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#1
Old 12-12-2012, 02:35 AM
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How do I teach my pets not to sleep on our bed at night?

Webmd says that one way to improve sleep is to:
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Give your pet his own separate sleeping space. At night, pets snore, jiggle their tags, move around a lot, and even hog the covers and bed space. It's no wonder that 53 percent of pet owners who sleep with their pets in the bedroom have some type of disrupted sleep every night, according to a study from the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center in Rochester, MN. Consider relocating your furry friend's sleeping quarters to another area, even if it's just his own bed in your bedroom.
I want to, but I don't know how. If we just close the door, the cats will scratch at the door and mew to be left inside. Or they will mew and scratch whenever they want anything. How long before that would dissipate?
#2
Old 12-12-2012, 02:43 AM
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One of mine likes sleeping inbetween my legs. I systematically disturb her sleeping position at that location and give her several alternative spots which are attractive to cats.

You have to be consistent with disturbing the cat when it tries to sleep where you don't want it. You also have to give it something better and accept that kitty is the final arbiter of "better".
#3
Old 12-12-2012, 03:58 AM
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Spray bottle at your night stand. Spray the critters with water every time they jump up onto your bed and say firmly, "Down!". They won't persist for very long. A super soaker is another option, which may be over kill... but you did mention that we are talking about cats here....

Also, provide them with their own beds on the floor of your room, since they will probably still want to be nearby. Make sure to be extremely consistent with not allowing them on the bed, and eventually they just won't come up anymore, preferring to sleep in their own designated beds.

Last edited by drewtwo99; 12-12-2012 at 04:01 AM.
#4
Old 12-12-2012, 04:56 AM
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If you're fine with them being in the room and just want to keep them off the bed, another option after deterring them from the bed itself is to offer acceptable alternatives. Cats often prefer sleeping in elevated places, and soft places, which is why they like the furniture. Cat furniture is your next best bet. Add a nice tall cat tree with 4 or 5 large perches that are comfortable for sleeping. You can also add a cat bed to the top of the dresser or nightstand.

Adding cat trees to the living room and bedroom works in my household because the cats all want to be in the same room as me, so when I go to bed they all follow me in there. They don't all get along well enough to share the bed with each other, though, and the tree is where they swap space while still hanging out with sleeping me. There's no squabbling, restlessness, fidgeting, swatting each other, and I get restful sleep without them bothering each other which in turn bothers me.
#5
Old 12-12-2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maastricht View Post
I want to, but I don't know how. If we just close the door, the cats will scratch at the door and mew to be left inside. Or they will mew and scratch whenever they want anything. How long before that would dissipate?
If the mewing isn't too loud, maybe you could put something on the door to discourage the scratching. Strips of tape or aluminum foil might work.
#6
Old 12-12-2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
At night, pets snore, jiggle their tags, move around a lot, and even hog the covers and bed space. It's no wonder that 53 percent of pet owners who sleep with their pets in the bedroom have some type of disrupted sleep every night, according to a study from the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center in Rochester, MN. Consider relocating your furry friend's sleeping quarters to another area, even if it's just his own bed in your bedroom.
With the possible exception of the tag-jiggling, how is this different from sharing the bed with a human?
#7
Old 12-12-2012, 01:30 PM
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We had to start using a Sscat Cat Repellent spray to get my cat to stop scratching and mewling at the bedroom door all night, but it works very well for very persistent cats. She just walked over the tape and aluminum we tried first.
#8
Old 12-12-2012, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
If the mewing isn't too loud, maybe you could put something on the door to discourage the scratching. Strips of tape or aluminum foil might work.
I wrapped a 1 x 4 board with rope and nailed it to a wall. The kitty can scratch his little heart out and he won't ruin my stairs.

I've yet to figure out how to keep him out of my room. I don't really mind the cat. He only stays with me on the bed when the electric blanket is on and even then it's just for a little while until he wanders off to find some other corner to conk out in.

Now the dog -- she's almost as big as a person, sheds a lot, and is usually filthy. I banned her from the bed and she sleeps in her crate at night, fairly happily. She'd love to be invited upstairs, but she doesn't whine or cry when I put her to bed in her "office." Her crate sits partially on top of the heater/ac vent, so it's warmed or cooled as necessary.
#9
Old 12-12-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewtwo99 View Post
Spray bottle at your night stand. Spray the critters with water every time they jump up onto your bed and say firmly, "Down!"
Drew.... Do you like wetting the bed?
#10
Old 12-12-2012, 03:57 PM
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There's always Scat Mats - you could put one outside your door to deter scratching if all else fails. I haven't had luck with the repellent sprays, but I'd try that, and other more pleasant alternatives first for sure. But the Scat Mat is a really effective last-resort solution. Bonus: there are lots and lots of fairly hilarious Scat Mat YouTube videos.

Scat Mat has several settings - from a very mild buzz to a harmless, yet definite jolt. I used the latter for The Asshole (Rottweiler), who not only liked to sneak up on the couch when I left the house, but to rip it to shreds. He's outgrown that now, but the SM effectively deterred him from deconstructing furniture, and I didn't have to feel like a shit for sticking him a crate all day.

