As a cat owner, you may be wondering how to get your cat to sleep with you. There was a point when my cat snoozed next to me nightly.
These days, however, she chooses to sleep on the couch more than she does with me
Though you may never fully understand why your cat makes his or her sleeping choices, there are ways to encourage him to find his way into your room at night.
READ MORE: Why My Cat Won’t Sleep With Me?
How Do I Get My Cat to Sleep With me?
1. Develop Consistent Sleep Patterns
According to the National Library of Medicine, cats have a circadian rhythm (1) that dictates when they feel tired or awake.
There are ways, however, to help cats develop a nightly routine similar to your own.
Going to sleep at the same time each night is one way to help your pet develop a sleep rhythm that is in sync with their human companion.
As creatures of habit, our lovely feline friends will pick up on new patterns fairly easily, and possibly make behavior modifications of their own (such as going to sleep when you do).
This video shows ways to help train your feline friend to adjust their sleep cycles to better match your own.
2. Encourage Play Time
A good healthy dose of playing perhaps an hour before bedtime can be the answer for how to put a cat to sleep instantly.
There are many ways to play with a cat to help them burn off some energy.
Purchase some stimulating toys such as a puzzle toy, or simply tug on a string.
These periods of time serve as a good bonding strategy as well, and if you have kittens it helps them burn up any extra energy that might have stored up making them want to play.
Once the activity is over, you may find that your newly exhausted cat may contentedly decide that it is a good idea to curl up next to you as you settle in for the night as well.
READ MORE: Why do cats sleep next to their owners at night?
3. Make the Invite
If your cat used to sleep with you but no longer does, how to make my cat love me again may not be the question you need to ask.
Instead, you might just want to call your cat’s name and see if they come to you at bedtime.
The cat in our family stopped sleeping in my bed and I missed her. Picking her up and carrying her to sleep in bed with me did not work.
It had to be her choice. Calling her name after I’d settled in is what seemed to do the trick.
4. Make Sure there is Enough Room
Making sure they have enough room to snooze undisturbed if they lie next to you can also be a big deal.
If cats have a challenging time trying to find a place to nestle in and sleep, chances are high they will simply move (away from you).
If you are a restless sleeper, your cat may inadvertently find herself on the wrong end of your hands or feet while you toss, turn and move around.
Understandably, this can disturb a cat from getting restful sleep and cause your furry friend to want to leave your side.
Purchasing a bigger bed can do wonders for their comfort and yours.
Or, simply making sure blankets and extra pillows are not taking up too much room can help encourage your feline companion to take his rest by your side.
5. Make Sure they Feel Secure
One common cat behavior is that our sweet little furballs love is to get inside of an enclosed area. It helps them feel secure.
My sister took a cardboard box and put it on the bed next to her.
Once her cat was finished eating, he climbed into the box next to her on the bed and looked at her. She laughed and continued to mind her own business.
Before she knew it, her cat was fast asleep. After a few days of this, she removed the box and the cat continued to come to her bed to sleep.
6. Extend Dinner Time to Late in the Evening
There’s nothing like a hearty meal that will give your cat all the feels. Cat behavior dictates that they like to eat, and they like to sleep.
In fact, research shows that cats sleep 15 to 20 hours a day (2), depending on their age.
It should come as no surprise to pet owners then, that just like humans like to sleep after a big meal, cats often do the same.
This means that if you give them their biggest meal of the day in the evening, they can quickly get into the habit of going to sleep after they eat it.
If you feed them in your room, they may decide to retire to your bed, once they have finished eating (and possibly grooming themselves afterward).
7. Offer Positive Reinforcement
Giving them a nice little pet, or scratching them behind the ears when they jump up to where you are might do the trick.
Or you can have a little snack handy for them, to reward them for coming up to where you are to visit.
Just make sure it is a treat that isn’t pungent or messy. Keeping some treats next to you might be a good way to encourage your feline family member to come to visit often.
8. Close the Door
If you have a cat who likes to roam at night, simply bring them into the room and close the door.
Initially, they might decide to sleep somewhere else in the room, but they are creatures of comfort and will soon find their way to you.
After a little training and their appreciation for soft surfaces, they might just take to sleeping in the bed next to you.
READ MORE: Do kittens sleep through the night?
9. Place a Cat Perch Next to Your Bed
A lot of times if you put a cat perch next to your bed, it will help your cat become familiar with the area.
Once they feel comfortable in your area of sleep, you might find your cat jumping over to you at night.
This may or may not happen immediately. Cats are prone to nocturnal activities, so if it does not happen right away, just give it a little time.
10. Spend Time Relaxing in Bed
Spend some time just relaxing in your bed. Read a book, do some writing, watch a movie, etc. Your cat may just naturally find its way to you.
Be sure to talk to your cat kindly, or give him a little ear scratch so he knows he is welcome in your spot.
Once your cat gets used to just spending time next to you while you are awake, he may naturally progress to wanting to sleep there when you do as well.
ALSO READ: Why Does My Cat Meow At Me in the Morning?
Though there is no exact method to coerce your cat to sleep with you at night, there are measures you can take to help encourage it.
With the guide above and a bit of patience, your cat should be sleeping in your bed in no time flat.
How do you get your cat to sleep with you? Please share some tips below!
- 1. Mohawk JA, Green CB, Takahashi JS. Central and Peripheral Circadian Clocks in Mammals. Annual Review of Neuroscience . 2012;35:445–62. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710582/
- 2. How Much Do Cats Sleep? Plus Other Related Questions . Petozy. Available from: https://petozy.com/blogs/about-cats/how-much-do-cats-sleep