“My cat stopped sleeping in my bed – have I done something wrong?”
This is a fairly common question, and it may pop into your mind if your feline friend suddenly avoids sleeping beside you.
Cats may avoid sleeping with their human guardians for a variety of reasons – from avoiding their humans’ night-time movements to generally feeling unwell. Let us try to explore your cat’s possible reasons, one by one!
Why does my cat not sleep in my bed any more?
Cats are indisputably among the best furry companions you could possibly have in your home, and you cannot help but wonder why they would suddenly avoid sleeping in your bed. After all, it is one of the most loving and intimate experiences you could ever share with your fur-kid.
The good news is that this sudden change of routine is not always a cause for serious concern, unless it is accompanied by obvious physical symptoms and other behavioral changes.
Still, it can feel a little bit heartbreaking when your beloved cat is trying to avoid snuggling with you. But know that your pet might have a valid reason for doing so! For example, she might be hating the scent of the new laundry detergent you used on your bed sheets. Or, she might be trying to avoid a confrontation with another pet who is also trying to cuddle with you at night.
A more serious reason could be that your cat is sick. She might be getting older, and perhaps her joints are becoming more painful each time she jumps on your bed. Or perhaps she does not like being accidentally kicked by you every time you turn in your sleep.
Whatever your cat’s reasons, it is important to give her the freedom to choose the sleeping place where she feels most comfortable!
Cat stopped sleeping in my bed – common reasons
1. Your cat likes to change her sleeping area
Cats can often be seen sleeping in the same place most of the time. But did you know that they also occasionally like to change their nap spot? Believe it or not, the main reason they do this is due to their survival instinct! Back in the wild, cats used to change their hiding places frequently to avoid potential predators. Although they are now safe in your home, this survival tactic is deeply ingrained in their DNA. So perhaps it is not such a surprise if your kitty suddenly avoids sleeping in your bed!
Know that cats will sleep where they want to – from high-up vantage points to dark, tight spots. This is why you may find them sleeping in your favorite sweater, on top of high furniture, inside the cupboard, or maybe in your drawer. Truly, they are always creative enough to find a warm and cozy place to retreat!
2. Your cat hates your night-time movements
You may not realize how many times your feline friend has been bumped or kicked while you turn in your sleep!
As much as we love cuddling with them while we rest, the truth is that most cats do not really enjoy all the movement in bed while they sleep. Our whiskered friends are sensitive creatures and just as easily frightened as humans – if not more!
Hence, they would rather go and find a more comfortable and peaceful place to relax.
3. Your cat wants a cooler place to sleep
One of the reasons cats sleep in their owners’ beds is because they are warm and comfortable. However, if they find themselves uncomfortably hot (or cold), they will likely move to another place where it is cooler (or warmer) without hesitation!
So, if you cannot figure out why your fur-kid is not sleeping in your room any longer, the culprit might be the room temperature. If you are willing to regulate your room temperature to suit your cat’s preferences, this might encourage her to snuggle with you again.
4. Your cat has found a new favorite sleeping place
Cats may change their sleeping locations as they grow older!
While they are kittens, they might enjoy the warmth and comfort of resting with you – but this does not mean they will enjoy it forever. Sometimes, they might find the bed too small, they might hate the new scent of your bedding, or maybe they disapprove of your new pillows and bedsheets!
Whatever the motivation, it does not mean that your kitty is being ungrateful by moving off your bed. She has simply changed her preferences and found a new favorite spot to sleep.
5. Your cat does not like a change in her environment
New people, new pets, new furniture, new scents – these small changes might not matter a lot to you, but they affect our furry companions big-time!
Cats hate the slightest change in their environment. So, if you have changed anything in your room without their consent, this will likely affect their routines, including their choice of sleeping place.
Your stressed kitty might have found another spot to retreat to avoid the new scents or movements. Let her settle in her chosen safe place where she feels more comfortable. Remember not to force your cat if she no longer finds your bed a cozy spot – let her come back on her own terms and you will be rewarded with genuine affection!
6. Your cat associates your bed with trauma
Cats are highly territorial, and from time to time they need a private space to feel safe and secure. They have incredibly good memories, too – especially about events that have frightened them. Examples include sudden loud noises, getting injured by accident, or being attacked by another pet or animal.
Unfortunately, if your cat got scared or traumatized while sleeping on your bed, she will associate the unpleasant experience with your bed. Your kitty will hold onto this trauma and it will cause her not to return to that location.
7. Your cat prefers a high place to sleep
Remember those times when Fluffy used to climb up on top of your cabinets to avoid your pup? Cats like being up high to observe their domain below and gain an aerial advantage to spot potential predators. Hanging out in high places makes them feel safer, especially if they are trying to avoid interactions with other pets.
So, if you find your feline sleeping on top of your kitchen cabinet instead of in your bed, this is probably linked to her inner instinct to feel safer.
8. Your cat is struggling with a medical issue
In some instances, your kitty might avoid your bed because she is struggling with pain or mobility issues. This is especially true for senior cats with arthritis!
If you have noticed your cat struggling to get on and off your bed, or even sleeping in some places where you do not normally see her, then it might be time for a trip to your vet.
How do I get my cat to sleep in my bed again?
If your cat used to snuggle with you every night but is now suddenly avoiding your bed for no obvious reason, it may be a good idea to investigate the root cause. Cats are complex creatures and their language can be challenging to decipher. If you are lucky enough to finally find the reason behind her avoidance, then make sure to address this issue right away so you can enjoy your nightly cuddles once again!
There are also a few tricks you can employ to encourage your feline friend back to your bed at night. The following tips should help make your bed appealing to your cat once more:
- Before you go to sleep, try bringing your cat to your bed. Spend time bonding with her and stroking her however she likes best. She might appreciate the attention enough to stay in bed with you.
- Try to lure your kitty with her favorite treats! Who knows, she might jump into your bed and decide to stay longer to enjoy some tasty snacks.
- Make sure your bedroom is free of anything that might spook your cat.
- If your cat has a favorite toy, try bringing it to bed as well. Let Fluffy play with it for a while and she might decide to stay.
- If you have a senior cat, try putting foam pet steps beside your bed (make sure the size is designed for cats, such as this portable ramp stair from Best Pet Supplies). This way, your old companion will not have a hard time climbing up to your bed.
- Lastly, do not force your cat if she does not want to sleep on your bed. Let her come to you on her own terms!
If your cat suddenly stops sleeping in bed with you, it may just be that she has found a better spot elsewhere. It is not unheard-of for cats to switch sleeping spots sometimes. Unless there is a medical issue involved, just let your cat be! Who knows, she might come back to your bed soon enough, asking for cuddles!
Image: istockphoto.com / Karol Kleszyk Promofocus