How to Get a Cat to Sleep in its Own Bed
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If you have a cat at home, then it is no secret that these animals, as well as being beautiful and good company, are also dominant beings. In some cases, they can even be capricious, so from the outset it is necessary to establish some ground rules.
It is very common to hear complaints from cat owners about how their pet wakes them up in the middle of the night or just refuses to sleep in their own bed.
That is why AnimalWised want to present some tips on how to get a cat to sleep in its own bed, so that you can make your pet understand that your space is your space.
Why does my cat not want to sleep in their bed?
Cats are independent animals that spend about fifteen hours a day sleeping, so it is not strange that they change places to rest and explore new areas where they can sleep comfortably.
However, many cat owners would prefer that they sleep in the beds they have purchased for them. Mainly to prevent them from taking naps on furniture, tables and their own beds!
In principle, you should understand that if your cat does not want to sleep in their own bed this does not mean that they don't like it. Yet, other surfaces available may have what felines are looking for when they choose a space to rest: warmth, comfort and safety.
That's why some cats choose their sleeping place on furniture or tables, or even on your bed. In the first two cases, the decision is often related to the comfort of these spaces and even the height they provide, as cats feel more secure when they sleep in high places that protect them from "predators."
If they want to sleep in your bed, this may indicate deeper reasons:
- The cat feels safe with you, so looks for your protection at bedtime.
- They consider you part of their pack, so sleeping near you is normal, since that's how they rest.
- They prefer the height of your bed, because it gives superiority to them against possible threats.
- They are looking after your body heat, because the temperature of your body goes down while you sleep.
- They miss you, especially if you spend a lot of time away from home, so they take advantage of this time to be close to you.
Despite these reasons, many cat owners prefer that their pet does not sleep on cushions and much less with them. Either because they cause allergies, because their partner doesn't like it, for hygiene reasons or simply because the cat is so active at night that they cannot sleep.
Check out our article on why cats like sleeping at your feet.
Choose the right bed
The first step for your cat to sleep in their own bed is to choose the right one for them. From the moment you know you will bring your cat home, it is necessary that you select a space to place their bed and get a box or basket to act as a cat bed.
Whether you buy or prepare one, you have to take into account some factors:
- Size: Cats need space to turn around and stretch, so you should provide enough room for your cat to do this. But, without the bed becoming too large as they will not like it either. The idea is that they can stretch but at the same time feel protected in it.
- Hygiene: get a bed that is easy to wash, to eliminate odors, hair and bacteria that could cause infections.
- The material: some beds are made of wool and others come filled with foam, but the truth is that there are many models and materials. You should choose one that is comfortable for your cat considering the place where the bed will be (to know if it should be more sheltered or cooler). And the climate, because there are even thermal cushions to protect it in times of cold.
- The shape: you can find open beds, high beds, cushions and small caves, so you should observe the tastes and habits of your cat to choose the right one. If they prefer to sleep stretched out, a spacious bed will be ideal. If, on the other hand, they like to dominate space, a high bed or even a cushion placed on a shelf is what they are looking for. If they prefer to hide when asleep, then you should buy a soft cave.
The most important thing is that you understand that your cat should feel comfortable and safe when using their bed. However, if after choosing the ideal bed they do not want to use it, follow the following tips to motivate them.
How to get your cat to sleep in its bed
If you have decided that the cat should sleep in their bed, training for this should begin from the moment the cat comes home. However, if you already have an adult feline and want to team them to use their bed, it is also possible. Patience is key.
- Place their bed in a fixed place in the house, preferably in a corner where the cat is used to sleeping. If your animal prefers it well and the weather allows, look for a warm place.
- If they like to sleep up high, get a bed with a stand or place it on a shelf or chair. Make sure they have adequate support to prevent accidents.
- In the hours they are awake, take advantage to play with them and tire them out, so they feel exhausted during the night. Never wake them from their daytime nap though.
- If they do not want to climb into their bed, keep the bedroom door closed at night, regardless of the animal's meows so you open. If they insist and do not go to sleep, put them on their bed and give them pats and affection. Repeat this for several days in a row.
- To make them feel more comfortable, you can leave an item on their bed that smells of you, this way the cat will feel safe.
- Leave treats in their bed as a form of positive reinforcement.
- When you notice that they enter their bed on their own accord, caress and praise their behavior so that they realize being there is good.
- Avoid giving them too much food before going to sleep, as this will only make them hyperactive. A light dinner and a small session of games is the best thing for a placid dream.
- To avoid them climbing onto your bed and other spaces where they should not sleep, try to generate some unpleasant sound when climbing to those places, either with a rattlesnake toy or a few coins. This will link the place to that sound. Assure they cannot tell it is you making the annoying noise, because then it will not work.
- Never mistreat an animal or use violence to try and educate them.
With patience and love you will see how these tips will make your cat sleep in their own bed after repeating them for several days. Of course, you must be firm in your attempts, because a moment of weakness will only confuse them.
Always remember that a healthy cat, with all their vaccines and veterinary exams up to date, cannot transmit any disease even if they sleep next to you.
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