How to Get a Cat to Use Their New Bed

GETTING YOUR CAT TO USE THEIR NEW BED

If you’re like most cat owners, you want your kitty to be happy and so you go out and buy him/her a beautiful new bed. You bring it home, unwrap it and immediately assume he/she will love it. But if your cat is like so many others, he/she has a favorite cardboard box that he/she will go back to when it’s time for a nap. What can you do? 

There are a number of things you can try that have a good chance of working to persuade your cat to forego the box in favor of their new bed: 


 Select the Right Bed

Observe your cat sleeping so that you know which bed to choose. Cats that sleep all stretched out need a bed large enough to accommodate this, usually one with lower sides. If your cat sleeps all curled up a round, soft bed with raised sides should work well. Cats that sleep in cupboards or under beds would likely want a bed with high sides or one with a hood where they can hide. If you have an older cat that suffers from arthritis, a heated bed is great. And, keep exchanging the bed until you find the right one.


Make Sure the New Bed is Clean and Smells Nice

Cats are naturally fastidious and have a keen sense of smell. Make sure the bed is machine washable or has a removable washable cover. As soon as you bring it home, toss it in the washing machine. You want it to be fresh and clean for your cat with no off-putting factory or pet store odors. If your cat suddenly stops sleeping in his/her bed, it may be soiled, which means it’s time to wash it again.  

Chances are that your cat is used to cuddling with you, so if you put one of your t-shirts in his/her bed your smell should be very enticing. If your cat has a favorite blanket, place that in the bed as well as that already has his own smell on it. This may be enough to persuade him/her to use the new bed.  


Bribe Your Kitty with Treats and Catnip 

I don’t know about your family, but bribery always gets results in mine! Sprinkle the bed with your cat’s tastiest treats and add some fresh catnip. It’s a very rare cat that can resist catnip, so your cat will likely jump in bed and start rolling around. When they are over their catnip “high” cats usually curl up and fall asleep. And, this is exactly what you want!  


Choose an Appealing Location

If you already know where your cat likes to sleep, place the new bed there. Choose a low-traffic area of the home where it’s nice and quiet. If your kitty prefers sleeping up high, place the bed on a bookshelf or a platform high up in a cat tree. This will also keep him/her away from the family dog and/or the kids.

Many cats prefer sleeping in a warm, sunny place, so you might want to place your kitty’s bed up on a windowsill that gets a lot of daytime sun. Cats also love a great view, so from this vantage point your cat can relax in bed and enjoy watching the birds, squirrels and other outdoor critters.  

If you have pieces of furniture that you prefer your cat not sleep on, you can line them with aluminum foil. If there are areas in your home you want to discourage your cat from entering, use gates or place plastic carpet runners upside down in those areas. 


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