Sharing a Bed with Your Cat: Steps for Success
The personality of your cat is probably the most important part of whether a human-feline sleeping arrangement will work. Some cats are pretty chilled out and will sleep in any place they can, without much complaint one way or another. Other cats may demand to sleep in the big soft bed in your bedroom. And if you behave nicely, you may be granted access.
If you have a generous cat, you will probably find sharing the bed with your cat a cosy experience, giving you a nice feeling of companionship. If your cat is more of the pushy type, stealing the duvet and pushing you out, you may have to work a bit harder to get your way.
The first step in dealing with a dominant cat is to remove her from the bed and put her in a dedicated space where she can sleep. Let your cat know in no uncertain terms that she is not allowed to dominate. If that doesn’t help, try placing her in her own bed outside the bedroom and close the door. You will probably hear sounds of an unhappy cat outside the door, so be prepared to ignore it. If you don’t ignore it and give in, she’ll learn very quickly that scratching and crying gets her what she wants.
Those who have cats who don’t dominate the bed, might have the kind of cats that double up as alarm clocks that can’t be set. Cats are naturally crepuscular, meaning they like to get up at dawn, usually a few hours before humans.
They are often in the mood for playing (read “hunting”) at this point, so any toes, fingers or other limbs sticking out of the duvet may quickly be the “prey” of choice. If your cat is an active hunter when you’re trying to sleep, make sure there are some toys lying around, preferably toys without bells!
Also make sure that your cat realizes that she has to live to your morning schedule. When she wakes up, try not to pander to her wishes – only feed her when you get up, and only play when you are ready to get up. If she understands that she can get what she wants at 4am, she’s likely to continue with that. When she realizes that you give her what she wants when you get up, you’re more likely to be left to sleep.
To make sure she’s more tired when you both go to bed, take some time to play with her before bedtime. Some good exercise for your cat will help her want to sleep for longer, leaving you with more time to sleep too.