All that said, I don't mind a cat, or the Small Dog, on my bed. The two big dogs? No. They have comfy dog beds in the bedroom and the Small Dog, being the only female, knows her place and won't let either of them on the bed.
#11
Old 12-12-2012, 04:19 PM
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Chiroptera, could I attach one of those mats to the door? And would they be on loan or for rent somewhere?

Last edited by Maastricht; 12-12-2012 at 04:20 PM.
#12
Old 12-12-2012, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Maastricht View Post
Chiroptera, could I attach one of those mats to the door? And would they be on loan or for rent somewhere?
You certainly could attach one to a door. They run off of a single D battery and as long as you don't stick a push-pin through one of the conduit wires (they're easy to see), it would be easy.

As far as loaning or renting...I don't know. The link I provided was for the large SM, they do come in a smaller and cheaper size. I only had to use mine for about a week and the Asshole Rottweiler got the message so I have one to spare...but I think mailing one to you could equal the cost of buying a new one (you are in the Netherlands, right?) Otherwise I'd offer to pass it on.
#13
Old 12-12-2012, 04:46 PM
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If they're afraid of the vacuum you could try what a doper in another thread suggested worked for him/her: plug the vacuum into a power strip you can reach from bed. Station vacuum just outside the bedroom door. When they yowl or scratch, lean down and turn it on for 15 seconds. Doesn't take too long before they associate trying to get into the room with having the crap scared out of them.
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#14
Old 12-12-2012, 05:04 PM
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Shutting the bedroom door worked with our cat after a couple of nights. She didn't scratch, though. Earplugs and white noise from an air purifier drowned out the forlorn, uncomprehending cries of sudden abandonment.
#15
Old 12-13-2012, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewtwo99 View Post
Spray bottle at your night stand. Spray the critters with water every time they jump up onto your bed and say firmly, "Down!". They won't persist for very long. A super soaker is another option, which may be over kill... but you did mention that we are talking about cats here....
I generally find a compressed-air can safer and less messy, while at least as effective.

OTOH, I don't object to the cat sleeping on the bed with me.
#16
Old 12-13-2012, 08:51 AM
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You can teach cats basic stuff like don't sleep on my bed quite easily. Most people just can be bothered.

Be consistent, enforce simple rules: "don't be on the table when there's food", "don't mew when we are sleeping" etc. devise some sort of "punishment" that doesn't hurt them (I clap my hands) and apply it. Expect results in one or two months.
#17
Old 12-13-2012, 02:41 PM
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It's easier to train a positive than a negative. So, instead of trying to train your cat to *not* sleep on the bed, you aim to train it to sleep somewhere else. It amounts to the same result, but it gives you a positive behavior to work towards.

As the other posters have mentioned, you should decide where you DO want them to sleep - in your room or outside it? Using the physical barrier of the bedroom door is certainly an easy way of avoiding the unwanted behavior (sleeping on your bed) - but, as you mention, is likely to be replaced with other unwanted behaviors (scratching/mewing at the door).

Appeal to cat instincts, which can vary by individual. A wall shelf with a cat bed might be easy and cheap to install, and appeal to your pets.
#18
Old 12-13-2012, 10:31 PM
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Since I'm deaf as a doorpost when I'm asleep (and find it incredibly easy to ignore sounds when I'm not), we just keep our bedroom door closed.
#19
Old 12-13-2012, 11:08 PM
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Put a basket of freshly washed and folded laundry in the room somewhere. Cats are attracted to clean laundry like it is made of cat food and happiness.
#20
Old 12-14-2012, 12:15 AM
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If you REALLY don't want a pet on your bed when you sleep, your best bet is to train the pet YOUNG. As soon as you bring the beast into your home, start teaching that the bed is verboten.

As for me, my kitty had to go to the vet today. He's Diabetic, and stopped eating for the past two days. He had a full blood panel workup, and his insulin/sugar ratios are off, plus he's got an infection. He had to stay at the vet's for IV therapy.

I'm gonna miss him tonight on my bed.


~VOW
#21
Old 12-14-2012, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by VOW View Post
I'm gonna miss him tonight on my bed.
Harvey was only 8 when he died suddenly last month. I miss him in the bed every night.

THe SO got Harvey when he was about 6 months old, and she moved in when he was 6 years old. AFAIK she never 'trained' him; but he knew not to wake the humans. He hated closed doors, but I put a shoe behind my door so there's be enough space for him to get into the room but not leave the door wide open. He would not make a fuss if the humans were in bed. He'd wait quietly until feet were on the floor. I don't know if the SO 'trained' him, or if that's just the way he was.

The SO did scold him from time to time (though rarely) by tapping him on the forehead with one finger and firmly saying 'No!', like when he would play a little rough. When he begged for his food too much (and he only liked cat food, not human food), she'd say 'Stop whining!' Usually that quieted him down. Harvey knew his limits, and rarely tested them. When he did test them, he knew he was 'being bad' and it would just take a firm word to bring him back in line.

