If you’re a cat owner, I’m sure you’re familiar with this scenario: You line a box with a fluffy blanket for your feline friend to sleep in, but she just ignores it and continues to sleep wherever she likes. And for you, this means having to constantly clean up cat hair from the couch or armchair and wash your bed linens every couple of days. If only your cat would get used to sleeping in one spot.
Well, cats have a mind of their own and are almost impossible to train like dogs. In addition to this, they’re notoriously picky for everything from food to beds and toys. With that being said, to help your cat get used to sleeping in a dedicated spot, you need to put an effort into picking the right bed, the right location for it, and try some tricks that can help lure the kitty to try the bed. Here are some tips that can be of great help.
How to Pick the Purrfect Cat Bed
You’ve probably noticed that there’s a variety of cat beds Australia pet stores sell. So, which one to choose? Well, it all depends on the unique preferences your cat has. Observe her for some time to get an idea of her sleeping habits. If she likes to stretch out on your bed, then choose a cat bed that’s large and open enough to a fit her all stretched-out. On the other hand, if she prefers sleeping in “safer” spaces, like for instance tucked under the sheets, between the pillows or under the bed, look for a so-called “tunnel” bed where she can hide in.
Also, observe which kind of fabrics she likes to roll around in. If she loves plush blankets or rugs, a bed made of faux fur can be an attractive option for her. Some cats may prefer warm wooly surfaces or smooth cotton fabrics. If your cat is older or struggles with arthritis, there are also heated cat beds Australia pet shops offer. The warmth emitted from the bed can help soothe any pain the cat might have. In any case, your cat will be the best guide for what kind of bed to choose. However, some beds can be easier to maintain than others. For instance, a bed with a removable cover is easier to wash and dry, and you can also change its style at whim.
Where to Put Cat Bed
The location for the bed is equally as important as the bed itself. Place it in a spot that’s familiar for your kitty so that she’ll be more likely to use it. This should preferably be a quiet spot away from noise or windows that can distract the cat from sleeping. Most cats love sunbathing and warm spots, so place the bed in an area that gets a lot of sun and warmth. However, when it’s really hot in the summer, you will need to place the bed somewhere cool. Some cats like to sleep high up or in spots elevated from the ground. If this is the case with your cat, you may want to place the bed on a piece of furniture, a box or on the tier of a cat tree if you have one.
How to Get a Cat to Use a Cat Bed
It’s not uncommon to buy something for your cat and discover that your cat wants nothing to do with it. If this is the case when you bring in a new bed, then you will need to try a few tricks to make it as appealing as possible for her. The best way to do so is to try to lure your cat to the bed with some catnip. Just cut a hole into the bed, put some catnip and saw it in. In fact, some beds also come with hidden pouches you can use for this purpose. But only around 70% of cats respond to catnip. If your pet is one of those rare kitties, then try silver vine, an alternative to catnip.
If this doesn’t spark her interest, try bribing your kitty with some of her favourite treats. Put the treat in front of her nose, and try leading her to the bed. Once the cat steps into the bed, hold the treat over her head until she sits down patiently. The give her the treat and praise her. Occasionally leave treats in the bed so that the kitty is interested to come back to it.
What’s more, many cats are comforted by the scent of their owner or their own scent. So, try leaving an unwashed T-shirt of yours in the bed, or a toy or blanket your pet is especially fond of.
Whatever you do, don’t place your cat forcefully in the bed or use angry intonation. This can cause a negative association with the bed and the cat will be even less likely to try it.