Where should a cat sleep?

When you get your first kitten you probably have a pretty good idea of where you'd like him to sleep. Unfortunately kittens aren't like human babies. You can't lay them in bed at night an expect them to stay there till morning. Cats are nocturnal so they'll spend a good part of the night being active. You don't want to give up on the idea of a kitty bed completely though!

Orange and white cat sleeping on his back in his owners bed

In fact, you may end up with several kitty sleeping spots. Some will be cat beds that you bought or made up for them, and some sleeping spots the cat just decides they like! Unfortunately it's kind of difficult to predict just where the cat will like to sleep. You can certainly try though!

Should my cat sleep in their own bed?

Some people have very strong ideas about this. They don’t want the kitten to sleep anywhere but in its own bed. They certainly don’t want kitty finding its way into bedrooms or sleeping on sofas or other furniture.  

Then there are other cat owners who have no intention of separating their kitty from its human family and allow it to choose where it wants to sleep. I fall into this second group and allow my cats to sleep just about anywhere they want! 

There is no right or wrong decision on this, what matters is what’s right for your family. What you do need to do however, is make the decision prior to introducing your kitty to its new environment. It's easier to get a cat to stay off a piece of furniture if they have never been allowed on that furniture, rather than allow them for awhile then change.

If you decide that you want a kitten to sleep in its own bed you will probably want to put the cat bed in your bedroom at first. Since it was just taken from it mother and siblings recently, it will feel a little lonely and might have a hard time settling down at night. It might need a cuddle session or two during the first few nights, just till he gets comfortable in his new home! 

If you have a blanket that his mother had been sleeping on and still has her scent, place this in his kitty bed and it will give him a little security. Most times that just isn't possible though, especially if you got the cat from a pet store or shelter. 

Related reading: How to reduce cat hair in your house.

White and grey kitten sleeping on her back

Should my cat sleep in my bed with me?

Unless you want to give the kitten the idea that it’s ok for it to sleep on your bed, you shouldn’t bring it to bed even on the first few nights when it’s crying for it's litter mates. That would be setting a precedent that you will find hard to break once he gets into a habit of sleeping beside you.

Should you decide instead that kitty is welcome to sleep in bed with you, then you need to take a few safety precautions to ensure that he isn’t suffocated or squished during the night.

Arrange pillows or rolled towels around him to act as a buffer between you and him. Better yet, put a small cat bed on your bed with you...as long as it can sit on the bed without being in danger of being kicked off! Thinking of the baby cat like a human baby can help you to see possible problems with sleeping arrangements. 

There have been studies done about the quality of sleep people get when their bed is shared with animals. If you have a cat that tucks itself down at the bottom of the bed and doesn't bother you at all then there should be no change. However, if you have a cat that sleeps up in your face, climbs across you at night or otherwise disturbs you then your quality of sleep might suffer.

You won't know what kind of sleeping company your cat will be when you first get him, but you can make sure that he's the only one in bed with you! You'll want to be certain he's free of all parasites like fleas or worms before you let him cuddle up in your covers!

Depending on the situation your new kitten comes from, you might have to give him a bath when you get him home. Here is how I bathe my cats without getting scratched to bits.

Wherever you think the new kitty is going to sleep, be prepared to get up and find him somewhere else. Cats in general have a tendency to be opinionated and do their own thing regardless of how it fits into your plans. Accept this from the start and then if you try to get kitty excited about where you want him to sleep and fail, find a compromise that you can both be happy about!

Orange cat sleeping on his back in a grey cat bed

Do cats sleep in the same place each night?

Cats are not like people in the respect that many of them sleep in different places each night. Some cats do sleep in bed with their humans every night. Other cats sleep some specific place in the house each night. Still others have a few favorite spots and they pick one each night. 

You might be able to make a bed for your kitten and for him to sleep in it every night...but it's more likely that he will pick his own bed. 

My cat Trixie likes to sleep with me for weeks at a time, then she'll suddenly start sleeping on the couch. She also likes the spare bunk bed in my sons room and has recently started sleeping on the family room couch. Every few days she'll change places for the night. 

The other cat always sleeps in the cat bed under the coffee table, or he'll sleep by Trixie wherever she might be. In true cat fashion, they sort of do whatever they like even though I have definite ideas of where they should sleep! lol


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