cat sleeping on the bed with his owner beside "how to stop cat sleeping on bed" text

Are you wondering how to stop your cat from sleeping on your bed?

Luckily, my experience working in a vet clinic has taught me some tricks that I’ll share with you.

I’ll explain to you why cats like to sleep in their owner’s beds, whether it’s hygienic and the tricks I used to keep my cat off my bed, that you can use too.

RELATED: Why Won’t My Cat Sleep on My Bed Anymore?

Why Does My Cat Always Want to Sleep in My Bed? (5 Reasons)

My cat always wants to sleep on my bed, because she loves cuddles.

However, this might be different for you as there are several other reasons why some cats can’t keep away from our beds.

These include:

Reason 1- To keep warm

british shorthair covered by a fleece blanket

Many cats choose to sleep in their owner’s bed because it’s meant to be a warm place.

Even without other animals or humans in the bed with them, cats will find warmth from the insulation of your bedding.

CHECK: Why does my cat act like he’s digging?

Reason 2- To be near their provider

Cats will tend to stick close to the person who feeds them and provides them water and affection.

If your cat likes to be in bed when you are in it, they are usually just trying to stick close to whoever fulfills their needs.  Sometimes your furry companion is just looking for some cuddle time.

Reason 3- For protection

cat sleeping with her owner

Many cats see their owners as more than just providers but also their protectors. In their minds, it’s in their best interest to stay close to someone who could protect them.

Reason 4- To Mark Territory

Most cats view your entire home as their territory. To them, everything they have access to is theirs, including your bed.

Reason 5- For peace during the day

If you live in a home that is loud when everyone is awake, your cat may seek some quiet time in your bed.

Usually, many cat parents spend their waking hours outside their bedroom, making it a more peaceful place for a cat seeking out a nap.

Now that I’ve shown you the reasons why your furry friend wants to be with you at bedtime, we can look at whether it’s a good idea or not.

READ MORE: Why Won’t My Cat Sleep in Her Bed?

Is It Hygienic for Your Cat to Sleep in Your Bed?

an old man sleeping with his blue-eyed cat

Yes, a healthy cat is hygienic enough to sleep in your bed with you. This was actually one of the most asked questions at the vet clinic!

Many cat owners want to keep their cats out of their beds because they believe it is unhygienic (1) to let them sleep in the bed.

This is primarily a myth.

Healthy cats (2) are typically very hygienic and keep anything dirty out of the places they choose to rest.

However, depending on the health of your cat is and its specific behavior, it’s not always hygienic. This is applicable if they have health conditions.

One problem is parasites. If your cat has fleas or ticks, you may want to keep them out of your bed until they are treated for these.

Fleas and ticks bite your cat and drink their blood which may leave bloodstains on your bed. Also, fleas may bite you if they are in your bed with you.

Other parasites such as worms may find their way into your bed, which is another thing you don’t want.

This is a complaint I’ve heard numerous times from clients when their cats sleep in their beds, but all it takes is the treatment of the parasites to fix the issue.

If your cat vomits or has frequent hairballs, it may be concerning if they do this in your bed.

Usually, cats won’t vomit in the place where they sleep if they can avoid it, but sometimes it happens too fast for them to get out of a bed entirely first.

Looking for the best top entry litter boxes? Wondering if they're even a good fit for your cat? Check out our complete guide for all the answers!

If your cat is very messy with their litter box or if the litter box is close to the bed, they may also drag litter into the bed with them.

This can usually be avoided by having the litterbox far away from the bed and putting a mat in front of the box.

Check: My New Cat Won’t Come Out From Under the Bed: Reasons Why

How to Keep Your Cat Off Your Bed

There are quite a few tips and tricks to keeping your cat off your bed without taking drastic measures.

All of these are safe for your cat and take a bit of time to work effectively.

So, if you’d like to take steps to keep your cat off your bed, here are three tips for how to get your cat off your bed.

1- Use Citronella Spray

The quickest way to get your cat away from your bed is citronella spray. Citronella has been used mostly for deterring mosquitos.

There are also sprays made with a bit of citronella in them that you can use to keep your cat away from whatever you want.

The smell is terrible to a cat, and they will almost always avoid whatever it is applied to. Citronella spray doesn’t stain or smell much like anything to humans, so this is a great way to keep your cat off your bed.

READ MORE: Why does my cat wake me up to be petted?

2- Get Cat Bed

black cat comfortably lying on her bed

Getting a suitable cat bed for your cat is the next best thing. Sometimes your cat just wants a more comfortable place to sleep.

Judge what type of bed your cat would prefer by observing their sleeping habits. If your cat likes to burrow in the covers, get a cat bed that would encompass them, small with high edges.

If they sleep just on top of a bed that has been made, get them a flatter bed.

3- Teach Them No

It’s’ important to set ground rules for your feline friend. Cats understand many words that humans use, and it is straightforward to teach your cat the word no.

Whenever your cat does something you don’t want them to do, tell them firmly no and remove them from the situation.

If you find your cat in the bed or jump up when you are in your bed, tell them no and then put them on the floor or, even better, outside of the room.

If you stay consistent, your cat will learn not to do this anymore.

4- Use a Deterrent

Use a deterrent such as double-sided tape or line your bed with aluminum foil.

I’ve found with the pet owners I’ve met in clinics that this can be one of the most effective out of all behavioral modification techniques.

Check: How to Train a Kitten to Sleep at Night



Cats love to use our beds as theirs for many reasons, and most of them because of their attachments to you in one way or another.

Most healthy cats are hygienic enough to be allowed in the bed if you want them there. There are a few ways to keep cats off the furniture if you decide you don’t want your cat in the bed.

These techniques only take a little time and effort on your part to get the result you want.

It’s up to you whether you’re going to allow your cat in your bed or not, and now you know the good and bad of sharing a bed with your pet cat.


  • 1. Chomel BB. Zoonoses in the Bedroom. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2011;
  • 2. Krans B. Should You Let Your Cat Sleep in Bed with You? . Healthline. Healthline Media; 2018 . Available from:
ginger cat sitting beside the feet of her owner

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Hi, I’m Tamsin. I’m a serious animal lover and dog behaviorist and trainer. In fact, I live on a farm with nine rescues! So, I love writing about and creating awareness around the health and wellness of all animals.

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