Can’t Sleep At Night? Discover How to Keep Your Cat Off Your Bed

Are you tired of finding cat hair all over your sheets and blankets? Or maybe you’re fed up with your feline friend zooming around the bedroom at 3 am and disrupting your sleep. If you’re looking for ways to keep your cat off your bed, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’ll share some useful tips to help you create a peaceful sleeping environment.

Cats are part of the family

First, let’s explore why cats enjoy sleeping on their owner’s bed. Recent research from the Netherlands reveals that many pet owners view their cats as important family members rather than “just a pet cat.” In fact, some owners even refer to their cats as their best friends or even their children. This study also shows a positive connection between the bond between owner and cat and whether the cat is allowed to sleep on the bed or not.

Pretty silver grey cat sleeping on owner
Over half of cat owners in a recent study reported regarding their cats as important family members and allow them access to the bedroom © The Cat and Dog House

Study highlights

Here are some key findings from the study:

  • 57% of cats in the sample were allowed in their owner’s bedroom.
  • Cats seen as best friends or children by their owners (72%) were more likely to be allowed on the bed compared to cats seen as family members (52%) or mere pets (36%).
  • Among the cats allowed in the bedroom, 87% of them slept on the bed with their owners at least part of the night.
  • People who live alone are more likely to allow their cats into the bedroom.
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Other studies have also confirmed the strong bond between humans and their cats, showing that it goes beyond just providing food. Cats can view their owners as anything from a food dispenser to a close friend with an intimate bond.

Cats and their owners develop close bonds and attachments to one another
Research shows that cats and their owners develop close bonds and attachments to one another © The Cat and Dog House

5 reasons why your cat likes to sleep on your bed

Considering the strong bond between you and your furry friend, it’s no wonder that your cat enjoys sleeping on the bed with you. Here are five common reasons:

#1. He likes to be with you

If you consider your cat your best friend, it’s natural for him to want to be close to you when he sleeps. The trust and companionship you share create a strong bond that makes him seek your company.

#2. A safe place to sleep

Cats feel most relaxed and calm when they are in a safe environment. Your bed, with its familiar scent and warm atmosphere, provides the ideal place for them to feel secure and protected.

#3. It has your scent

Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell, and being close to your scent brings comfort to them. Your cat enjoys nestling up against your leg because it allows him to be surrounded by your familiar scent, creating a sense of security.

#4. It’s warm and cozy

Cats love warmth, and your bed offers a perfect spot for them to enjoy a steady supply of heat, especially during the colder months. Despite the initial chill, your cat quickly becomes a furry hot water bottle as he snuggles up against you.

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#5. It’s elevated

Cats have an instinctual preference for higher ground to observe their surroundings and stay safe from potential threats. Your bed provides a raised spot for your cat to survey his territory and feel secure.

Three cats asleep on their owner
It’s instinctive for cats to seek out places to sleep that are higher off the ground and where they can feel safe © The Cat and Dog House

Is sleeping with your cat harmful?

While sleeping with your cat offers many benefits, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks. Here are some disadvantages:

  • Nocturnal disruptions: Some cats may exhibit hyperactivity or make noise during the night, which can disrupt your sleep.
  • Shedding: Cats can leave their hair behind on your bed, requiring frequent cleaning.
  • Hygiene concerns: Cats may track dirt and dust into your bed, potentially affecting its cleanliness.
  • Parasites: Depending on the environment, cats can carry parasites such as worms, fleas, or ticks. Regular vet check-ups and preventive treatments can address this issue.
  • Accidental scratches or bites: Moving or turning over in your sleep can startle a cat, leading to potentially harmful reactions.

Ginger and white cat asleep in owner
Oakley won’t hesitate to voice his displeasure if you accidentally disturb him during the night when he’s sleeping in the bed © The Cat and Dog House

How to stop your cat from sleeping on your bed

If you prefer not to share your sleeping space with your cat, here are some effective strategies to encourage him to stay off your bed:

#1. Keep the door closed

Closing the bedroom door may seem like an obvious solution, but determined cats can scratch, meow, or even attempt to open the door themselves. Instead of creating a physical barrier, let’s explore other options.

#2. Provide a range of appealing alternatives

Ensure your cat has a cozy and comfortable place of his own to sleep. Set up alternative sleeping spots such as a comfortable cat bed, a dedicated shelf in a cupboard, a cat tree, or even a cardboard box. Cats are particularly fond of cardboard boxes, which also help reduce their stress levels.

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Pretty silver gray cat resting in cardboard box
Cats love cardboard boxes as alternative sleeping spots © The Cat and Dog House

#3. Teach your cat to love his alternative sleeping arrangements

To encourage your cat to use these alternative sleeping spots, make them appealing and rewarding. Use your scent by placing a T-shirt you’ve slept in or bedding with your scent on it. Spread catnip or silvervine on the bedding and hide treats for your cat to discover. Reward him with treats, toys, and attention when he spends time in his new sleeping spot.

What should I do if my cat jumps up on the bed?

During this training process, your cat may still attempt to jump on the bed. In these situations, redirect his attention with a string, toy, or wand toy to engage his hunting instinct. Once he’s on the floor, lure him to his alternative sleeping spot with treats or interactive play. Consider clicker training to reinforce positive behavior and reward him for going to his designated area.

What NOT to do when trying to keep your cat off your bed

Avoid using aversive methods such as spraying unpleasant scents, double-sided tape, or shouting “No!” at your cat. These methods do not address the underlying reasons for the behavior and may cause stress and damage your relationship with your cat. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and providing appealing alternatives.

While it may require some time and effort, implementing these strategies will create a harmonious environment for both you and your cat. Say goodbye to sleepless nights and enjoy sweet dreams!


  • How To Calm Down Your Hyper Cat (13 Simple Ways)
  • Stop Scratching! How To Keep Your Cat Off The Furniture


  • Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans – Kristyn R. Vitale, Alexandra C. Behnke, & Monique A.R. Udell
  • Cat Training 101 – Why You Need A Clicker! [Video] – Cat School Clicker Training
  • Cat Tricks: Clicker train your cat to go to their bed, or a mat [Video] – Cat School Clicker Training
  • Family Member, Best Friend, Child or ‘Just’ a Pet, Owners’ Relationship Perceptions and Consequences for Their Cats – Esther M. C. Bouma, Marsha L. Reijgwart, & Arie Dijkstra
  • Housing conditions and behavioral problems of indoor cats as assessed by their owners – Eva Heidenberger
  • Human and cat personalities: building the bond from both sides – Kurt Kotrschal, Jon Day, Sandra McCune, & Manuela Wedl
  • Will a hiding box provide stress reduction for shelter cats? – C.M.Vinke, L.M.Godijn, & W.J.R. van der Leij
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