When Luis Navarro, who always woke up struggling to breathe, posted three photographs of his cat as he slept, the reaction was intense with some saying it was just affection where others stated the cat is a would-be murderer.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on July 30, 2019

A man who claims he couldn’t breathe during the night has taken to social media to reveal the surprising reason he could not sleep.

Luis Navarro said he decided to see why he always felt like he was suffocating in his sleep, Fox News reported. Perhaps he had sleep apnea.

“I couldn’t breathe when I slept so I installed a camera,” Luis Navarro told his Twitter followers and decided to see what, if anything, the camera photos would reveal.

What he claims the camera captured was adorable but perhaps positively scary and heart-shattering at the same time when you want a good night’s sleep.

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His cat is seen moving up to his face until it sits directly on his face, blocking his nose and mouth.

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When Navarro published the three pictures to Twitter, he was found he wasn’t alone.

Four in 10 Australians are getting inadequate sleep, whereas 20% of Americans report they did not wake up feeling refreshed in the past seven days, the National Sleep Foundation reports. In the UK, one in every three people suffer from insomnia, the National Health Service states.

Luis Navarro’s tweet sparked a nerve as other cat-lovers shared their photos and said they suffered similar experiences.

It may be beautiful to some, but is the cat actually trying to suffocate him? Is the cat simply being affectionate or is it something sinister?

One Twitter user posted: “My cat used to do that to me! I only found out because when I woke up from my recurring dream of suffocating, he was sprawled out on my face.”

Another user shared a similar story: “I’ve woken up with my cat nose to nose just staring me dead in the eyes in the middle of the night.”

Someone else tried to explain why the cat tried to sit on his face. “They can feel your pulse, it’s calming. [It’s the] same reason cats want to lay on a person’s chest.”

However, several others thought it was more deliberate and chilling.

“That cat is trying to suffocate you in your sleep, that’s attempted murder not love.”

Another comment suggested a different theory: “Looks like your cat may be trying to stop you from snoring.”

At least one user said the photos were set up. “You needed a camera to tell you an entire being was sitting on your face?”

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 50% of pet owners in the US allow their pet to sleep in bed with them.

Bill Fish, cofounder of Tuck.com, says, without question, there are positives to allowing your cat into your bed each night, including giving both of you a sense of security, emotionally and physically.

“Having a guest in bed with you also reduces stress as well as brings warmth and comfort,” he said. “As you feel your cat’s rhythmic breathing, it soothes you and helps you get to sleep more quickly,” he said.

However, there are downsides to having a cat in your bed.

Dr Steve Weinberg, founder of 911 VETS, said it can feel nice and comfy to have your cat sleep on a bed with you — some literally on your head — potentially calming anxiety and night terrors.

“The downside is that cats are nocturnal animals,” he said. “The human sleeper may have their sleep interrupted in the wee hours of the night or be woken up at a very early hour.”

Because of this, Weinberg says, sleeping with a cat can be counterproductive to a person’s typical wake-sleep patterns.

“Many cats like to play and will scratch at or even bite at the human feet moving around under the covers,” he said. “[There are] other problems, such as allergy to cat dander or, if fleas are not under control, the human may receive flea bites.”

Cats may also want to cosy up to babies and infants — taking on their own caregiver roles in the house — but experts say cats shouldn’t spend the night with the littlest ones in your home.

Dr Jennifer Maniet, a staff veterinarian at Petplan Pet Insurance, says it’s not safe for cats to sleep with babies because there’s a risk a cat could unintentionally suffocate a baby by sleeping on its chest or face.

“If the cat is startled or frightened, the baby can get bitten, scratched, or trampled on as the cat tries to run or jump away,” she said. “Cat scratches and bites are common ways that the cat can transmit diseases to a baby.”