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How to Get Your Cat to Use Their Bed (5 Proven Methods)

cat lying in her bed

Cats spend around 15 hours a day sleeping. Usually, this is light napping, where they can spring up at a moment’s notice. Other times, they are deep sleep, where they need to feel safe and secure.

Cats are highly independent animals for the most part and generally enjoy sleeping in places where they feel comfortable, safe, and peaceful. The bed that you’ve given them may tick all these boxes, and yet they may still choose to sleep elsewhere! This can be frustrating, to say the least, but there are a few proven ways to solve the problem. Read on to find out how!

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The 5 Proven Steps To Get Your Cat To Use Their Bed

1. Location

Cats are fussy creatures and often need everything to be just right for them to be happy — from their food to their litter box and their bed. The most likely reason your cat is not using their bed is that it’s in a location that they don’t like. Either the spot is too noisy, it has too much activity, or something has frightened them away from feeling safe in that particular area.

In general, cats prefer high spots where they have a clear view of the area around them. Try placing their bed in an elevated spot near where they already prefer to sleep. Cats also prefer quiet places away from noisy dogs and children, so make sure their bed is in a place where it’s peaceful. It’s a good idea to observe the places where your cat currently likes to sleep and place their bed as near to this area as possible.

cat sleeping in cat tree
Image Credit: Piqsels

2. Choose The Right Bed

The type of bed that you choose for your cat can also make or break their likelihood of using it. Some cats prefer to stretch out while they sleep and thus need a spacious bed. Others prefer to curl up in a cozy, covered space, while still other cats prefer a soft bed with no top.

It’s a good idea to observe where your cat currently sleeps. If they enjoy getting under the covers of your bed, they’ll need a small cozy bed of their own. If they prefer the foot of your bed, a large, spacious bed should do the trick.

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cat bed design
Image Credit: Victoria Yanchevskaya, Pixabay

3. Make The Bed Enticing

Now that you’ve got the right sleeping area and bed, you need to entice your cat into using it. One of the most tried-and-tested methods is using a small amount of catnip — most cats find this herb irresistible, and they’ll associate their new bed with its enticing smell.

You can also try to physically bring your cat to the bed and play with them. They’ll eventually tire out and hopefully, curl up in their new favorite sleeping spot!

cat playing with owner
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

4. Discourage Other Sleeping Spots

Even with all the aforementioned factors in order, your cat may still have a few spots that they’ll likely choose over their bed. The next step is to make these areas as unappealing as possible to your cat. You can do this by blocking the space that they usually sleep on with books, furniture, or ornaments or even by using a cat deterrent spray.

If a spray is a bit too extreme for you, aluminum foil or cat training mats can also do the trick. If their sleeping spot is in another room, you can also make sure all the entrances are locked to prevent them from getting to the spot.

cat sleeping near window
Image Credit: tache, Shutterstock

5. Rewards!

Like most pets (and humans!), cats love rewards. Whether with treats or simply praise and affection, this is a tried-and-tested method of training cats. If you notice your cat settling down in their new bed, give them affection and praise so they know that they’ve done a good job. Also, you can use your cat’s favorite treat to lure them into their new bed, which they’ll soon associate with good feelings.

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Final Thoughts

It can be frustrating when your cat is sleeping everywhere except in their new bed, but there are proven methods that can help resolve the issue. Try the methods mentioned here, and your cat should be sleeping in their cat bed in no time!


Featured Image Credit: kuban_girl, Shutterstock

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