Today we would like to introduce you to a new guest contributor! Her name is Emily and she will be providing you all with plenty of interesting topics. 🙂
Is It Possible To Convince Your Cat To Sleep In His Or Her Own Bed?
Often, cat owner want their furry little friend to cuddle up with them at night. Cats may try to sleep at the end of your bed or even cuddle under the covers.
For many of us, this is one of the great joys of owning cats.
However, many people detest being woken up by kitty claws on their face in the middle of the night, and some people simply want the privacy that sleeping alone entails.
Just like “co-sleeping”, where your cat sleeps is a decision you’ll have to make early on if you’re going to give yourself the best chance of a consistent sleeping pattern and schedule.
Either option is fine – really!
It is completely a matter of personal preference where your cat sleeps. Of course you’ll come across people on either side of the debate who think the other side is nuts, but hey, that’s life! That’s just how we humans are.
Although I love to sleep with my cat curled up beside me, some of my best cat parent friends have recently decided that they were sick and tired of their restless cat walking up and down the bed during the night. They wanted to get him to sleep somewhere else, and so I agreed to do a bit of research for them.
These are some of the tips I came across to get your cat to start sleeping off of your bed, and in a bed of their own.
Use Treats To Lure Them Into Bed
One trick you can use to get cats used to their bed is to lure them into it with treats.
Once your cat gets into his cat bed, you want to hold the treat above his head until he sits. Then, give your cat praise and give him the treat.
You can also leave a few treats in the bed to entice him to come back.
Catnip Is A Powerful Choice
Catnip has an interesting effect on cats, as you probably know, and many of them love it. Sometimes, all you have to do is sprinkle a little bit of it into the bed and the only problem you’ll be faced with is how to get them out of the bed!
This is actually one of the things my friends ended up doing (along with the next tip), and they finally convinced their stubborn cat to swap sleeping spots.
Choose A Good Location For The Bed
This is super important!
If your cat has already chosen a place he likes to sleep, you can put the bed in his favorite spot.
If not, you will want to choose a quiet area away from other pets, foot traffic, and definitely avoid open spaces. A spot with a little bit of sun or warmth will help, as well.
Take careful notice of your cat’s personality. Does he like to hide under things? Does he like to be in the corner? This can help you pick the right spot to set his bed.
Of course, if bed time is the trigger for him to come to your room, and his bed is in another room, you may have to start with a routine to get him into the habit of sleeping in his bed all night.
Otherwise, try to find a place in your bedroom that is as close as possible to the original spot, and either move the bed (if you dare), or get a second “night time” bed specifically to put in your room.
Pick A Good Cat Bed
The actual bed will make a difference as well. Most cats prefer a large, soft cat bed so they can stretch out.
But some cats will prefer a hooded or enclosed bed. If your kitty tends to hide under your bed, a hooded bed is a good choice.
I know this because I went through probably 3 beds before my cats actually slept in one, but sometimes your cats will simply not like a particular bed.
I tried everything. Nope. Just stuck their noses up at them.
Finally I won them over, but give yourself the best chance of getting this right by, once again, trying to understand their preferences and personalities.
If it’s not right on the first try, don’t be afraid to exchange the bed for a different model – it’s worth it to get them a place where they’ll sleep during the night!
Make The Bed Smell Good To Your Cat
Cats have a heightened sense of smell. If their bed doesn’t smell how they would like, they may not be interested in it at all. Often, cat beds smell like the factory or store they come from, which may not be appealing to your cat.
Think about it. If you find the fresh-out-of-the-package smell a bit off sometimes, think about your cat, who is a sensory machine!
If your cat loves to cuddle with you, try an old t-shirt of yours in their bed. They may find the smell of you comforting, which may entice them to sleep in the bed.
Also, if there’s a blanket they like to lie on, you can try laying that down as well.
Finally, try rubbing it with some of their toys, and leave the toys in there. They’ll smell themselves on the bed and may be more likely to stay in it.
Make Other Areas Undesirable
Sometimes, cats like to sleep on laundry, furniture, or your bed. If you want to train your cat to sleep in their bed, you need to make these spots undesirable.
Of course, if simply getting off of your bed is enough, don’t worry about this step, but I’ve run across some pretty particular cat parents.
One thing I’ve heard of people doing is using aluminum foil to cover any spots you don’t want cats sleeping in. Another way is to spray the area with citrus oils. Cats don’t like the smell of citrus oils and will typically avoid the spots that were sprayed.
Properly Introduce Your Cat To The Bed
After choosing the right location, making the bed smell good to your cat and making other areas undesirable, you want to introduce your cat to the bed.
When your cat gets close to the bed, go over to it and start arranging it. This may lure your cat into the bed voluntarily.
If your cat doesn’t come voluntarily, call him and encourage him to check out the new bed. You can use treats or toys to entice him, as mentioned above.
When your kitty takes an interest in the bed, provide praise. However, you don’t want to react negatively if he avoids it. This could send the wrong message.
This is potentially a long, time intensive exercise, so please show patience! Your cat will take cues from you.
If this is something you really want, it’ll be worth it.
Or, you know, you can just let them sleep in your bed like us normal people do. 🙂 Just kidding!
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