How To Get Your Cat To Actually USE Their Cat Bed


If you're a cat owner, this is probably an all-too-familiar scenario: You want to spoil your kitty with a bed as comfortable as your own (and get that eyesore of a cardboard box out of your living room). You anxiously await the delivery. And when you finally plop the cat bed down in front of your persnickety feline, all you get is a curious sniff and then it's back to their favorite cardboard box.

But it doesn't have to be that way! With a few tips and tricks (and seeing things from your cat's perspective,) you can get your cat to finally use that bed you bought. 

Make the Bed Appealing

Lure your picky feline to the bed by sprinkling it with their favorite treats or a bit of fresh catnip. If your cat responds to it, catnip is a great way to trigger your cat's interest in something new and encourage them to play and roll around in the bed. And, as an added bonus - cats tend to curl up and take a nap after their catnip "high" ends, and they're more likely to choose the new bed. 

Once your kitty willingly steps into the bed, hold a treat up until he sits down. Give him the treat and some praise as soon as he does.

Don't force your cat to sit or lie down in the bed if it doesn't want to, as this can cause negative associations with the bed. Leave a sprinkling of his favorite treats to entice your kitty to come back later. 

Many cats are also comforted by their own scent, as well as the scent of their owners. Try leaving an old T-shirt that you've worn in the bed, or a blanket that your cat is especially fond of cuddling up to. 

Location, Location, Location

Place your kitty's bed in a spot where he already likes to sleep so he'll be more likely to use it.

Via OreoPuffKitty, Instagram 
  • For kitties who like to sleep high up or in elevated spots, try placing the bed on a piece of furniture, like a bookshelf or windowsill, or on the tier of a cat tree, as demonstrated above with our Fruit Tart Cat Bed
  • Choose a quiet, low-traffic area away from noise and other pets. Putting the bed up high can help keep your cat away from dogs and toddlers.
  • A lot of cats like sleeping in warm, sunny spots, so place the bed in an area of your home that gets a lot of sun during the day.

Choose the Right Bed

Pizza Cat Bed

When it comes to picking the right bed for your cat, pay attention to where and how your cat likes to sleep to help determine which bed they might prefer to cuddle up in. 

  • If your cat likes to stretch out when she sleeps, choose a bed large enough to allow her to stretch as far as she wants - consider a flat, rectangular bed with lower sides so they can easily stretch out. 
  • If your cat prefers to sleep in "safer" more protected areas, like under your bed or tucked away in your closet, choose a hooded, cave-like bed or a bed with higher sides.
  • If you have a senior kitty, a heated cat bed (or self-warming cat bed) may appeal to older cats who tend to suffer from discomforting arthritis. 
  • Cats that like to sleep curled in a ball may like a rounder, softer bed to snuggle in with raised sides to help hold in their body heat.

Make Other Spots Undesirable

If your kitty is sleeping on your laundry, bed or other furniture and you'd prefer not to have cat hair on your fresh laundry, make those spots undesirable for the cat using harmless deterrents so they'll be more likely to prefer sleeping in his own bed.

  • Cover the spots with aluminum foil or upside-down plastic carpet runners.
  • Spray the areas you don't want your cat to sleep in or scratch with natural citrus spray made from orange and lemon peels and water, or apple cider vinegar and water, which cats don't like the smell of and tend to avoid. They are natural and non-toxic to cats and humans. Be sure not to use essential oils, as certain types are known to be toxic to cats. And never spray your cat directly. 
  • Block your cat's access to "forbidden" sleeping spots with physical barriers like pet gates, or close the door to any rooms you don't want your cat to access.

Of course, there are no guarantees in life (especially when it comes to cats), but these tips should help ensure your kitty gets sweet dreams in their new bed! 



  • Tony Manfredonia

    What does it mean when our cat loved a cat bed and slept in it for months, but now refuses to go into it? Why would she seemingly randomly change her mind? It was her favorite sleeping spot for so long. Now she hates it :(

    If anyone has any thoughts, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

  • Concerned

    Spray the areas you don’t want your cat to sleep in with citrus oils, which cats don’t like. - are you trying to murder cats?

  • Christi Fox

    Love that fruit tart bed! I just took in a 10-week old kitten who likes just sleeping balled up in the middle of the living room or up against her scratching post. I think since she does like to curl up, I’m going to get the fruit tart bed to try!
    Do Owners ever line cat beds with one of their shirts so it smells like them to their kitty? Kinda like a lure?

  • Alex Fairbairn

    This thing happened with me when i buy cat beds in australia. As a beginner in this case, i don’t know about the tips and tricks related to the cat beds. but after doing research on internet, i found out some amazing post including your post, it will definitely help me. Keep write stuff related to cats and share with us!

  • Monica Manø

    Make touse the bed: Se
    Make Other Spots Undesirable – He

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