How To Keep Your Cat Off The Bed


If you want the whole bed to yourself, but you don’t know how to convince your cat, don’t worry! You’ve come to the right place.

How to keep your cat off the bed? The first step would be getting your cat their own bed. Your cat’s bed should be large, cozy, and placed somewhere safe. Next, make your own bed undesirable by using cat repellent techniques, or keep your bedroom completely off-limits during the night.

By following these 5 useful methods you should be an expert on how to keep your cat off the bed.

Let’s dive into it!

Reasons to keep your cat off the bed

There are some cat owners who don’t give too much thought about where their cats sleep. While others choose to keep their bed or even the whole bedroom off-limits. If you’re still wondering which is the best choice for you, here are a few reasons cat owners prefer to keep their cats off the bed.

  • Quality of sleep: John Shepard, M.D., Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, suggests that sleeping with pets could be disrupting for their owners. People who suffer from insomnia or are generally light sleepers are more likely to be disturbed, by their cat’s presence. On the other hand, if you’re a restless sleeper, you might be the one keeping your cat awake at night.
  • Night activity: Cat’s are nocturnal animals, and they tend to be more active during nighttime. These outbursts of energy might turn your bedroom into a noisy playground. Even your cat’s trips to the bathroom or to their food bowl might prove distracting.
  • Allergies and germs: Most cats tend to shed, and cat hair and dandruff could cause your allergic symptoms to flare up. Like most animals, cats could also carry parasites and germs, which they could transfer to you. This is more likely if your cat is allowed outside and if you skip your monthly antiparasite treatment.
  • Accidents: I’m sure most of us have experienced the fear of rolling over our cats in our sleep. I sure have! This fear could cause anxiety and in turn, reduce the quality of our sleep. Even though cats are smart animals and they can escape from dangerous situations, accidents could still happen. There’s also a possibility of startling your cat and getting scratched as a result.

1. Train Your Cat

If you’re a new cat parent or if you’re thinking of bringing a kitten into your home, keeping it off the bed, might prove an easy task. When kittens begin to explore their new territory, you should be teaching them which places are off-limits. Whether it’s the kitchen counter, your office chair, or your bed, you could train them accordingly.

You don’t have to worry if your cat is no longer a kitten. It might be a slower process, but it’s quite possible to break the habit, by redirecting your cat’s attention. Whether it’s a kitten or a mature cat, there are ways to train them.

When you’re home you could try keeping your cat from entering your bedroom by distracting them. Call them, play with them, and use treats to reinforce the habit.

Creating a routine or establishing a new one, might also be helpful. Especially a play routine before sleep, so your cat doesn’t come to you during the nigh demanding playtime.

Telling your feline companion “no”, might actually be the perfect solution for some of you. Cats are very intelligent, and you can teach them different commands, and ” no” could be one of them. This might work better with a kitten, but even a grown cat could be taught. Simply remove your cat from the bed, before telling it a firm no and scoot them along. I found that one of my cats responds better to a clicking sound I do with my mouth. Some cat owners have mastered their training with the clicker technique.

Whichever method you might choose, it’s important not to shout at your cat, or use force. Cats are not pack animals and they don’t respond well to negative training, so positive reinforcement is the key.

2. Get A Cat Bed

It doesn’t come as a big surprise that our large fluffy beds seem very inviting to our fluffy companions. Naturally, the most crucial step to keeping your cat off the bed is actually getting them their own perfect bed.

Choosing the perfect bed

Make sure the cat-bed is comfortable and makes your cat feel nice and cozy. After all, you want it to be better than your bed! One of my favorites is the cat ball cat bed that forms a little cubby for your cat to call home. You can see it here on Amazon. But if your cat loves to knead then check out this fuzzy cat bed from 4claws. If your cat loves making biscuits there’s a chance they won’t be able to resist this bed!

If your cat loves sleeping beneath your duvet covers, or in closed spaces, choose a hooded bed or one with high sides to make it feel protected

Hairless cats and senior cats love staying extra warm so perhaps a heated cat-bed may be a better choice for you.

A cat basket placed next to the foot of the bed or on your lamp side might work best. This way your cat could feel like they’re still close to you, while you keep the bed to yourself.

A cat condo could be the perfect bed for your cat. It provides your cat with multi-level structures, where they could jump, climb, and nap. It should be a good choice for energetic cats, that like to play between their sleep sessions.

Some cats prefer soft blankets or sofa cushions, even a large shoebox or a basket stuffed with soft fabrics could be the perfect DIY cat-bed.

Picking the perfect spot

Try placing their new bed in a quiet spot, this should provide them with a feeling of safety.

If your cat loves sunbathing maybe try placing the cat-bed by the window. I keep a tall cat tree by the window, and I find it’s the perfect spot for my cat. He enjoys waking up to the morning sun. He watches flying birds outside while taking long naps in between.

Some kitties love to sleep up high. In that case, you could place the bed on a tall, easily accessible piece of furniture or on their cat tree. This is also a good method to redirecting your cat from climbing on pieces of furniture you don’t want them to.

If your cat loves sleeping all over the bedroom, you could give it more than one option. Perhaps a large soft bed next to the foot of your own bed and another one by the window.

