Cats sleep about 15 to 20 hours every day. As such, they need a safe and comfortable place to sleep in during this time. Here is where your responsibility as a cat parent comes in. You can get one of the best cat beds for your kitty so that it will have something cozier, more comfortable, and safer place to rest. But cats are so independent-minded that you may find it challenging to make it want to sleep on the comfy mattress that you have for it. Don’t fret because there are simple ways in which you can train your cat to appreciate and love its comfy bed.
Start by Choosing the Right Cat Bed
Given the fact that cats are so picky, getting the right cat bed is imperative. The problem here, of course, is that it can be a hit-or-miss kind of thing.
Try observing where your cat often spends the rest of the day sleeping. It may sleep in several places, but there’s always one spot that would seem very special to your kitty. If you can identify this location, you’re halfway into the process of picking the right bed for your cat.
Make sure you understand the texture of surfaces that your cat loves to sleep on. Some cats prefer the velvety texture of leather while others love the hairy skin-like feel of wool. There are also those that prefer foam. This will give you an idea as to the type of bed you want to get for your kitty.
Consider also the shape of the bed relative to how your cat sleeps. Some felines curl up while sleeping while others prefer a flat-out straightened pose. The size is also a good consideration. Choose one that’s spacious enough to let your feline friend stretch and move about on the bed.
Take a look at our review of heated cat beds for more options.
Determine the Perfect Spot in Your House for the Cat Bed
Once you’ve decided on the best cat beds, the next step will be to determine where to put this pet accessory. From your observations, it should be easy to determine where the cat would want to spend the rest of the day sleeping.
In general, cats love to sleep from an elevated position. This is both for safety and relaxation purposes. Sleeping high above the floor’s surface gives them the vantage point of a predator while also keeping them safe from “larger predators”.
The location of your cat bed should also be in an area where there’s less foot traffic. Cats don’t like getting disturbed in their sleep, so noisy areas or areas with other pets are a big no-no for cat bedrooms. They also love sleeping where there is plenty of sunlight. Again, this is to help dissuade would-be “predators” from attacking them since they will be in full view of the cat.
Like any other cat accessory, it would be wise to add an extra bed. If one bed is not appealing for a good slumber, then an alternative will still give your cat the rest it needs.
Encourage Your Kitty to Use the Bed
Before you entice your cat to its bed, however, it is a good idea to “prepare” the bed. If you just bought the cat bed, there’s a chance that it will still smell of the factory or the shop where it came from. To make it more “appealing” to your feline pal, you have to prep it.
Get some items that your cat uses every time. It could be a piece of cloth that it always rubs its body against. Rub these items onto the cat bed so that their scent gets transferred to the bed. This makes the cat bed “less foreign” and homier.
If you happen to have a cat bed that’s handed down to you by a friend or a family, you need to wash this first. It is possible that the scent of whatever pet that used it will still be on the bed. Once washed, you can then rub a piece of cloth that your cat is in frequent contact with.
An alternative method is to rub catnip onto the surface of the cat bed. There are also commercially-available pheromones you can spray on the mattress. This will make it enticing for your pet to sleep on the bed.
Once you have the mattress prepped, it’s time to break it to your cat. Encourage your cat to go to the bed. Use cat treats to lure it onto the mattress. Placing its favorite toys on the bed will encourage it to step onto the mattress. It begins to associate the bed with the things that give it the most pleasure.
By the time your cat is on the surface of its mattress, offer it some treats with your hand over its head. This will make your cat sit on its behind. The moment it sits down, give your cat its treat and offer plenty of praise as well. Leave some of the yummy treats on the bed so your cat will have the correct motivation to return to it.
Perform this “training session” at least twice every day for the next 5 days or until your cat will go to its bed on its own accord.
Make Other Areas in Your House Less Desirable to Sleep In
If your cat has multiple locations in the house that it can sleep in, you have to make these areas less desirable. This way, your cat will sleep only on the cat bed that you bought for it.
You can spritz some citrus oils in these areas to make them less appealing to your cat. Covering certain areas with aluminum foil or inverted plastic carpet runners can also dissuade your cat from sleeping in these areas. It is also possible to make these locations inaccessible to the pet by putting gates or some other means of blocking their access.
Training your cat to love its bed is not difficult. You’ll only need the right cat bed in the right location to entice your kitty into.
- How to Train a Cat – PetMD