How To Keep Your Cat Off Your Bed
If you are like me, then sleeping with cats on your bed is just something I have expected since getting a cat. However, I have had someone email me and ask me this question so I wanted to talk about the best tips on how to keep your cat off your bed.
Listen, I know that not all cat owners want to feel cat paws on their back as they are sleeping. Some people want to train their cats to sleep in their own cute little cat bed. Want to hear something awesome?! Either way you prefer is correct! There is no one right way to raise a cat.
So, if you cat is interrupting your slumber by jumping up on your bed and waking you up, I understand the frustration. You are probably thinking enough is enough and are now wondering what to do to keep cats off your bed without them hating you. If this sounds like you, there are millions of other cat parents wondering the same thing and going through the same process.
Reasons Your Cat Shouldn’t Sleep on Your Bed
Let’s talk about the reasons why people do not want cats to sleep in bed with them. Some reasons I have heard are:
Alright my cats are just as guilty of this. Some cats naturally get more active and ready to play during the night, and your moving limbs under the covers make excellent play toys to jump on and attack. Allowing your cat in bed with can make it hard to stay asleep when they pounce every time you move.
Going to the Bathroom
One unfortunate thing that can happen when your cat is in bed with you is they can have “accidents”. Some cats will pee on the bed as a way to mark their territory. I have even heard of people getting cat pee or cat feces (gross) on the face! This is usually a sign that the cat is marking YOU as their territory. And what better time to mark you then when you are fast asleep.
If you are someone that has a slight allergy to cats, you should definitely not let your cats up in your bed. Letting your cat into your bedroom and up on your bed allows cat hair and dander to float around and get stuck in your bedding. You are then sleeping and breathing this dander and hair for hours on end every night.
There is also a chance for injury to either yourself or your cat if you sleep in the same bed. You could even roll over and hurt your cat if they don’t get out of the way quick enough for you. This is something you need to be especially careful of if you have a newborn kitten.
How To Keep Your Cat Happy AND Off Your Bed
So, fine. There are legitimate reasons why you should keep your cat off your bed. But how to actually do that?! I know it’s nighttime, you’re tired and you don’t want to be training a cat to stay off at 2 AM. No one does.
Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can use to keep your cat off your bed and out of your bedroom. I would recommend trying out multiple options thought. Because each feline friend is different. While option 1 may work for some, yours may need a couple more tries to find the one that suits them.
This first one may seem obvious, but you can get your cat a comfortable bed of their own that they don’t mind curling up and going to sleep in every night. This space can make them feel safe and secure every time they go in it. This is what we use.
While we let our cats sleep in bed with us, four cats in one bed gets crowded. We use this, and a few other techniques mentioned earlier to help our bed stay less crowded, all while keeping our cats happy. You want to encourage your cat to feel safe and happy in their own space rather than your bed. It makes it much easier when your have a cat loving the bed they are in, and can still see their humans. Here’s the ones we use to trick our little stinkers. Cannot recommend it enough!
Keep Your Bedroom Door Closed
One of the more obvious things you can do is close your door when you go to sleep or when you’re not around to make sure your cat stays out. Your cat will have the entire house to roam during the night, and you can sleep securely in your room knowing that they can’t get in and wreak havoc. The main thing you want to make sure if is you have an apartment, that the litter box and cat food are not in your bedroom. You want your cat to be able to roam freely, and still use the bathroom at night.
Try Double-Sided Tape.
Line the top of your comforter with double-sided tape where your cat usually lands when they jump up on your bed. They don’t like that the tape feels sticky and pulls at their feet when they walk on it, and this can cause them to avoid jumping up and landing on it after a few times. This trick is magic when it comes to furniture, and can work great for your bed. You just have to get used to sticky tape on your comforter for some time.
You can purchase special cat repellent sprays that you can spray around and on your bed to get your cat to avoid this area of the house. Eucalyptus and citrus scented sprays also work well to keep your cat away due to the strong smell, and they can work to freshen up your room at the same time! This one is not a favorite of mine. I don’t want to subject them to things they don’t like. However, if you have a stubborn cat that DOES NOT take the hint, I would recommend trying this.
Prevent Your Cat When They’re Young.
Ideally, you want to teach your cat at a young age what is and isn’t acceptable behavior in your home. If you start from day one not letting them sleep on the bed with you, they will not know there is anything they could be missing out on. It is harder to break the habit of the bed once they are older and know that in the past they HAVE been able to sleep with you. Like with all training, teach them young! You can do so by simply keeping your door closed or keep your cat out of your room. You can also train that that your room is off-limits to play in during the nighttime.
Have a Designated Piece of Cat Furniture.
Cats like to rest in slightly elevated places to be secure, and you can satisfy this need by designating one piece of furniture in your home as the cat’s furniture. Teach your cat that they’re allowed to be on this piece of furniture, and reinforce the fact that they’re not allowed to climb on them all.
Sometimes, even just having a piece of cat furniture like a scratching post with a perch in your bedroom can make them sleep there instead of your comfy bed. This is another trick we use to keep the number of cats off our bed. We have a cat sling that one of our kittens loves!!! We simply brought it into the bedroom one night, and that was where she slept all night!
You can also motivate your cat to climb and lounge on their designated furniture by hiding treats in and on furniture itself. We use catnip to get our cats initially interested in new cat furniture. This keeps cats interested and coming back to the same furniture instead of your sleeping body.
Tell them NO!
Fun Fact, cats know around 500 human words. (Obviously this varies from cat to cat, though I did just see a video of a cat saying ‘Are You Coming?’ HOW CUTE AND SMART!). Cats can and do respond to the word no when their human tells them so.
If you are firm and consistent and tell your cat no every time you see the look on their face right before your cat jumps onto your bed. If they’re already on it, gently remove them before telling them no continue to do it if they continue jumping up. Its frustrating, but it works in the long run.
Create A Routine
You most likely have a bedtime routine and a routine when you wake up, and you can establish one for your cat. One of the most common reasons they jump into bed in the morning is to tell you to feed them, but you should wait until you alarm goes off, get up, and instantly feed them, so they learn the routine.
Keep Their Nails Trimmed
Indoor cats have no need to have long nails, and they can snag in your bedding causes rips and tears. One way to remedy this is to cut your cat’s nails short with rounded edges and make an effort to keep them trimmed to an acceptable length. This can also stop that scratching on your wood paneling or other furniture. If your biggest issue with your cat sleeping on the bed is them ripping up your bedding, this could solve ALLL your problems. Okay, not all of them, but like a lot.
Last but certainly not least are cat toys. If your cat is wanting to play, give them toys can distract them from trying to play with you. This is especially true for interactive toys. This is also a technique we use not only for bedtime, but also when we just need a little piece from needy kittens.
We have an automatic laser that have set to turn on every few hours. This keeps the cats distracted and excited without having to wake up and use a laser in the middle of the night. Yes, I have done that and wanted to cry.
Bottom Line Pet Owners. Don’t give up or get discouraged if the first few methods don’t work as you’d like. Keep trying until you’re sure that your cat knows to stay out of your bed around the clock. Time, patience and persistence will be your friend when teaching your cat to stay off of your bed.