Personally, I think one of the best things about living with cats is having them sleeping near me at night.
On the selfish side, I like having a real-life water bottle nearby when it’s chilly. Plus, it’s relaxing hearing a cat purr in the dead of the night, isn’t it?
Knowing they chose to sleep next to me means they are happy, which makes me happy.
I have a few friends however that don’t see their cats overnight. Even though they’d love to.
Their kitties either choose to sleep elsewhere, stay out overnight, or worse – they choose to sleep next to their partners!
If your cat chooses to sleep next to your partner don’t be offended, it’s nothing personal.
It does bring up the question, however ”how do cats choose who to sleep with?”
And, is there a reason or way to convince your cat that they should be sleeping next to you instead?
I have plenty of experience changing cat behaviors and have done some research into this topic in particular, so I think I can help.
I’ve found out some interesting little tips and tricks that I’m sure will help you not only understand how your cat chooses who to sleep with – but help you make sleeping next to you a lot more appealing!
How Do Cats Choose Who to Sleep With?
Most cat behaviors can be split into two categories. These are:
- Behaviors that are typical of their breed and genetics.
- Behaviors that can be nurtured and taught by you (and other people that socialize with them).
Some breeds of cat are more affectionate and loving than others. The Scottish Fold, Ragdoll, and Birman breed to give you just three examples are really affectionate and likely to want to sleep near you.
So, it’s worth doing some research into your cat’s personality and characteristics to give you an idea of how likely they are to want to be near you overnight.
Keep in mind that all cats have their own individual personalities however. Which leads on to the next point…
Cats are quite impressionable if you put the time into getting to know them. Especially kittens, as they are growing up they’ll look towards you to help them develop their habits.
So by encouraging them to sleep near you from kittens will almost certainly ingrain this habit into them.
If you adopted your cat as an adult it’s not as straightforward. I’ve covered some tips later in the article to help you train adult cats to sleep on your bed next to you.
It starts with them liking you though…
How Can I Get My Cat to Like Me More?
Taking into account what I’ve said above about the behaviors that can be changed in cats, here are some of the things you can do to strengthen the bond between you and your cat:
Be the One Who Feeds Them
It’s no secret that cats love to eat, and they love the person who feeds them. And why not I say, being fed is an important part of the day!
What you shouldn’t do here is start handing out treats and giving in everytime your cat says they are hungry. They won’t respect you for that and will take it for granted that they can get what they want.
Just be the one to feed them at their scheduled time daily. It’s like any 1-on-1 relationship, don’t forget or be late, be consistent.
A few treats here and there don’t hurt either. Especially when rewarding good behavior.
Interact and Play with Them
Cats, and kittens in particular love to play. Kittens go through stages of socialization and are very impressionable, so making the time to play with them can form a solid bond for the years to come.
I have a couple of tips for you here. If you like getting fully involved then try running around with the little feather things on a wire.
If you’re a little more on the lazy side (nothing wrong with that) then use a laser pointer. You and your cat can have hours of fun without you having to move anything more than your hand.
Learn How to Pet Them How They Want
Common mistakes cat owners make is to fuss and pet their cat when they feel like it and in a way they want to. It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately.
Each and every cat likes a different petting, at different times, and almost always when it suits them – not you.
I’ve covered some tips and tricks on how to pet your cat properly before. I recommend reading up on that post if this topic interests you.
One thing I know for sure though. If a cat associates you with fussing they are going to bond with you a lot more.
This may mean they end up annoying you at night for more fussing when you’re trying to sleep. But you can’t have it all!
How Do I Get My Cat to Sleep with Me?
If you want to get your cat to sleep next to you at night there are a couple of things you can do to make it more appealing.
Just remember, however, you can’t force a cat to do anything they don’t want to. Have you ever tried? It’s impossible.
Anyway, assuming you’ve built up a good bond with your cat through doing some of the things mentioned above and they love you dearly, they may thank you for introducing them to a spot next to you on your bed.
Make sure there is a nice big, comfy space for them to sleep on. If they have blankets of their own they like sleeping on you can put it there too.
What I would do is just gently place them on the bed when you are climbing in to go to sleep. If they jump off, leave them and try the next day.
Get them into a routine of coming up to bed at the same time. If they’re tired, I’m sure they’ll settle down and see if they can get some quality sleep there (so don’t fidget too much).
If it looks like they are overwhelmed with the situation and you and your partner moving around try placing them on the bed when you’re not in it.
If they can find a comfy spot on your bed when you’re not there they will start hanging out there when you’re in it too.
What Does It Mean When a Cat Chooses You?
There is a saying that cats choose their owners, we don’t choose them.
This is said because generally speaking cats will do as they please when it suits them. They will choose to approach us for fuss when they want it. Sleep next to us when it suits them, and come home when they feel like it.
Dog owners always like to make comparisons with cat owners over these things. Which I always think is kind of redundant as cats and dogs are very different, as are their owners and the needs of both in most cases.
Generally speaking, dogs are obedient, they depend on their owners, are loyal to a fault, and the opposite to cats in most of their personality traits.
This doesn’t mean cats are any less loving however. Or any less happy to see us every day, neither does it mean they don’t need us just as much.
What it does show is that cats are able to be more independent and they can look after themselves. Which aren’t bad things as I’m sure you agree.
I may be bias, as might be most cat owners, but ask any of us and we’ll tell you that the love and affection a cat shows us may be more subtle than a dog jumping up and down with their tongue hanging out, but it’s a million times more rewarding.
When a cat chooses you, you’ll know it.
They’ll bunt heads with you. Zigzag in between your legs and try to trip you up. Rub their face against yours. Annoy you in the night for attention. Purr loudly and knead you until it hurts.
All of which sounds a little annoying or quirky, but are personality traits of cats – and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s why we love them so much!