Cats make wonderful pets, but one of the most annoying aspects of owning a cat, especially a very furry one, is having to deal with all the fur that they leave on your furniture, clothes and floors.
One of the places cats love to lounge is on your bed. They like burying themselves in the warm pillows and blankets, especially during the colder months. If you are the type of person that does not mind the resulting fur all over your bed, then lucky you. However, if you are one of the unlucky few who are allergic to cat fur or simply do not want fur on your bed, then you will be constantly looking for ways to keep your bed fur-free.
In this article, we will discuss the reasons you should try to keep your bed free of cat fur, as well as how to do this properly and effectively. So, if you are experiencing this problem and you would like to learn how to solve it, then keep reading.
What are the reasons my cat should not sleep in my bed?
The most compelling reason to keep your cat, and therefore its hair, away from your bed is because of the risk of allergies. Even if you are only slightly allergic to cats, it could be that a guest or family member has more severe allergies, in which case it could become a medical emergency if they come into contact with your bed.
If your cat gets onto your bed for even a few minutes, their fur and dander can easily get caught in your bedding.
The cat will not respect your boundaries
If you play with your cat on your bed, it will start to feel comfortable there and treat it as part of its domain. Then, in the middle of the night while you are fast asleep, your cat might pounce on you because it wants to play, since it has gotten to know the bed as a place where it can play.
Your cat might accidentally go to the bathroom
One of the worst outcomes of letting your cat onto your bed is that it may pee or poop on it. This may also be a male cat’s way of marking the bed as part of its territory. This could be especially bad if your cat does this when you are asleep, peeing on you to claim you as territory, too. In that case, not only will your bed be full of fur and dander; it will also smell really bad for the next couple of days.
You might injure the cat, or vice versa
Another reason it is a bad idea to allow your cat onto your bed is that you could accidentally hurt your cat in your sleep. Your cat might have snuggled up next to you in the middle of the night and you shift in your sleep and roll over it without knowing. What’s more, if you accidentally startle your cat while it is sleeping next to you, it might attack you and you could get seriously scratched.
What can I do to keep my cat off my bed?
Keep your bedroom door closed at all times
The easiest way to keep your cat off your bed is simply to keep your bedroom door closed at all times. Do not even give it a chance to consider claiming your room as its own. Keep the cat’s food bowl and litter box out of your room as well, so that the cat does not become stressed when it is unable to access these necessities behind a closed door.
Get your cat a bed
As a compromise, you could get your cat its own bed so that it does not feel bad being unable to sleep on yours. The more comfortable and safe the cat feels in its bed, the more frequently it will want to sleep there, rather than anywhere else.
Use double-sided tape or foil
This is a technique that many people use to deter cats from jumping onto tables or countertops. Place double-sided tape on top of your mattress, or lay down sheets of foil, and leave your bedroom door open so your cat can wander in and learn not to jump onto the bed. Cats do not like the feel of the sticky tape or the crinkly foil under their feet, and they will quickly learn to steer clear of your bed in the future.
There are plenty of cat repellent sprays available commercially, and you can spray these on your bed to keep your cat off it. These sprays usually contain citrus or eucalyptus essences which cats hate, but which will make your room smell fresh, so it is essentially a win-win situation.
This method may be considered slightly cruel to your cat, so try to use this as one of your last options, if the cat is being particularly stubborn and none of the other methods have worked.
Start conditioning your cat as a kitten
As with any bad habit your cat might have, it is best to nip this one in the bud early on, or better yet, to deny it access to your bed from day one.
If your cat has never been on your bed and does not find it interesting in the least, then it will simply keep believing, throughout its life, that the bed is not a place it would want to go.
Remember that you will have a much harder time preventing your cat from returning to your bed after it has grown accustomed to it, than if you had never allowed it up there in the first place.
Give your cat its own spaces
Cats love getting onto beds because a bed is a raised platform in the middle of the room. They like perching on elevated structures because these give them a wide vantage point of their surroundings.
You can still give your cat this luxury, but instead of the bed, get furniture specially made for cats to climb. There are plenty of cat trees and scratching posts available that have multiple perches, as well as cat swings or hammocks that you can attach near windows so your cat can climb in and look out at the street. These fun pieces of furniture will not only keep your cat entertained; it may also stop wanting to sit on your bed because the cat furniture is more fun.
How do I keep cat hair off my bed?
The most straightforward way to remove cat hair from your bed is by vacuuming it, as well as your bedding, regularly. Most modern vacuum cleaners have special attachments and settings specifically for the removal of pet hair. Some of these attachments have bristles or brushes at the end, so that the fur gets dislodged from the bed or blankets and is more easily sucked up.
Wash your bedding
Depending on the material of your bedsheets and blankets, it may be a struggle to remove all the cat fur even by vacuuming. Throw the bedding into the dryer first to dislodge any loose fur before popping it into the washer. If there is still fur left after the washer, it should get caught in the lint trap when it goes through the dryer again.
If your favorite comforter or blanket is too thick and heavy and is a hassle to wash every week, you can buy a thin blanket to throw over the top of the bed in the morning, on which the cat can sleep all day. This way, you only need to wash the thin blanket every week and you can just throw it to the side in the evening when you go to bed.
Use a lint roller or tape
You can run a lint roller over your bed to remove any unwanted cat hair. Do this once a day before you use the bed, to remove as much fur as you can. If you do not have a lint roller, you can always use tape to do exactly the same thing. The lint roller is just more handy and ergonomic to use for this task.
If you are using tape, take about two feet of thick tape and hold it taut on each end with the sticky side facing down. Start pressing the tape down onto the blanket or comforter, doing this over and over again until the entire surface has been touched by the tape.
If you have rubber gloves at home, of the kind you use to wash the dishes, put them on and start swiping your hands over your blanket or comforter. Do this over and over again until the fur on your bedding starts to clump up and you can easily pick it up. Cat hair sticks effectively to rubber due to static. The gloves are easy to purchase and this is quite an effective method.
Cats are loveable pets that make great cuddle-buddies in bed, but they leave so much fur and dander behind that their companionship in the bed may not be worth it. This is especially true if you or a family member has allergies. Even if you do not have allergies, the presence of cat fur on a bed is still a hassle.
Keep cat hair off your bed by keeping your cat off it. You can do this by keeping your bedroom door closed, getting your cat its own bed, placing double sided tape or foil on the bed, using a cat repellent spray, training the cat, or buying the cat its own furniture.
Remove cat hair from your bedding by vacuuming and washing it regularly, using a lint roller or tape to remove the fur, or swiping a rubber glove over the bedding to remove the fur.
No matter how tempting it may be to cuddle with your kitty in bed, remember that, for both yours and your cat’s safety and well-being, you are both better off sleeping on your own beds and keeping your bed fur-free.
Image: istockphoto.com / Konstantin Aksenov