Cats are known for their particular habits and preferences, especially when it comes to their sleeping spots. As a cat owner, you might have noticed that your feline friend often chooses the most unexpected places to take a nap. 

If you've recently purchased a new bed for your kitty and they seem to be ignoring it, you're not alone. This article will guide you through the process of encouraging your cat to embrace their new sleeping quarters.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand your cat's personal preference for sleeping spots and use it to make the new bed appealing.
  • Use familiar scents and positive reinforcement to entice your cat to use their bed.
  • Patience and observation are key in finding the right location and type of bed that your cat will love.

Recognizing Your Cat's Preferences

Most cats tend to have a favorite spot where they feel most comfortable to sleep. Paying attention to where your cat likes to sleep can give you insights into their preferences. Does your cat prefer sleeping in a sunny spot, or do they seek out secluded spots? Observing these habits can help you choose the right bed and the best location for it in your house.

Cats also have a strong sense of smell, and they are drawn to places that carry their own scent. Placing an old t-shirt that smells like you or them in the new bed can make it more inviting. This familiar smell can make the new bed feel like a safe and comforting space for your kitty to nap.

The Importance of the Right Bed

Choosing the right bed is crucial. Cats tend to sleep curled up, so a bed with raised edges might be more appealing as it allows them to feel secure. For older cats or those who prefer a warmer spot, a heated bed might be the best bed option. On the other hand, some cats prefer the coziness of a hooded bed to feel hidden and protected.

The material of the bed also plays a significant role. Cats prefer soft and comfortable textures, so look for a bed with a plush cushion or a soft blanket. Avoid materials that make noise, like a plastic bag or aluminum foil lining, as these can deter your cat from using the bed.

Location, Location, Location

Finding a good location for your cat's bed is just as important as the bed itself. Cats tend to prefer sleeping in a low traffic area where they can relax without being disturbed. Place the bed in a quiet corner of the room or near a favorite spot, like their cat tree or a chair they often use.

Make sure the bed is away from loud noises and high-activity areas. Cats are creatures of comfort, and a bed placed in the right spot can become their new favorite place to sleep.

Making the Bed Appealing

To get your cat to start sleeping in their new bed, make it as appealing as possible. Catnip can be a powerful motivator for some kitties. Sprinkle some on the bed to attract your cat's attention. Alternatively, cat treats can be used as a reward when your cat shows interest in the bed.

Another tip is to make other sleeping spots undesirable. You can do this by placing aluminum foil or a citrus spray on furniture to deter your cat. However, be cautious with essential oils and citrus oils, as some can be toxic to cats.

Understanding Cat Hair and Cleanliness

Cats are meticulous creatures, and the presence of cat hair can often deter them from using their beds. As a cat parent, it's essential to maintain the cleanliness of the cat's bed to ensure it remains an attractive resting spot. Regularly removing cat hair and washing the bed can make a significant difference. Consider beds with removable covers for easier cleaning. This not only provides a hygienic space for your cat but also helps in reducing allergens in your home.

Moreover, some cats may avoid their beds if they pick up scents from other pets or strong detergents. Using a pet-safe laundry detergent and incorporating an old t-shirt that smells like you can make the bed more inviting. The familiar scent can be comforting, especially when your cat sleeps at night, and may encourage them to choose their bed over other favourite spots around the house. 

 The Comfort of Familiarity Cats are creatures of habit and comfort, often drawn to the familiar scents and textures they've grown to trust. As cat parents, you can leverage this preference by incorporating an old t-shirt or a frequently worn piece of clothing into the cat's bed. The familiar scent can be incredibly comforting to your feline friend, making the cat bed feel like a safe and secure space. This is especially useful for newly adopted cats who are still adjusting to their environment or for those who tend to be more anxious or skittish.

In addition to using an old t-shirt, consider placing the cat bed in an area where your cat already likes to spend time. If you've noticed your cat napping in a sunny spot by the window or tucked away in a quiet corner, these are prime locations to introduce the cat bed. By aligning the bed with their established habits, you're not asking them to change their behavior, just to shift it slightly to a more comfortable spot.

