my parents (which i blame on my mom, honestly… she stared him directly in the face when he was already spooked by something, put a pillow between them, and screamed for my dad to run in), i have NEVER been present during this. the most he has done is meow and dart out under the bed to swat my foot, which i believe was him being playful/unsure. he is very comfortable with me considering i’ve only had him since wednesday. he loves to play with his laser pointer, and loves to take naps while i’m sitting on my bed (and now, when i’m also taking a nap).

i am extremely cautious around him, given that we are confined to just the space in my room. i move very slowly and give him a LOT of verbal reassurance (aka talking to him in a baby voice, constantly). he is extremely receptive to this reassurance and often returns my slow blinks. he purrs and greets me when i enter the room, licks and rubs on my hands and legs, and lets me pet him (though i don’t push it and generally only give him a few strokes after he’s just rubbed against me).

the shelter told me that he has been with them since may 5th and that he was in a foster home for about a month. they said it took 2-3 weeks for him to be comfortable with his foster mom, and that he initially hid a lot. i was very surprised when he was already coming out so quickly and getting on the bed with me. i connected 3 pieces of wood with door hinges outside of my door so that he can’t escape if he manages to slip past me out the door and so my family cats don’t come up and bang against the door (because the shelter said he can be reactive to just the scent of other cats).

as much as i love him, i’ve never done this before. all of the 3 cats my family and i have taken in were babies when we got them and had no known abuse/aggression. i want this to work so that we can have a good life, but sometimes i feel like i’m not doing things right and i’d appreciate any advice you have to give - with the sleeping situation, general training, what to do if he were to attack me… anything. i’m trying to get him to the vet asap for a check up and to see if they have anything i could give him to help with his anxiety, but i’m also worried about getting him into the carrier.

when we were playing with his laser pointer today, i pointed it in the carrier and he ran in behind it, but quickly backed out of it once he had ‘caught’ it. i’m going to try and lure him in with treats without closing the door behind him so he can start to adapt to actually being in it. if anyone has suggestions on this, too, that would be great.
 

DreamerRose

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He doesn't sound like an aggressive cat to me, and I agree with your assessment that he may have been abused. He acts like he's more frightened than hostile. Letting him sleep with you should be fine. His behavior says he likes you and wants to be close to you. I doubt if he will scratch you or bite you in any way.

My Mingo was similar when I first got him, and now he's a loving, affectionate cat. He sometimes comes right up to my face to check if I'm awake. If I am, he starts purring and curls up in front of my face. One night, I played possum, and he felt all over my face thoroughly with his whiskers. It was like being brushed with a soft baby brush.

I treasure every night my kitties sleep with me.
 

maggie101

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to add a bit more background: keeko is 2. he was surrendered for biting his owner multiple times… though i have a strong feeling this owner (who had him since he was a kitten) may have abused him. he is EXTREMELY anxious and alert, more than i’ve ever seen a cat be before. i adopted him with this knowledge because i thought i could handle it and give him a good life (he’s the only cat that will be living in my apartment and the alternative was that they’d make him a barn cat). i really think he deserves a solid chance with someone who really cares about him.

while he has only had one aggressive bout with my parents (which i blame on my mom, honestly… she stared him directly in the face when he was already spooked by something, put a pillow between them, and screamed for my dad to run in), i have NEVER been present during this. the most he has done is meow and dart out under the bed to swat my foot, which i believe was him being playful/unsure. he is very comfortable with me considering i’ve only had him since wednesday. he loves to play with his laser pointer, and loves to take naps while i’m sitting on my bed (and now, when i’m also taking a nap).

i am extremely cautious around him, given that we are confined to just the space in my room. i move very slowly and give him a LOT of verbal reassurance (aka talking to him in a baby voice, constantly). he is extremely receptive to this reassurance and often returns my slow blinks. he purrs and greets me when i enter the room, licks and rubs on my hands and legs, and lets me pet him (though i don’t push it and generally only give him a few strokes after he’s just rubbed against me).

the shelter told me that he has been with them since may 5th and that he was in a foster home for about a month. they said it took 2-3 weeks for him to be comfortable with his foster mom, and that he initially hid a lot. i was very surprised when he was already coming out so quickly and getting on the bed with me. i connected 3 pieces of wood with door hinges outside of my door so that he can’t escape if he manages to slip past me out the door and so my family cats don’t come up and bang against the door (because the shelter said he can be reactive to just the scent of other cats).

as much as i love him, i’ve never done this before. all of the 3 cats my family and i have taken in were babies when we got them and had no known abuse/aggression. i want this to work so that we can have a good life, but sometimes i feel like i’m not doing things right and i’d appreciate any advice you have to give - with the sleeping situation, general training, what to do if he were to attack me… anything. i’m trying to get him to the vet asap for a check up and to see if they have anything i could give him to help with his anxiety, but i’m also worried about getting him into the carrier.

when we were playing with his laser pointer today, i pointed it in the carrier and he ran in behind it, but quickly backed out of it once he had ‘caught’ it. i’m going to try and lure him in with treats without closing the door behind him so he can start to adapt to actually being in it. if anyone has suggestions on this, too, that would be great.
I have a walk in closet and keep the carrier in there. When it's time pick him up, go in closet and shut door. Don't forget to turn the light on! Since your cat trusts you, I doubt he would hurt you. He could have been checking you out. If something scares him he will hide, not bite you.
 
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