Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding whether cats like cat beds involves recognizing their unique preferences and behaviors.
  • The right cat bed can enhance your cat's comfort and well-being, but it must align with their natural inclinations.
  • Factors such as warmth, security, and the bed's location play a significant role in a cat's acceptance of a new bed.

Cats are enigmatic creatures with their own set of quirks and preferences, especially when it comes to their sleeping habits. As a cat owner, you might wonder, "Do cats actually like cat beds?" This article delves into the cozy world of feline sleep to uncover whether most cats love the idea of having their own bed or if they'd rather curl up in a cardboard box.

What Makes a Cat Bed Attractive to Felines?

Cats spend a significant portion of their life sleeping, and providing the best cat beds can be one of the most important things you do for your pet's comfort. But what is it that cats prefer when it comes to a bed for your cat?

The answer lies in understanding the cat's preferences. Cats love warmth, which is why a heated cat bed can be an irresistible draw. The heat mimics the body heat they would feel when snuggled up with their littermates, making a heating pad or a bed with built-in warmth an added bonus.

Moreover, cats have a natural instinct to seek out enclosed spaces where they feel secure. A cave bed or a bed with raised edges provides a sense of safety and allows them to survey their surroundings. This preference for an enclosed space can explain why many cats are drawn to boxes or even your laundry basket.

The Importance of Location and Familiarity

When introducing a new bed, the location is crucial. Cats are territorial and may be more inclined to accept a bed placed in their favourite spot in the house. If a cat sleeps in a particular corner or on a certain piece of furniture, placing the new bed in that area can encourage them to use it.

Additionally, incorporating familiar scents can make a difference. A t-shirt you've worn, for instance, can provide a comforting smell that entices your kitty to snuggle into their new bed.

Cats also value their routine and may need time to adjust to the presence of a new bed. Patience is key. It's not uncommon for a cat to initially ignore a new bed, only to later adopt it as their preferred sleeping spot. As a cat owner, you should not be discouraged if your cat doesn't take to their new bed right away.

The Role of Texture and Softness

The texture of the bed is another factor that can influence a cat's decision to use it. Most cats prefer beds that are soft and plush, allowing them to sink in and feel enveloped by comfort. A cushioned bed that enables them to stretch out or curl up depending on their mood is often a hit. The softness of the bed can also help older cats with joint pain find a comfortable resting place.

In contrast, some materials may be off-putting to cats. For example, aluminum foil or plastic liners that make noise when touched can deter a cat from using a bed. It's important to choose a bed that has a welcoming texture and doesn't create unexpected sounds that could startle your pet.

Size and Shape Matter

The size and shape of the bed are just as important as its softness. A bed that's too small may not allow your cat to stretch out fully, while one that's too large may not provide the cozy, snug feeling they crave. Rectangular beds are great for cats who like to stretch, while round or oval beds are ideal for those who prefer to curl up.

The shape of the bed should also cater to your cat's sleeping style. Some cats love to rest with their head propped up, so a bed with a bolster edge can be a perfect choice. Others may prefer a flat, open space where they can sprawl out. Observing your cat's sleeping habits can guide you in selecting the right cat bed.

The Psychological Comfort of Familiar Scents

Cats are creatures of habit and comfort, often drawn to places that carry familiar scents. This is why you might find your kitty napping in a pile of your freshly laundered clothes. The scent of their owner can be incredibly comforting, making a cat bed that smells like you more attractive to your feline friend. To make a new bed more appealing, try placing a gently worn t-shirt or a small blanket that you've used in the bed to introduce your scent.

Moreover, the presence of familiar scents can help reduce stress and anxiety in cats. If a cat prefers to sleep in your bed or on your personal items, it's a sign they find your scent reassuring. For pet owners looking to transition their pets to a new pet bed, incorporating items with familiar scents can ease the transition. A kitten or a new cat to the household might especially benefit from this strategy, as it can help them feel more secure in their new environment.

The Influence of Human Scent on Cat Sleeping Habits

Cats are often drawn to their owner's scent, finding comfort and security in the familiar. This is why you might find your feline friend snuggled up in a recently worn t-shirt or other clothing items. The scent acts as a signal to your cat that they are in a safe environment, which is crucial for their relaxation and sleep quality. It's not uncommon for cat owners to notice their pets preferring their bed or laundry basket over a pristine cat bed for this very reason.

Incorporating items with your scent into your cat's sleeping area can enhance their sense of security. A simple trick is to place a gently worn t-shirt or a small blanket that you've used into their bed. This can make the cat bed more appealing, encouraging them to spend time there, especially at night when they seek warmth and comfort. By understanding cat's preferences for familiar scents, cat owners can create a more inviting sleep environment for their feline companions.

