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Do Cats Need A Bed? (Do Kitties Actually Need Beds?)

Posted in: Cat Care - Last Updated: November 14, 2022 - Author: Dexter Jones
Posted in Cat Care 
Last Updated: November 14, 2022  
Author:  Dexter Jones

If there's one thing cats know how to do it's sleep. While we're feeling super well-rested on 8 hours in the day, most cats can find themselves lazing around for a solid 18! When you add it up, that roughly translates out to over 2/3rds of their entire life sleeping. 

This is because cats, as predator and prey animals, must be ready and willing to spend large amounts of energy to hunt their meal or escape from something hunting them. 

do cats need a bed

It's also why cats sleep in hiding places that are difficult to reach.

So, as you would imagine, if you plan to sleep all that time, you'd certainly want a bed to do it in.

Well, cats are the same way.

Do Cats Need Beds?

While they can generally find just about anything to sleep on when at home or in the wild, they can benefit greatly by having a legitimately soft and comfortable bed to use. So, it wouldn't be true to say that a cat needs a bed, but it is definitely something they will appreciate.

Below, we'll go over why our feline pets cats do benefit from sleeping in a cat bed, as well as how you can effectively encourage them to use a cat bed on the off chance that they aren't comfortable with it right off the bat.

Why Do Cats Need a Cat Bed? 

As mentioned, cats don't "need" to sleep in a bed. If you're a cat owner, you've probably seen your cat sleeping in some of the craziest places, whether they be under your sofa, in a cardboard box, on your office chair, or even in the backyard tree.

Still, while they don't need to sleep in a bed, cats can greatly benefit from it. Not only does giving them a bed helps them settle in on a specific place to sleep, but it also helps them settle on a routine on "when" to sleep. 

I've had cats that have and haven't gotten a cat bed, and the ones that did all knew what time it was to sleep and where they should sleep. 

This was not the case at all for those that didn't, who would often sleep virtually anywhere at virtually any time.

Cat beds are also ideal for long-hair cats that shed a lot. Shed cat hair is more than just an annoyance for us. It also calms a cat down and lets them know what is what. 

If your cat smells their scent on your couch, sofa, and any other place, they're likely to view all of these places as "theirs". 

While you probably aren't going to be able to remove all cat hair from every other part of the house, keeping it concentrated in their bed is ideal as it helps them understand what is definitely theirs while also ensuring other areas aren't dealing with a ton of hair.

Lastly, cat beds simply comfort cats making them feel more relaxed and calm, reducing the chances of any stressed behaviors occurring due to non-medical circumstances. A solid sleeping schedule helps them combat anxiety, allergies, asthma, and depression and a decent bed give them an overall sense of security.

Now that we've gotten a chance to go over the different reasons why your cat will benefit from her bed, let's now get into how you'll convince her it's a good idea in the first place.

Do cats need a cat bed

Will My Cat Use a Cat Bed?

If you have indoor cats that have spent most of their lives sleeping wherever they want, it may be a bit of a struggle to convince them to come down to a specific place every night to sleep. 

This is why it's ideal to get young cats and older kittens to use a bed since they are more likely to take to it than older cats and will also be quicker to start using it.

The good news is that all hope isn't lost when it comes to your stereotypical adult cat. These cats can still be coaxed into sleeping in a specific bed for them, provided you know what to do to properly convince them.

Tip 1. Location

One of the most important things to note when getting your cat to accept a new cat bed is deciding where you're going to put it. 

This can almost make or break a situation, as many cats may not want it afterward if you've left it to sit somewhere

The ideal place to set your cat bed is in an area you normally catch them already sleeping at. This can be in highly elevated areas (like in a tree or on top of tall furniture) or in areas that catch the most sun and are warmest in the house. 

They are warmth monsters! 

The better you've set your cat's bed up, the more likely they will naturally find themselves enjoying it, even without you directly making them use it.

do cats need a bed to sleep in

Tip 2. Choose The Right Type of Bed  

Your next tip is to make get the best cat bed possible for their needs, A pet bed must as appealing and desirable for your cat as possible. Take the time to consider their preferences as well as how they sleep. 

These are incredibly important factors that also appeal to a cat's nature.

For cats that like to stretch out when sleeping, you should consider a more flat, rectangular bed on the larger side. These beds allow them to stretch out as much as possible without worrying about falling out.

For cats that like the more secluded areas or are on the older side (or are suffering from arthritis pain), you'll ideally want to find something that is round, soft, and potentially heated. They also love for a bed that may be hidden away from other cats or people, so putting it under a bed or in a darker hidden part of the house may be great.

Heated cat beds use a heat source like a battery pack or a plug that powers the heating pad within the bed cushions itself. Super snug!

While, on the other hand, self-heating (also called self-warming) cat heater beds are great. The cat bed has a layer of heat-retaining material built into it. The heat-retaining material reflects their body heat back to them. In effect, their own body temperature is the heating source.

There are many types of cat beds out there, take your time to explore all the options.

Tip 3. Make The Bed Enticing 

Once you've worked out where and what the bed is about, you want to give a strong impression to actively appeal to your cat. 

The most effective way is to ensure your cat bed has the right materials. You want a bed that uses unbleached cotton, fleece, wool, and fabrics that can be washed in a washing machine.

In addition to the material, you also may want to consider sprinkling something like catnip over the bed. 

Catnip is known to illicit euphoria and a sense of happiness while also making a cat sleepy. You can also try sprinkling their favorite cat treats over it as well.

Tip 4. Limit Sleeping Areas

Lastly, if your kitty has previously slept in other areas, you may want to try restricting their access to them while also making them the less desirable option compared to their new bed. 

This could be something like spraying a vinegar solution around places they would normally want to sleep. 

You could also erect a physical barrier so that things are more difficult for them (just keep in mind that cats can jump pretty well)!

One other thing you could try is by putting aluminum foil or an upside-down plastic carpet runner. 

These are all great methods of keeping your cat away from its old hiding spots and incentivizing them to use its own cat bed.

do cats need beds

Do Cats Need A Bed? Summary

Since cats love to sleep and do it so much, you want to make sure they can stay as safe and as comfortable as possible. By getting a quality cat bed, and a warm blanket, you'll ensure that they'll love it and that they'll actually use it. 

It also is the perfect idea for someone that wants a more established routine and sense of familiarity for their cats.

By following these super simple steps and strategies, you should have your cat enjoying its bed in no time.

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About the author

Dexter Jones has been a solid member of the ‘Mad Cat Dad’ club since time began! Dexter has been a keen cat writer for many years and lives in Croatia. He lives with his two tabby cats, Milly & Marly, who also flew in from the UK to start their new Adriatic island life together.