9 Quick and Easy Tips for Getting Your Cat to Sleep in Its Own Bed
You’ve just bought a beautiful, ultra-soft cat bed and you can’t wait to give it to your little fur baby. But after taking one look at the new bed, your kitty stretches out on the back of the couch and falls asleep. Did you just throw your money down the drain?
No, and with a little help, your cat will soon be dozing away happily in his new bed.
Reasons Cats Can Dislike Their Own Beds
There are plenty of reasons your cat may prefer other cozy spots to the plush new bed you just bought for him. When choosing the ideal napping spot, cats look for:
If your fur baby won’t sleep in her bed, it could be because:
- The bed isn’t high up enough. Kitties like sleeping on couches and table tops because they feel more secure in high places.
- The bed isn’t comfortable.
- She prefers cuddle time with you.
- She’s not tired when bedtime hits.
- She simply hasn’t been trained to sleep in a cat bed.
Pick The Right Cat Bed
It goes without saying that if you want your kitty to sleep in a bed, you’d better choose one he’ll like. Pay attention to how your cat sleeps so you can pick a bed that won’t cramp his style.
Features of a Good Cat Bed
How does your kitty sleep? Stretched out? Curled up? Underneath your bed? Choose a bed that matches your fur baby’s sleeping habits: whether that’s a spacious cushion, a round bed, or a cave. If you often find your kitty dozing on the heater vent or in a sunny spot, you might try a heated bed.
Choose a soft bed made from a natural fabric, like cotton or wool. And be sure to pick one that’s easy to wash so you can protect your cat from health risks.
Best Cat Beds for Different Kitties
The best cat beds will make your kitty feel secure and comfortable. Here are a few of the top options for kitties with different sleep styles.
This convertible bed is perfect for traveling with your kitty, but it’s also a great option if you want to experiment. You can turn this into a cozy hidey hole or an open top bed to find out which your fur baby prefers.
This donut bed is perfect for felines who like to play and scratch. Inside the donut, your kitty can doze in private. Or they can play peek-a-boo and scratch the durable, claw-resistant felt to their heart’s content.
Need a bed that won’t throw off your decor? This cat cave is both stylish and comfortable. Your kitty will love hiding inside, and you’ll love the way it looks in your living room.
Train Your Cat To Use Its Own Bed
If you find your kitty napping on the bookshelf, under the table, inside the cardboard box you haven’t broken down yet, and in every comfy spot except for her bed, don’t despair. Your kitty may just need some gentle pressure to use her bed.
1. Make Other Napping Spots Less Appealing
To make your kitty’s favorite sleeping spots less comfortable, you can:
- Cover these spots with aluminum foil or upside-down plastic carpet runners
- Spray them with citrus spray or apple cider vinegar
- Block access to these spots
2. Make the Bed More Appealing
Here are some ways to entice your kitty to sleep in his bed:
- If your kitty likes sleeping with you, try leaving something in his bed that carries your scent.
- When your cat is near the bed, start “arranging” it. Adjust the cushion, fluff it up, or pat the bottom to catch your kitty’s attention. He may get curious and decide to try it out.
- If your cat won’t get into the bed on his own, call him over and encourage him to try the bed. When he gets in, praise and pet him.
3. Move the Bed to a Higher Location
Kitties often feel more secure when they can look down on everything. If your kitty won’t sleep in his bed, you might try moving it to a higher location, such as on a shelf, chair, or stand. Some kitties prefer secluded spots to nap in.
4. Find a Fixed Location
It may be tempting to move the bed around in the hopes that you’ll find a place your kitty feels comfortable in, but moving the bed too often can actually be a deterrent. Cats are creatures of habit, so try putting the bed in your kitty’s favorite sleeping spot and leaving it there.
5. Help Your Cat Get More Exercise
Maybe your kitty needs more active time during the day so she’s tired enough to sleep in her bed. Most cats need about 30 minutes of exercise per day. To help your kitty exercise, you might:
- Play with her
- Get her an interactive toy
- Get her a cat tree
- Take her for a walk (yes, you can take cats on walks!)
- Get her a playmate
6. Use Cat Treats
When all else fails, treats usually work. Put your fur baby’s favorite treats in his bed for him to find, or carry a treat over to the bed and give it to him when he gets in. You can also try sprinkling a bit of catnip on the bed.
7. Don't Overfeed Your Cat Before Bed
A big dinner can make kitties hyper right before bedtime, so if your fur baby isn’t sleeping at night, it could be that you’re feeding her too much.
8. Be Gentle
We probably don’t have to tell you this, but kitties respond much better to kindness than to force. If your cat won’t get in his bed, don’t try to force him in. This will just make him hate the bed even more.
How big should a cat bed be?
If your cat likes to sleep stretched out, a bed that’s about 18 to 20 inches long should do the trick. If your kitty likes to sleep curled up, smaller may be fine.
Do cats prefer open or closed beds?
It really depends on the cat. Many kitties prefer a large bed with space to stretch out in, while others prefer a cave or hooded bed so they can feel protected.
How To Get A Cat To Sleep In A New Bed?
You may need to train your kitty to sleep in her new bed. Put it in her favorite napping spot, then sprinkle the bed with catnip or use treats to lure her in.
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