Pets serve multiple functions for individuals and are highly preferred companions in most situations besides moments of intimacy not intended for them. During those times, pets may act less than favorable ways and break up displays of sensuality and sexuality.
There are several reasons cats and dogs may engage in such behavior. Some recognize physical closeness between people as playful so they wish to be part of the action. Others may identify certain body movements or noises as threatening, so they intrude as a way of breaking up the interaction. While all pets maintain their unique personalities, certain dog and cat breeds possess behavioral attributes, such as possessiveness and protectiveness, which may also play a role in their reactions.
There are several ways to approach these encounters:
- Keep them out: One way to avoid having a pet deter private time is to make certain areas (or pieces of furniture) temporarily off-limits. Access may be restricted by having pets closed off in a separate room, crated temporarily or kept outdoors, statutes and weather permitting.
- Use distractions: Another way to get a pet out of the bedroom is through physical or mental stimulation. This includes having cats or dogs play with toys and games that require thinking, such as treat balls and puzzles, which have them overcoming an obstacle to obtain a reward.
- Give attention: Spending time with pets prior to engaging in sexual behavior may also minimize interruptions. Playing with the cat or taking the dog for a walk signals to them they are receiving individualized treatment while also exerting energy and potentially wearing them out to the point of wanting rest.
- Let them stay: If a pet doesn’t want to be alone and has the ability to stay occupied while remaining in the same space as their owner, they may be allowed to stay so long as everyone involved is comfortable with this arrangement.
Because pets may both substitute and supplement social interactions, issues arise when partners feel more attention is given to a four-legged creature than to them. This is worth exploring, and may be a reflection of a dynamic within a couple. Pet intrusiveness should also not be a justification for lack of sexual opportunities, as relationships thrive when each partner feels valued and prioritized, in the bedroom and otherwise.
Source: Veevers, J. E. (1985). The Social Meaning of Pets: Alternative Roles for Companion Animals. Marriage & Family Review, 8 (3-4), 11-30.
Benal, J (2013, September 17). Why Do Dogs Interrupt Sex? Retrieved from www.quickanddirtytips.com/pets/dog-behavior/why-do-dogs-interrupt-sex