Cats sleep more or less 16 hours a day, depending on their age, health, physique, and personality, it’s okay to have a cat sleep in your bed, but your cat having his own bed has its benefits, too. Comfortable, easy-to-clean cat beds in cool places can help your cat feel safe, help control cat hair, and make it easy to know where he is most of the time.
Different cats prefer different types of cat beds. Some prefer wide-open flat beds such as a pillowcase with a blanket inside, while others prefer a doughnut-shaped bed that provides support while they’re curled up.
Before you buy cat beds, make sure it’s easy to clean. Can it be washed by hand or in a regular machine, or does it need commercial laundering? Cats prefer clean beds and will stop using one if it’s dirty, so you’ll need to be able to keep it clean easily..
Because many cats love to sleep on a clean, nicely folded piece of fleece fabric, buy a yard or two at the fabric store. (Fleece fabric usually is on sale in December and January, but check at other times too.) To keep cat hair down, fold the fabric several times over so it fits on top of a pillow or inside a box. Every week or so, refold it so that a clean side is exposed. Every few weeks, throw it into the washing machine. Because fleece is fast-drying, you can line dry it rather than putting it into clothes dryer. During hot months, slip the folded fleece into a 100% cotton pillowcase for a cooler bed.
You can also make cat beds out of old down-filled coats. Or simply use a cardboard box lined with a clean old blanket.
If your cat quits using a bed that he previously liked, it’s probably dirty. Air it out outside for a day in the wind and sun, or wash it in very mild detergent and rinse it well. You also can try moving the bed or placing it at a different height, just in case it’s in a draft or he wants a change. Cats are like people, we like clean, warm, safe and dependable beds.
Try different locations and different heights—some cats want to be as high as possible. Keep the cat bed near food, water, and scratching posts, but have the litter box farther away from these things. The most popular location for a cat bed is in front of windows. Not only is this the warmest spot (as long as the window isn’t drafty); it also gives him a chance to watch for intruders or birds.
Bad Locations for Cats to Sleep
- Drafty areas
- Outside, unsupervised
- Close to a litter box
- Near the heater or water heater or cars
- Where she may be stepped on
Some cats even like to sleep in the middle of a noisy household. Most favor spots where they won’t be stepped on. Older cats need beds near or on the floor, away from drafts, and close to necessities such as food and water dishes.