Cozy Companions: Cats, Dogs, and Shared Sleeping Spaces

While cats are often seen as solitary creatures, they sometimes form bonds with other pets in the household, including dogs. It's not unusual to see cats and dogs sharing sleeping spaces, especially when they have been raised together or have developed a close relationship. The warmth and companionship offered by a dog can be appealing to a cat, particularly during colder months or at night when temperatures drop.

Creating a shared sleeping space that caters to both cat and dog can be a delightful addition to a pet-friendly home. This might involve a larger bed that accommodates both animals or placing individual beds close to each other.

It's important to observe each pet's preferences and ensure they are comfortable with the arrangement. Some cats may prefer their own space, while others might enjoy the extra warmth and security provided by their canine housemates. By considering the unique dynamics of multi-pet households, owners can foster a harmonious environment conducive to restful cat sleeping.

The Curiosity of Cats and Unconventional Sleeping Spots

It's no secret that cats can be quirky when it comes to their sleeping habits. Despite providing the best cat bed, you might often find your cat curled up in the most unexpected places, like cardboard boxes or even sinks. Cats sleep in these unconventional spots for various reasons. Cardboard boxes, for instance, provide an enclosed space where cats feel safe to nap and observe their surroundings without being disturbed.

Interestingly, the shape of the bed can also influence a cat's preference. While some cats enjoy the openness of a rectangular bed, others might prefer the coziness of a round or oval bed that allows them to cuddle up and feel protected. It's not uncommon for cats to sit or sleep in places that mimic these shapes, such as bowls or baskets. Observing your cat's preferences can give you insight into the type of bed they might like best, whether it's a plush cushion or a snug hideaway. Keep in mind that what works for small dogs may not always be suitable for kitties, as cats often have different sleeping preferences.

Temperature and the Heated Cat Bed

Cats are drawn to warmth, and a heated cat bed can be particularly appealing, especially for kittens, older cats, or those with health issues. The gentle heat can soothe muscles and provide a comforting environment for rest. However, it's essential to ensure that the heating element is safe and doesn't get too hot.

A bed with a removable heating pad allows you to control the temperature and offers the option to use the bed with or without heat. This versatility can make a heated cat bed a worthwhile investment for your feline friend's comfort.

The Allure of Catnip

Incorporating catnip into a bed can be a clever way to attract your cat to their new sleeping quarters. The allure of catnip is well-known, and a bed infused with this herb can be irresistible to some felines. However, not all cats are affected by catnip, and for those that are, the effect can be temporary.

If your cat enjoys catnip, look for a bed that comes with a removable pouch where you can place fresh catnip. This feature allows you to refresh the scent periodically and maintain the bed's appeal over time.

Multi-Cat Households and Bed Sharing

In homes with more than one cat, the dynamics of bed sharing can be complex. Some cats are happy to share their sleeping spots, while others are more possessive. It's not uncommon for a dominant cat to claim the most coveted bed, leaving the others to find alternative spots.

To prevent conflict, it's advisable to have multiple beds available, especially if you notice that one cat tends to monopolize the preferred sleeping areas. Observing your cats' interactions can help you determine the best approach to bed allocation in a multi-cat home.

Durability and Ease of Cleaning

Cats can be meticulous groomers, and as a result, cat hair can accumulate quickly in their beds. Most cat beds are designed with removable covers that can be machine washed, making it easy to keep the bed clean and free of hair. A bed that's durable and easy to maintain will not only look better but will also be more inviting for your cat.

When selecting a bed, consider materials that are resistant to wear and tear, especially if your cat likes to knead or "make biscuits" before settling down. A bed that can withstand this behavior will last longer and remain a comfortable spot for your cat to rest.


Cats have their own set of preferences when it comes to where and how they sleep. While most cats love the comfort and security of a bed designed just for them, the right cat bed must align with their natural inclinations for warmth, texture, and safety.

Factors such as the bed's location, familiarity, and the option of a heated element can significantly influence a cat's acceptance of a new bed. By considering these aspects, cat owners can enhance their feline's comfort and well-being.

FAQ Section

How can I encourage my cat to use their new bed?

Place the bed in your cat's favourite spot and add familiar scents, like a worn t-shirt. Be patient and give your cat time to adjust to the new bed.

Are heated cat beds safe for cats?

Yes, heated cat beds are generally safe, but it's important to choose one with a controlled temperature and a removable heating pad for safety.

hat if my cat still prefers odd places over their bed?

Cats have unique preferences, and some may choose unconventional sleeping spots. Ensure the bed is comfortable and in a location they like, but also accept that cats will be cats, and sometimes they just prefer a cardboard box or a sunny spot on the floor.

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