A cat sleeping happily in their new cat bed - isn’t that every pawrents’ dream? Our furry friends often have their own opinion on that and, instead of choosing the comfy bed, they go to the box it came in. There’s no denying that cats sleep wherever they want – your armchair, a couch, window sills, cabinets, shoe boxes and your keyboard are the true prime spots! What can you do, though, to get your cats to appreciate your offer and be interested in the new cat bed? Check out our list of some of the most interesting, true and tested tricks to convince your kitty that the new sleeping spot is worth being included in their kingdom.
Choosing the right bed
Every cat is an individualist! Since the day they are born, cats develop their preferences and expect their human subjects to respect them at all times. New cat bed? If it’s comfy enough, it will be accepted, but you’ll have to present some convincing arguments first. Which cat bed should you choose for your kitty so that it’s not rejected immediately?
- Quality matters not only for humans, but our kitties as well. If the fabric smells like cheap plastic, it doesn’t matter how cute or funny the cat bed looks – your furry friend won’t like it. If you hate the cheap “made in china” smell, think how a much more sensitive cat will take it. Our cat beds OTI, EMI and the PADI pillow are made with 100% cotton, which cats really like, and the prints on the material are done with paints that are also used for children’s clothes.
- Find a shape and size that fits your cat. While some kitties prefer round beds (like our OTI bed) where they can turn themselves into a cute fluffy ball, others will choose big and soft beds fit for a large dog breed. Our fabCats tell us that they are envious of the squishy and comfy EMI cat beds! Pick a bed that lets your cat sleep in whatever weird shape they can think of. This is why our EMI bed is so cool - it can be used in two ways: folded up like a dumpling or stretched out like a big croissant, which can easily fit more than one cat.
- Coziness is a cat’s Holy Grail! We obviously know some furries that like sleeping on hard surfaces and will choose our desk over a couch but don’t you worry, we have a solution for them as well - our scratchers :) Usually though, cats, just like humans, love their squishy beds where they can dip into a few hours of sleep like a chocolate chip in a cup of whipped cream. However, squishy does not mean unstable - after all, cats want to sleep well :) Our PADI pillow is the perfect example here - the padding that we chose is both firm and very comfortable.
-Sleeping high above the ground - who wouldn’t want that! There are cats who might not like sniffing your socks and feet, choosing their sleeping spots higher than carpet level :) For them, an ideal choice would be our OTI bed, with its 30 cm height that gives our furry friends a blissful, undisturbed sleep.
Should you have multiple cat beds?
Absolutely! Opting for variety and giving your kitty a choice makes for one happy cat with plenty of places to sleep and rest. You also like having your own bed, couch and a comfy chair at home, right? As tiny hunters, cats never stay in one place all day and will move to watch some action outside the window, in the kitchen or on your computer screen. Take advantage of that!
Where should you put the new cat bed, you might ask? It’s an important question, as the place you put the cat bed in might influence if they actually like it or not. Cats can sleep anywhere – from the shelves on their cat tree, through cardboard boxes on the floor, to the balcony, window sills, human beds, couches, carpets or, to spite their hoomans, in the middle of the floor. Having more than one cat bed lets you place them in the most attractive, kitty-friendly spots. Don’t hesitate to experiment and if you have to, switch cat beds and pillows between different spots. Remember, however, not to do it daily - give your kitty a chance to check out the new place.
Don’t push it
Now we can get to some tricks on how to get your cat used to a cat bed. Before we start, though, you should know that there are methods that may not work, or even scare your cat away from their cat bed. Here’s the rule No 1: Don’t push it! Never put your cat into the new cat bed and count on them accepting it, laying down and enjoying the bed 100%. Give them time to sniff, scratch, investigate, test or even run away. It’s the kitty ritual and you might not get it, but you must accept it.
Why force is never a good idea? Putting a cat anywhere against their will teaches them to associate the new thing with stress. It’s equally as bad to take away all their other beds and make them use only the new one. The only thing you can achieve here is your cat finding another spot to sleep in, without a cat bed.
Find your purrfect arguments!
And now, let’s get to the fun part! Using positive reinforcement is the best strategy to encourage your kitty to love anything, cat beds included. There are few different tricks you can try out and, as a cat pawrent, you should know the ones that work for your furry friend.
Treats. Is there any better argument than treats? Use them to lure your kitty into the cat bed and give the treat as a reward or, if they’re in a playful mood, toss the treats from a distance and into the cat bed – wake up their inner hunters!
Petting/verbal praise. If your cat loves attention and affection, doing just that any time they enter the new cat bed on their own terms will make them feel good about the place.
Your scent. How often do you find your kitty sleeping on your t-shirt, laundry or the blanket you were just using? They love your scent! Using your clothes to line the new cat bed might be one of the best ideas to make them consider the bed as a worthy resting space. A blanket with your kitty’s scent on it would work as well – it’s a scent soaker and we all know how The Cat Daddy feels about those!
Catnip, valerian and other stinkers
Even though stinkers, as we like to call them, are often recommended as the first trick to make a cat like anything, you need to make sure how your furry friend reacts to it. We ourselves know some cats that don’t react to catnip at all and refuse to play with catnip toys because of the smell. This trick may backfire if you’re not careful.
Our tip: Before you spray a new cat bed with catnip, test if your cat actually likes “stinky” toys. Our KungFu Cat Toy might be your perfect starting point.
Give your kitty some time
Learning to love a new cat bed might require a lot of patience from cat pawrents and their ability to adapt to cat’s needs. We must remember that cats like doing things in their own time, on their own terms. Sometimes they will ignore the cat bed for a year just to lay down in it one day and think “hey, it’s actually a great place for a nap!”. Our own cats, Kitku Yoda and Teddy, sleep in myKotty cat beds and pillows since they were little kittens. We have the cat beds set in different places in our house and it works perfectly. The only downside of myKotty cat beds is that you may not see a cat by your side, on the couch for a long time. Cat cuddles? You can only hope for them between their many cat naps.
Now, a question for you, our dearest fabCats. How did you manage to convince your cats to use their new beds? Do the ones that got rejected still live under the bed, or maybe they were all a hit from the start and are being used all the time? Let us know in the comments section and be sure to check our tips if you decide to get your cat a new cat bed this winter!