Engaging Cat's Curiosity Cats are naturally curious animals, and engaging this trait can be a clever strategy for cat parents trying to encourage the use of a new cat bed. One of the best tips is to make the bed an interesting place to be. 

You can do this by placing toys or treats in or near the bed to pique your cat's interest. A sprinkle of catnip or a favorite toy can turn the bed into a desirable destination, rather than an ignored piece of furniture.

However, it's important to strike a balance. While some cats may be enticed by a bed that doubles as a play area, others may prefer a more tranquil environment. Observe your cat's behavior to determine what works best. If your cat is more of a lounger than a player, consider placing the bed in a quiet, low-traffic area where they can watch the world go by without being disturbed. The key is to cater to your cat's unique personality and preferences.

Catering to Your Cat's Sleeping Habits

Understanding where your cat sleeps throughout the day and night can offer insights into their preferences. Cats sleep in cycles and enjoy basking in the sun during the day, so placing the cat's bed in a sunny spot might make it more appealing. Observing your cat's favourite spots can also guide you in choosing a certain location for the bed that aligns with their natural tendencies.

At night, cats often seek out safe, warm places. If your cat prefers a cardboard box or a secluded corner, consider placing the new cat bed in a similar environment. Some cats may also prefer elevated spots, so cat beds that attach to window sills or are part of cat trees might be more enticing. 

Remember, each cat is unique, and it may take some trial and error with different types of cat beds and locations before you find the perfect match for your feline friend's life and habits.

The Power of Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage your cat to use their bed. Whenever your cat uses the bed, give them plenty of praise and some cat treats. This will help them associate the bed with positive experiences and increase the likelihood that they will use it again.

Remember to be patient and never force your cat into the bed. Cats are independent animals, and they will make the decision to use the bed in their own time.

Creating a Scent Haven

Cats have a strong reaction to scents, and incorporating their own scent into the new bed can make it more attractive. Rubbing a soft cloth on your cat and then on the bed can transfer their scent to it. You can also place a blanket or an old t-shirt that your cat often sleeps on in the bed to make it smell familiar.

Avoid using strong-smelling cleaners or apple cider vinegar to clean the bed, as these smells can be off-putting to your cat.

Consistency is Key

Cats are creatures of habit, and they appreciate consistency in their environment. Keep the bed in the same spot once you find a location that your cat seems to like. Moving the bed around can confuse your cat and make them less likely to use it.

If your cat avoids the bed initially, give them time to get used to its presence. Some cats may take days or even weeks to start using a new bed.

Introducing the Bed to Multiple Cats

If you have other cats or pets in the house, introducing a new bed can be a bit more challenging. Cats are territorial, and the presence of other cats can influence whether they use the bed or not. Make sure each cat has their own bed to prevent any territorial disputes.

For households with multiple cats, it's also important to ensure that each cat has their own space. This can help reduce competition and make each cat more likely to use their own beds.

When to Replace the Bed

Cats can be rough on their beds, and over time, the bed may become worn out or lose its appeal. Paying attention to the condition of the bed and replacing it when necessary can ensure that your cat always has a comfortable place to sleep.

Look for signs of wear, such as loose threads or a flattened cushion, and consider getting a new bed if the old one seems to have lost its comfort.


Getting your cat to use a cat bed can be a challenge, but with patience and understanding of your cat's preferences, you can make it happen. Remember to choose the right bed, find the perfect location, and use familiar scents and positive reinforcement to encourage your cat. With time, your cat will come to love their new cozy spot.

FAQ Section

How long does it take for a cat to start using a new bed?

The time it takes for a cat to start using a new bed varies. Some cats may take to it immediately, while others may need days or weeks to adjust. Be patient and continue to make the bed inviting.

Can I use essential oils to make the bed smell nice for my cat?

Be cautious with essential oils around cats, as some can be toxic. It's best to use scents that are familiar and comforting to your cat, like their own scent or your scent on an old t-shirt.

What if my cat never uses the new bed?

If your cat consistently avoids the new bed, consider its location, the type of bed, and your cat's personal preference. Try moving the bed to a different spot or choosing a bed that better suits your cat's sleeping habits.

Thank you for visiting LegitLists we hope this helps you make a legitimate choice!