3.Make Your Bed Undesirable

If after everything you’ve done you still find your cat sleeping on your bed, then perhaps you could make that space undesirable. The following methods might prove effective.

Negative association

Cats usually don’t like strange textures and noises. You could cover the bed with aluminum foil or some double-sided tape. The aluminum foil is noisy, while the tape would feel sticky and unpleasant when they walk over it. Or you could pick up something that’s specially made to keep cats off beds like this furniture training mat on Amazon. It works by making a lot of noise AND making the furniture much less comfortable.

A plastic runner liner could be a great alternative to the double-sided tape. You can try covering the bed during the day. It’s highly unlikely that your cat would want to sleep on a plastic surface. It will also keep your cat’s hair from getting on the bed.

Positive reinforcement

Once you make sure that you bought the perfect bed for your cat, place it on your own bed for a while. When your cat gets used to it, you can move it away from your bed, to a location you prefer.

You could use treats to lure your cat onto their bed. Try hiding the treats in and around the furniture or bed. This should create a positive association for your cat. Eventually, your cat might lose their interest in your bed.

Your cat’s new bed or furniture might feel strange and unfamiliar to them. You could use their favorite blanket or an old t-shirt that smells like you to make them feel safe. Similarly, you could try using a catnip spray on their bed. Ramona Turner, a veterinarian explained how catnip can have a strong effect on some cats. By sprinkling some catnip on your cat’s bed you’ll instantly make them feel relaxed and safe.

Whenever you find your cat on your bed, try moving it back to their cat-bed. Use positive affirmation when you see your cat staying or sleeping in their own bed. It might seem like a slow process and a lot of work at first, but these steps could ensure that your cat sees their bed as a safe and comfortable place to sleep in.

4.Crate Your Cat

I’ve always thought that only dogs are kept in crates until a friend of mine told me that he used this method on his cat. Ever since I’ve noticed more and more people doing it. This phenomenon made me curious and I’ve learned that it could still be just as easy as teaching your cat to sleep in their bed.

Some cat owners crate train their cats to keep them safe during the night. Cats are naturally curious creatures and they usually look for trouble, when we’re not there to keep an eye on them. Keeping your cat in a crate during the night might save your cat and your shelves from some unfortunate accidents.

Ethologist Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University explains that cats love sleeping in small places, so the size of your crate should have just enough space for your cat to stand up and lie down comfortably. Make the crate inviting and safe. Put soft, bedding inside, or a cushion. Use treats or catnip to make it feel more welcoming. Add a few toys in the mix in case they wake up in the middle of the night and are bored.

You could also use a spray with pheromones to make the crate more appealing to your cat. Don’t forget to praise your cat each time it sleeps or even enters the crate, and of course, don’t forget to give them even more treats!

5. Keep The Bed Off Limits

If you follow all the above methods consistently and still find your cat sleeping in your bed, you could try closing the bedroom door. This way your cat can roam around the house freely, while you sleep soundly in your bedroom.

The first few nights, you might find your cat crying outside your door and it’s important to stand your ground. If you give in, there’s a possibility that your cat won’t stop crying. You will be reinforcing the idea that they can get you to open the door if they cry. Any attention could be viewed as rewarding, suggests Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

Closing your bedroom door should also keep your cat away from the bed during the morning. Similarly, if you hear your cat scratching the door and crying, in the hopes of waking you up, don’t give in. Open the door whenever you’re ready to get up and try not to let your cat inside your bedroom, while you tend to their morning needs.

If on the other hand, you’d rather keep the door open, then perhaps you could black out the room. Cats might be nocturnal animals, but their vision works best in the half-light. A completely blacked out room signals to your cat that it’s time to sleep. Your cat is more likely to leave the bedroom and look for a better-lit room, in case they want to play.

Techniques to Avoid: Ultrasonic Deterrents

We’ve already mentioned that you want to try and focus on redirection or positive reinfrocement to keep your cat off the bed. This means that things like ultrasonic deterrents are definitely on the list of things to avoid. These types of devices can add a lot of stress for your cat and they aren’t exactly precise. In other words, you may be causing your cat ultrasonic discomfort when they aren’t doing anything at all!

The ASPCA explains that high pitched noises can also lead to aggression. Which makes sense when you consider how frustrating it would be to hear a harsh noise constantly! We talked a lot about how senstive cat hearing is when we explained why cats like crinkly things so check that out if you want to learn more about your cat’s super hearing!

But when it comes to keeping  your cat off the bed, stick with more feline-friendly techniques like the ones we’ve laid out already.

Closing thoughts

Sometimes being a good cat parent can be tricky. In my experience, the key to a healthy and happy cat-relationship is having boundaries. Establishing boundaries with your cute furball might feel difficult at first, especially when they weren’t set from the beginning, but trust me it’s never too late.

Share your tricks with your fellow cat parents and let us know how you managed to keep your cat off the bed?

Marina Titova

Marina was cat-struck 8 years ago. It was early autumn when Dante, her grey cat, found her and adopted her. They’ve been inseparable ever since. Dante has been a great cat-teacher and BetterWithCats.net seemed like the perfect place to share his cat-knowledge.

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