Cats adore their snooze time and typically spend two thirds of their life doing what they do best, yes, sleeping! They sleep for more or less 12 to 16 hours each day along with some power naps. This leads one to wonder if beds are necessary for cats a.k.a. devoted sleeping beauties.
Do cats need a bed?
Yes, cats need a bed. While they can sleep anywhere they fancy, it is beneficial for them to have one. This is because providing them a bed to sleep on will encourage them to sleep in one specific place. Once you introduce your cat to its bed, she will most likely seek it out and settle into a routine.
It will also prove beneficial for you especially if you have a long-haired cat that tends to shed a lot everywhere she goes and this includes in her sleeping spots. If your cat has a bed, the fur will be contained to one area and it is easier for you to clean and remove it.
Having a comfortable bed to go to every time she wants to sleeps allows your cat to become more relaxed and happy. It will also help a lot especially if you are relocating to another house or area as her bed will give her have a sense of familiarity and may lessen the tendency for stress and anxiety when moving.
How to encourage your cat to use her bed
While you may have the best intentions in getting your cat a bed, your cat may think otherwise. Cats have a mind of their own and they do things on their terms. Just as they may be okay with having a bed, it does not mean that they will not snooze and nap elsewhere.
Here are some tips on how you can encourage your cat to use her bed:
1. Make the bed enticing for your cat.
Cats go gaga over catnip so stock up on this and sprinkle it on the bed. You may also sprinkle her favorite treats on the bed. Catnip contains nepetalactone that stimulates special receptors which in turn sense pheromones. Cats experience a sense of euphoria or overwhelming happiness and they end up rolling, flipping, rubbing or zoning out.
Having their fill of catnip makes cats sleepy which makes the bed very inviting. However, if your cat won’t come near do not worry. Leave some of her favorite treats to encourage her to come back later. Do not force her to sit or lie down if she does not want to as it may only cause negative associations with the bed. You may also place her favorite blanket or a shirt you’ve worn recently so your cat can sense familiar scents in the bed.
2. Location is key.
Cats will most likely use a bed if it is positioned in a spot where they usually sleep or hang out. If your cat prefers to sleep in high or elevated areas, try to put the bed on a piece of furniture such as a bookshelf or a spot in a cat tree. Cats like to stay in sunny spots so it is also an ideal area to place the bed. Putting the bed in a quiet and low-traffic area is also advisable so your cat can sleep in peace.
3. Make sure you are choosing the right bed for your cat.
When choosing the bed for your cat, consider your cat’s preferences and sleeping habits. If your cat is fond of stretching out while she sleeps, choose a flat, rectangular and large bed that will allow her to stretch as much as she wants. If she likes to sleep in a secluded area such as your closet or under the bed, go for a cave-like or hooded bed that has lots of privacy.
For older or arthritic cats, a heated or self-warming cat bed is ideal as it soothes aching joints and other bodily pain. Nevertheless, some cats like to curl up when they sleep which makes a round and soft bed a good choice for them.
Another thing you might want to consider when choosing a bed for your cat is its material. Opt for natural materials like cotton or wool, preferably the unbleached kind. Cats have a sensitive sense of smell so it is best to stay away from synthetic materials with chemical odors.
4. Discourage your cat from sleeping in restricted areas.
Does your cat always hang out and snooze on your laundry basket, bed or other unusual sleeping areas? Make these spots undesirable for her so she will most likely sleep on her bed.
To deter her from those places, try the following steps:
- place aluminum foil or upside-down plastic carpet runners on those restricted spots
- put a physical barrier such as a pet gate to block your cat’s access or close the door to rooms your cat is not allowed to stay
- spray the restricted area with vinegar or citrus-infused solution since cats hate their smell
Recommended cat beds for your furry babies
This bed has a pet-friendly design and comes in a variety of colors like black, espresso, leopard, snow leopard, cream and gray. It is perfect for travel and very easy to clean.
It features a modern design and has a warm and cozy interior. It is safe and eco-friendly, spacious and made of merino wool that is soft, flexible and odor and dirt-repellant.
This pet bed is convertible and may also be used as a pet mat. It features a modern and minimalistic design with a white furry skin. It is very easy to maintain and machine-washable.
Cats love to sleep and will indulge in this luxury regardless if they are sprawled in a posh bed or a cardboard box. But like what any doting pet parent would do, providing your cat with a bed she can call her own is endearing and necessary. It allows your cat to settle into a routine, it gives her a sense of familiarity and enables her to sleep in utter comfort and peace.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nils Jacobi