How frustrating is it when you get your pet something nice, and then they just don’t use it. This is a pretty common experience, but don’t give up on your cat using their bed yet. Down below is a list of the best ways to get your cat to stop sleeping where they shouldn’t and instead in the bed specifically for them.
Methods For Getting Your Cat To Use Their Bed
1. Selecting A Good Bed
The first step to getting a cat to use their bed is picking the right one that will be cozy to sleep in. This step can not be neglected, because even if you do everything else right, if the bed is uncomfortable then your cat will choose to sleep elsewhere. When you are searching for a bed, act like it would be you sleeping in the bed. This way you can really consider all of the aspects to get one that is genuinely comfy. There are a few universal qualities that make cat beds pleasant.
First, the bed needs to be made from a material that is cozy. The best also needs to be firm enough to give your cat enough structure to comfy, but not so much that it is too hard. It should also be big enough that your cat can lounge however they feel like without feeling cramped. For example, a Maine coon cat are very big cats, so they need beds that will accommodate their size.
Also, carefully consider the unique traits of your cat. If they are elderly, you may want to get a bed that is low to the ground so they can easily get inside. If your cat doesn’t have fur, get a bed with self-warming qualities to keep your cat warm. Check out this post for more great tips to picking a cat bed.
2. Good Location
A good bed without a good location is not good enough to entice your cat to sleeping in the bed. Location matters a lot. To begin with picking a location, take some time to watch your cat’s current sleeping habits. Is there a specific location that they choose to go to. If your cat is always taking naps in one specific room, then this is probably the ideal room for the bed to be put in. You can also look for the certain qualities that the room they choose to sleep in has.
For example, maybe your cat is seeking a room that is of a higher temperature, so they can be warm during the night. Or maybe, they always are sleeping on somewhere high up. Some traits that make a location a good spot for a bed follows. A good location is relaxing. People should not be coming and going all the time, and there shouldn’t be loud noise that could agitate your cat.
The room should also be at a certain temperature so your cat doesn’t get too hot or too cold. Cats usually like being warm. Cats also prefer to sleep on a tall spot to feel the safety of being away from the ground. The team at Kitty Cat Reviews actually wrote a full article on this topic, check it out here.
3. Make The Location As Appealing As You Can
The location that you think is the best spot in your house is not always going to be perfect. But, you can add things to make the location better. For example, if the area is not quite warm enough, you can introduce a space heater to warm it up. If the room doesn’t have any tall places to put the bed, you can think about buying a cat tree to hold the bed.
4. Entice Them With Catnip Or Aromas They Like
The smell of the bed can greatly affect how your cat interacts with it. Put some catnip on the bed. You can also put a toy or object that they love on the bed to allow the smell to rub off. If your cat is attached to a specific person in your family, you can use an item of clothing from one of those people to charm your kitty.
5. Get Rid Of Other Sleeping Options
Sometimes cats can be stubborn and choose to sleep everywhere except the bed that you want them to. If your cat is sleeping on furniture or in an area that you would rather they didn’t make the place a less friendly place to sleep. You can do this by putting objects in the space to interfere with where they usually sleep.
6. Spend Time With Your Cat Showing Them The Bed
Sometimes it takes cats some time to figure out that a bed is a comfy place to rest. So, instead of waiting for them to do so on their own, spend some time with your cat trying to get them to use the bed. Don’t be forceful in any way while doing so as this will likely have the opposite intended affect. Instead, be kind and easy going with the process. Get their attention by saying and their name and try to convey that the bed is a good spot to sleep.
Treats can work like a charm in the difficult task of getting your cat in the habit of using a new bed. Reinforce any behavior that they show where they are using the bed. You can also use treats to get them inside the bed, and then use the treats to keep them inside. This will create a positive connection with the bed and they will start using it even when no treats are involved.
8. Clean The Bed
Cats like being clean. If a bed gets too dirty, they may start to avoid it. Also, beds sometimes will arrive from the store smelling like chemicals. By giving it a clean, your cat might be more attracted to using it. This is similar to how cats behave with litter boxes because if a litter box gets too dirty, they will stop using it altogether. Throw the bed in the wash, and see if your cat is more drawn to it.
Why won't my cat use the bed after washing it?
After washing a cat’s bed, your cat may avoid using it because the familiar and comforting scents that were previously on the bed have been washed away. Cats are creatures of habit and are strongly guided by their sense of smell. When these familiar scents are replaced with the smell of detergent or fabric softener, it can make the bed feel unfamiliar and uninviting to your cat. To encourage your cat to use the bed again, try reintroducing your cat’s scent to the bed by placing a worn blanket or favorite toy on the bed.
Do cats want their own bed?
Yes, cats often appreciate having their own bed. A designated bed provides a sense of security and comfort to cats. It’s a personal space where they can retreat to for rest or relaxation. However, each cat’s preference may vary. Some may prefer softer, fluffier marshmallow type beds, while others may favor open, flat pads. It’s crucial to observe your cat’s particular preferences to provide a bed they’ll consistently use.
Acclimating a cat to a new bed requires an understanding of feline behavior and a good deal of patience. Making the bed appealing through strategic placement, familiar scents, and positive reinforcements can effectively draw your cat to it. Remember, consistency in approach and persistence will gradually condition your cat to recognize and enjoy their bed. By following these tips, you’re more likely to turn a previously ignored cat bed into your pet’s preferred place for a nap.
Blaine is a pet owner and animal lover. His two passions of cats and blogging met and KittyCatReviews was formed.