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Coming home from a long day at work, there's nothing better than settling for a warm, sleepy cuddle with your cat. Evenings are certainly much better with a feline friend and they make everything a lot more fun – as well as fluffy.

Loose hair aside, when it comes to bed time, you probably want time away from your cat. Those paws kneading at your face and tugging on your hair is the last thing you need when trying to get eight hours of shut-eye a night.

But how can you tell your cat that cuddle time is fine for when you're relaxing in the living room – but not so fine when you're trying to sleep?

 

Why do cats love to sleep on us?

Cats can get a lot out of sleeping with us rather than in their own beds:

1. It's warm

Cat's love to be warm. Whether it's lazing around in a sun trap in the garden, sleeping near the radiator or hiding in the airing cupboard getting fur all over the clean towels... And it's no different when they come to take a snooze on top of us when we're tucked up in bed. Cats love stealing the heat from our duvet-cocooned bodies.

2. It's comfy

We love our beds. Cats love our beds. They're soft, snuggly and designed for sleeping so it's no surprise when we see our cats buried down in our quilts enjoying the soft squidgy-ness of the mattress and pillows – as much as we do.

3. It's an opportunity to bond

Sleeping on top of you is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your cat. Lying on your tummy, snuggling into your shoulder or just stretching themselves across your face. Either way, it's a chance to be close to you.

4. It provides protection

By sleeping with their favourite person, cats get to experience all the smells and comforts they get from being close-by as well as an element of protection while they sleep. When we sleep, we let our guard down so having you there will help your cat feel safe from harm.

5. It's calming

Hearing your gentle breathing at night can be soothing for cats. Just like when we play rain sounds or white noise to help us drift off, cats enjoy listening to us snooze which in turn helps them to relax.

 

Breaking the habit

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As much as it's lovely to have our cats with us when we're drifting off, every cat owner knows the trials and tribulations of allowing your cat to sleep in your bed. Claws digging into your scalp, high-pitched mewing, toe biting and wet noses pressed into your cheek.

A sudden pounce onto your stomach can give you quite a shock too! So, how can you stop this from happening?

A lot of it is about knowing all the things your cat likes to have around them – the warmth, the softness and the security. Eight easy steps to keep your cat away from your bed at night:

 

Step one:

Make sure your cat has their own cat bed to sleep in and also that they enjoy being in it. Learn how your cat likes to sleep. Cats who are more likely to get frightened might need a bed that they can feel secure in. Other cats might like something they can stretch out in. You might even want a variety for around the house. Place them at different heights and in warm, safe corners that you think they might enjoy and see what they head towards the most.

 

Step two:

Help them learn that the bedroom is not for them. It will take regular training as well as persistence (and possibly a few Dreamies...) but this will help the most in the long run. Keep the door closed and no matter how much they scratch and fuss, you mustn't let them in. If you give in, they'll know it works so they will keep going. Use ear plugs or white noise if that helps you to drift off. But making sure your cat knows not to go into your bedroom – even if you're not sleeping – that will really help.

 

Step three:

Reward positive behaviourby making sure your cat gets lots of fuss and attention when they're in their bed. Give them treats when they stay in their bed so they start to learn that it's a good place to be.

 

Step four:

Help your cat feel safe and close to you by placing something of yours in their cat bed. Perhaps a tshirt that you have worn recently or their favourite toy. Anything that helps them feel comforted and safe at night.

 

Step five:

If your cat really hates being alone, it might be worth getting another cat or kitten, so they can entertain each other. That way, they will always have a companion to be around to help them feel safe and secure – as well as happy – while not with you.

 

Step six:

Even though cats have brilliant eye-sight, it's still worth making sure the room that they are sleeping in is nice and dark. Lights will distract them and keep them awake even longer. The darkness will encourage them to sleep and help them stay asleep more easily.

 

Step seven:

Make sure you enjoy some playtime with your cat before bed – even if it's just 15 minutes – it's worth making sure they get to spend some time with you before you both sleep. Have a few treats nearby and relax before you part for the night.

 

Step eight:

Make sure your cat runs on your schedule – not theirs. It's all too easy to give into your cat's demands for food when it's either too early or not time yet. Again, if they know it works, they will keep doing it. Be consistent with your feeding so they know when it's time to head over to the food bowl.

 

Remember to be patient, consistent and always reward good behaviour, and it won't be long before your cat is back enjoying their own cat bed so you can get a restful night's sleep.

Got any questions? Find us on Instagram and Facebook @Meandmypetsofficial.

 

Disclaimer: This content in this article is intended for information or entertainment purposes only, it is not intended to replace the advice of a vet or animal health professional. Your use of the information is entirely at your own risk and Me & My Pets assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information found on this site. If you have any questions or concerns over your pet's wellbeing you should consult your vet immediately.