Cats are unique creatures that express their affection in various ways. Some communicate their fondness towards their favourite humans via kneading, while others give playful love bites or grooming licks. Still, there are others who prefer to stay close—hanging out where their human is throughout the day and choosing to sleep by their side. If you own a cat that loves to sleep in your bed (and her actions may be causing you to lose sleep), there are ways to discourage her from doing so. Try these different tips and tricks to stop your cat from sleeping in your bed and successfully take back your sleeping space:
1 Give your cat her own bed.
This goes without saying, but your cat needs a sleeping cot to call her own. The bed should be big enough and comfortable enough for her to lie in, but at the same time, it should make her feel secure. If you own multiple cats, make sure each cat has her own bed.
Observe your cat’s sleeping positions and find a bed that accommodates her favourite poses. For example, if you discover that she likes stretching out her body while sleeping, it would be best to get a bed with wider dimensions. Aside from finding her the right-sized bed, place it in a safe, quiet corner or on an elevated area to make her feel at ease.
2 Make her bed more appealing.
Your cat may be choosing to sleep on your bed because she finds your bed more warm and comfortable than her own bed. She may also like the texture of your blankets and bedsheets against her fur.
Give your cat a similar set of beddings (preferably made of the same materials you use) to encourage her to sleep in her own bed. Place a shirt you’ve recently worn to leave your scent on her bed. You can also purchase a cosy blanket or heat pad to keep her sufficiently warm.
3 Keep her out of your room before bedtime.
Find ways to make your cat stay out of your room. This will prevent her from being tempted to get into your bed. Leave the door shut or spray a citrus-based scent to keep her away. Choose non-toxic fragrances such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit, or create a 1:1 mixture of lemon and vinegar, they spray it on your doorframe.
4 Reward her correct behaviour.
Train your cat to get into her own bed, and reward this action by petting her and giving her a few snacks. Some cat owners suggest placing a few treats on your cat’s mattress before bedtime. This way, your pet will be lured into her own bed instead of jumping into yours.
5 Spend enough time with your cat.
Your cat may be sleeping in your bed because she is seeking your attention. Sleeping beside you is her way of bonding with you, even if you’d just be both asleep the whole night. If your cat is craving for your attention, set aside 10 to 15 minutes every night to play with her before setting her down on her bed. Giving her toys to play with or a new cat tree to climb and sleep in may also divert her focus.
Cats associate you with comfort, warmth, and safety, so it’s no surprise they would want to stay close to their provider as they sleep. Take this gesture as a compliment from your furball. If you’re taking in a new cat from a shelter, it’s best to teach her what’s acceptable in your home as soon as she comes home. From day one, don’t allow her to get into your bed for sleeping or else it will become a hard habit to break.
Read up on other intriguing cat behaviour in our blog.