How To Get A Cat To Sleep In A New Bed?

How To Get A Cat To Sleep In A New Bed?

Here are some tips you can try to get your cat to sleep in her new bed:

1. Sprinkle some “magic potion” on the bed to make it more enticing for her.

Your cat will find her new bed enticing and love it to bits although she cannot exactly figure out why. The magic potion? Catnip! Cats get a natural high when they smell it especially when the sense of euphoria starts to kick in. Blame it on the nepetalactone that stimulates special receptors that sense pheromones. 

When cats get their fill of catnip they end up rolling, rubbing and zoning out. It also makes them sleepy which makes the new bed very inviting. However, some cats may not even come near enough to check out the bed. Do not force your cat if she does not want to but try to place a shirt or blanket you have used so your cat can smell familiar scents in the new bed. 

2. Place the bed in your cat’s favorite hangout or spot. 

Check out where your cat usually hangs out and you’ve got a great clue where to place the new bed. Cats are more likely to sleep in their new bed if it is in a spot that they often sleep or stay on. If your cat\s favorite area is on a bookshelf or a tier of her cat tree you can try to place the bed there or on a sunny spot since most cats like to stay in such areas. You can also place the new bed in a secluded area of the home where she will not be disturbed while sleeping. 

3. The new bed should be appropriate for your cat.

Do not just buy any cat bed that catches your fancy. Consider your cat’s preferences and sleeping habits when choosing her special lair. If your cat likes stretching out as she snoozes, go for a large and rectangular bed so she can be as comfortable as she can get. If she frequents secluded areas, opt for a hooded or cave-like bed. 

Some cats favor round and soft beds if they are natural contortionists that like to sleep all curled up or in a distorted position. However, if you have an older or senior cat at home go for a heated or self-warming cat bed that is ideal for aching joints. Opt for natural materials like wool or cotton and avoid synthetic materials with chemical odors since cats are very particular when it comes to scents.  Check out our earlier article on best cat beds for additional information on this topic. 

4. A familiar-smelling bed is tempting for cats. 

Aside from luring her with catnip, you can also encourage your cat to sleep in her new bed if she senses familiarity with it. Try placing your shirt on it or their favorite blanket as cats find it comforting since they recognize the scents. You can also rub and leave her toys on the new bed and your cat will most likely stay and sleep on it.

5. Discourage your cat from sleeping in undesirable areas. 

Cats tend to seek out and sleep in restricted spots in your home like the laundry basket, in your shoe rack or inside your bag. Discourage her from pursuing the habit by making these areas undesirable. You can try placing plastic carpet runners or aluminum foil since cats hate it because of the texture. 

You can also spray these spots with vinegar or citrus-infused solution that cats hate due to the smell. Block your cat’s access from rooms and other restricted areas at home such as the kitchen or laundry room. 

You can also lure your cat with treats to encourage her to sleep in her new bed. Place some on it and reward her with more if she comes and stays in her new bed.    

Why won’t my cat sleep in his new bed?

Your cat may not be sleeping in his new bed since it does not smell right for him. Cats are particular with scents and factory-fresh beds are strange for them. Try to rub your used pillowcase over the new bed or place your used shirt so it will smell familiar. 

Your cat may also be avoiding his new bed since it is too comfy for him. Try to place a pillowcase over the fluffy bed or opt for an igloo bed if your cat likes dark areas when he sleeps. Maybe you placed the bed in an uninviting area or location. Consider placing it in an area where your cat usually sleeps or hangs out. 

To find out what makes a good bed for your kitty we have separate articles on the how to choose a bed for cats generally and a separate articles for older cats.

Where do cats like to sleep at night?

According to a recent study, at least 34% of the cats like to sleep in their guardian’s bed while at least 22% will favor sleeping in furniture like the sofa. Additionally, at least 20% of felines like to sleep in their cat bed but will only spend part of the night in it and tend to transfer to other areas the rest of the time. Cats also favor sleeping in enclosed cardboard boxes at night since it is instinctual among them to be wary of predators and threats around them. 

Can I train my cat to sleep at night?

Yes, you can train your cat to sleep at night by changing her schedule gradually. Schedule playtime and feeding during the day and early evening so it will closely match your waking and sleeping schedule at home. Feed your cat a big meal just before your bedtime so she will feel full and will most likely sleep after eating her food.  If she is waking up during the night to seek or ask for food, get a timed feeder so it will dispense food during the night. 

Do cats prefer to sleep alone?

Yes, most cats prefer to sleep alone including those that are very affectionate to their owners. They like to sleep in a quiet area and tend to change areas where they. Some cats may prefer to sleep between the legs of their humans or at the foot of the bed but not all cats will do this. It will usually depend on a cat’s personality and preferences.  


Cats love to sleep and may do so for at least 16 hours a day and they can doze off regardless if it is in a bookshelf or while dangling from your backpack. Having a new bed can be intimidating and strange for your cat but you can encourage her to sleep on it by sprinkling some catnip, placing your old shirt or her toys to smell familiar and putting the new bed in a spot where she usually sleeps and hangs out. 

Image: / Sergi Nunez