It can be quite frustrating to have your cat ignore completely the new bed you just bought for it. There are so many choices for quality cat beds on the market, so you may feel disappointed to discover that, after going to great lengths only to identify a bed that would work for your cat has no appeal for the pet in question. Here are some ideas on how to convince your cat actually to use the bed you bought.
Find a right place for the cat bed
If your cat stubbornly ignores the bed you brought home, do not despair. First things first, observe what your cat likes to do and where it wants to sleep. You may be surprised to hear that cats are not that crazy about comfort or heat if they are already kept as pets indoors. Their thick coat keeps them warm, and while they prefer a place close to a heating source, this is not a necessity for them.
Other things are more important for a cat than comfort and heat. For starters, make sure that your cat’s bed is not placed somewhere where the pet risks getting trampled by someone passing in a hurry. So hallways and spaces with high traffic are a definite no-no.
It is a good idea to find a place that is entirely out of anyone’s way, but that is not the only aspect you should focus on. Cats like to have a vantage point, a place from where they can observe without being seen. Bear in mind that even if they are domesticated felines, they still have the same predatory instincts. When stalking their prey, these animals can lie in hiding for hours.
So, as far as location is concerned, these are the two rules of thumb you should comply with: a place that is out of harm’s way (by feline standards, of course), and a vantage point that will make the cat feel safe. Placing the cat bed behind a curtain, for instance, about halfway hidden is an excellent option.
Familiar smells take you a long way
A new pet bed you bring home will have all sorts of unpleasant odors, from the plastic wrapping it was packaged with to even chemical smells caused by the solutions with which the fabric was treated. If you can smell all these, imagine how that must feel for your cat.
If possible, give the bed a proper washing before even attempting to introduce it to your cat. After that, place a worn blanket or cloth inside the bed, that smells of home. Bring in some cat toys, as well. Your cat will feel much more compelled to use the bed.
Make things interesting
Cats are very intelligent creatures, and they like watching you. When you arrange the cat bed, fluff things around, decorate it with toys and act interested. Your cat will come to check on the new stuff, and this is how you motivate it to start using it.