Move over, darling... Tiddles is here

Half the nation's pet owners encourage their animals to share their bed

They are already man's best friend. Now, it seems, dogs are our bedfellows too. More than half of Britons let their pet sleep on their bed, according to a new study, while almost three-quarters allow their animals to share the bedroom at least. Such is the nation's devotion to four-legged friends that one in three people admit they would rather share their bed with a pet than with their partner.

But the research – conveniently commissioned by a home furnishing retailer to coincide with its launch of life-size pet dummies that allow shoppers to test whether a mattress is big enough for them and their cat or dog – shows that sleeping with animals is affecting people's ability to get a good night's rest. Pets wake up 71 per cent of owners with their snoring, twitching and nocturnal wriggling. More than two-thirds of the 2,000 people surveyed last month complained their animal takes up too much space. As a result, 39 per cent have booted their partner – rather than the offending beast – out of bed.

Cats edge out dogs as the most popular bedfellow, but four per cent of those questioned claimed they would be happy to sleep with a rat, and four per cent with a reptile. Animal-lovers from Wales are the most likely to allow pets to sleep with them. Half of Britons let their animals share their bed because they want them to enjoy a comfortable night's sleep.

Julia Jones-Collins, 26, an advertising manager, and her builder husband David Collins, 28, let their cats Peggy and Billy sleep on their bed, even though they make David sneeze and give him itchy eyes. "When David bought Peggy for me for a present, we didn't realise he was allergic to cats," said Mrs Jones-Collins, of Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire, who uses mattress and pillow protectors to reduce the impact of the cats' fur. "By the point she had settled in our house she had decided our bed was her bed.

"With one cat it was fine, but with two it's a bit annoying. But they are just so comfortable we don't feel that we should kick them off. We could probably do with a bigger bed now we have got two cats."

In response to Britain's sleeping arrangements, Ikea, which commissioned the research, has created in-store models of pets so customers can ensure a new mattress will accommodate them and their animals. The "crash test doggy" and "crash test moggy" are currently being trialled in the retailer's Croydon branch and, if popular, could be rolled out across the UK.

But Elaine Pendlebury, senior vet at the PDSA veterinary charity, does not recommend sleeping with a pet. She warned that animals can carry diseases that can be transferred to humans, including skin complaints, such as ringworm, and stomach upsets. She said dogs and cats actually like having their own territory and knowing their position within a household.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions