A woman wearing a nasal CPAP mask with a shocked expression watching as an orange cat tangled in CPAP tubing leaps pounces toward her head.

Using a CPAP Machine When You Have Cats

Last updated: January 2023

My husband and I recently adopted 2 older cats. We also have 3 dogs.

One of the dogs we've had longer than we've ever had a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine in the house to treat our sleep apnea. And the dogs have never really caused any problems – well, at least for the CPAP machines, (minus the leg or 2 getting tangled up in the hosing when they try and jump on the bed). But they've never hurt the hosing, nor have they ever gotten hurt. This, however, is my experience using CPAP with cats.

Using CPAP with cats

We very seldom ever see our cats, except for mealtime and bedtime!!  Oh, they do let us pet them. Their favorite time to be petted is bedtime!!

Now remember, these are 2 older cats. We didn't name them. 'Garfield' is true to his name if you've ever watched the show. He is yellow, very fluffy (fat), and extremely lazy. He likes pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, watching TV, and playing on the internet! The only time he uses energy to jump is to get in bed at night!!

'Pepper,' on the other hand, is grayish black with a flex of white. He's a hunter, a scrapper, and a jumper. He can twist his body in all sorts of different ways!!

Nightly feline activity

Garfield usually just gets up and lays down and goes to sleep. Again, he's not too active! In the beginning of the night, that's kind of all Pepper does too; unless there's a fly, a Japanese beetle, or anything flying around!!

And heaven forbid if 1 of those bugs should happen to light on your mask. In the middle of the night. While you're wearing it, and so sound asleep. And, that's usually when it's that perfect sleep! That restful sleep that so many of us with sleep apnea doesn't reach very often; even using a CPAP machine!

The next thing we know, there's a cat straddling our face – or slapping our face!! By the way, this has only happened a couple times for each of us. I think the cat got as startled as we did, and it only took those few times to figure out that the bugs are off-limits on the mask!!

When my cat climbed my CPAP hose!

There was 1 night apparently Pepper decided to climb the hose of my CPAP machine like a ladder.

I say night, but it was really early 1 morning. My husband is up by 4 AM to go to work everyday day. And that's still the middle of the night for me.

Anyway, I'm lying there sound asleep and apparently Pepper is trying to get from my bedside table up to the top of the headboard on my side of the bed: via the tubing of my CPAP machine! 

For some reason, it feels like I have like 6 feet of tubing. I drape it up and over the headboard. Then, I let it fall through this little cut-out so I don't happen to trip over it on the floor in the middle of the night.

CPAP machines and cats

What happened with this balancing act?

That night when my husband got home, he told me I might want to check my tubing and why. And yeah, sure enough, there was 1 small puncture hole. Not that it really interfered with the flow of air; but, it most definitely could have been a whole lot worse. Pepper could have been hurt by losing her claw in the tubing.

At this point, our CPAP machines have never come closer to coming off of the nightstands!!

Do you have a pet? What happens when using a CPAP machine with your furry friends? Please share your cat story and comment below.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you taken our Sleep Apnea In America Survey yet?