How do I keep my cat off my bed?

An alternative question might be, can I keep my cat out of my bedroom? And the answer is that you should not lock your cat out of the bedroom nor should you keep your cat off your bed. Sorry for the disappointment but I’ll explain why. If you have a good relationship with your cat you will want to do everything you can to make him happy. You’ll want to create for him a contented life with you. If you don’t want that or don’t care then don’t have a cat.

Sod the germs and the hairs, sleeping in the same bed as your pets is wonderful and heart-warming — Shappi Khorsandi journalist and she is correct.

Shappi Khorsandi's large bed with cat, baby and child
Photo: Shappi Khorsandi
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

As you want to ensure that your cat is as contented as possible it is a bad move to keep your cat off your bed or out of the bedroom because it is the most scent-heavy room in your house. I am referring to your scent and that of your partner if you share the bed. Your bed smells of you more strongly than perhaps any other piece of furniture, other than your favourite armchair. Therefore, it is a socially critical area from your cat’s point of view. As a consequence, any cat expert would, under normal circumstances, recommend that your cat should be allowed into the bedroom and on the bed.

Your cat wants to be on your bed because he can immerse himself in your scent. He can mix his scent yours and feel comfortable (scent exchange). He can be near you when you’re not there by lying on your bed. He can surround himself with your body odour when you are away and you may be away for a long time during the day. Why deny him that? Because there will be some cat hair on your bed? Why do you want to keep him off your bed? Why do you want to prevent him from being as relaxed as possible?

Some people ask how they can keep their cat calm. Well, one way is to allow your cat on your bed in conjunction with a calm environment. If you don’t believe me then perhaps you’ll believe Jackson Galaxy, the celebrity cat behaviourist in America. He says that he is not generally okay with rooms being off-limits in the home for cats and he is definitely against banning cats from human beds.

This applies especially if your cat is used to sleeping with you. Perhaps your cat sleeps on your lap or on your armchair when you are not sitting in it. A natural extension of the armchair is your bed so it would be tough on him to prevent him going onto your bed. And if you prevent your cat from coming into the bedroom you set up another battlezone, namely the bedroom door.

If you really want to try and encourage your cat to stay off your bed, I would suggest that you let him into your bedroom but provide a very pleasant and encouraging sleeping area for him in the bedroom e.g. a heated pad on nearby furniture. Or perhaps on a cat tree. You might be able then to gradually move this out of the bedroom which your cat might follow and use elsewhere. Although he is likely to shun it in favour of your bed.

I wouldn’t recommend it, though. Rather than trying to force your cat into behaving in a certain way which pleases you, it is better if you adjust your behaviour to fit in with your cat. It is quite easy to do, doesn’t take that long, avoids any confrontation with your cat, makes your cat more happy and the home will be more harmonious as result.

I recently upgraded my bed to super-king size, to accommodate more comfortably my six-year-old daughter and my two cats – Shappi Khorsandi
@ShappiKhorsandi – Independent newspaper in UK

Another aspect of this discussion is to question how big your bed is. A good sized double bed would help a cat share it with you. Get the largest double bed you can. If you don’t want your cat to disturb you during certain activities, which I won’t mention here, then by all means keep your cat out of the bedroom during those activities but before and after please let him in.

I like to share my bed with my cat. He keeps me warm in winter and company all the year round. Sorry if this post disappoints you. I have used the word “him” to represent him or her for the sake of convenience.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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