I hope we get another cat eventually. I don't know if we'll be able to train one to be as polite as Harvey was.
#22
Old 12-14-2012, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
<snip>
I hope we get another cat eventually. I don't know if we'll be able to train one to be as polite as Harvey was.
I'm afraid you might not be able to - from our experience with two cats, they were as different as night and day. The one who died recently was extremely resistant to training and behaving herself; the other one is much more polite and I was able to train her (somewhat). It really seems to depend on the cat's nature.
#23
Old 12-14-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
If you're fine with them being in the room and just want to keep them off the bed, another option after deterring them from the bed itself is to offer acceptable alternatives. Cats often prefer sleeping in elevated places, and soft places, which is why they like the furniture. Cat furniture is your next best bet. Add a nice tall cat tree with 4 or 5 large perches that are comfortable for sleeping. You can also add a cat bed to the top of the dresser or nightstand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by araminty View Post
It's easier to train a positive than a negative. So, instead of trying to train your cat to *not* sleep on the bed, you aim to train it to sleep somewhere else. It amounts to the same result, but it gives you a positive behavior to work towards.
My first inclination is to train positive (and to eschew punitive), although I admit cats are not easily trained.

I suggest the elevated cat tree alternative, but sprinkle catnip in the bed parts of the cat trees. Refresh periodically.
#24
Old 12-14-2012, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
I'm afraid you might not be able to - from our experience with two cats, they were as different as night and day. The one who died recently was extremely resistant to training and behaving herself; the other one is much more polite and I was able to train her (somewhat). It really seems to depend on the cat's nature.
We'll use the local Humane Society shelter, and they're pretty good at describing cats' personalities on their adoption pages.
#25
Old 12-14-2012, 10:59 AM
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I don't understand why you want your pets to stay awake on your bed all night.
#26
Old 12-14-2012, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
If they're afraid of the vacuum you could try what a doper in another thread suggested worked for him/her: plug the vacuum into a power strip you can reach from bed. Station vacuum just outside the bedroom door. When they yowl or scratch, lean down and turn it on for 15 seconds. Doesn't take too long before they associate trying to get into the room with having the crap scared out of them.
That may have been me? I use that, and it works pretty well. I'm a super light sleeper, but they seem to do pretty well with it with an occasional booster dose of roaring vacuum cleaner (I'm actually using a carpet cleaner now, but it's the same thing. Roar!)

This has worked for some of my friends that have tried it, too.
#27
Old 12-14-2012, 04:11 PM
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My cat needs to stay at the vet at least one more night. I'm gonna miss him terribly.

My favorite part of having a pet sleep on the bed is that you can sneak your cold feet underneath to get them warm! Usually, my cat gets pissed off and jumps off the bed, but I can have the whole warm spot for my freezing toes!


~VOW
#28
Old 12-14-2012, 04:22 PM
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The only solution that worked for me was to shut Horton up in another room at night. If I don't, he meows and jams his paw under the bedroom door to rattle it violently. It was waking me up at all hours. I leave him in the mud room overnight now. He's got food and water, a litter box, and a bed. I put him in when I go to sleep, and let him out in the morning. Do you have an extra room you could use as the cat's "bedroom"?
#29
Old 12-14-2012, 05:01 PM
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I really want to thank all the posters here for providing me with so much gentle humor... I mean, cats? CATS? I am cat-free at the moment for complicated reasons but yes, I've shared many a sleeping position with a feline tyrant.

Try scaling nearly all of these issues up to 150 and 140 pounds of Great Dane. My big boy is still not used to New England weather and settles down only when he's on the bed. Next to me. Under the covers.
#30
Old 12-14-2012, 11:17 PM
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In case anyone is interested...my kitty cat is home tonight!


~VOW
#31
Old 12-15-2012, 12:31 AM
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But are the cats on the bed really a problem for the OP? Do you know that your cats are disturbing your sleep?
.
Quote:
It's no wonder that 53 percent of pet owners who sleep with their pets in the bedroom have some type of disrupted sleep every night, according to a study from the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center in Rochester, MN.
I'd be curious how many people who DON'T sleep with their pets have some type of disrupted sleep every night.
#32
Old 12-15-2012, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by VOW View Post
In case anyone is interested...my kitty cat is home tonight!


~VOW
Hope all is well with him!
#33
Old 12-15-2012, 12:35 AM
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When I was a little kid, and I'd have nightmares, I always felt safer if my cat was sleeping with me.

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Originally Posted by VOW View Post
In case anyone is interested...my kitty cat is home tonight!


~VOW

YAY!!!

I hate it when Maggie sleeps on my feet. If I move them under the blanket, she attacks them. Better when she sleeps next to my pillow. She's so tiny it doesn't really matter.

I don't mind when my cats sleep with me, and right now, since it's so freaking cold out, it's definitely a plus. Of course my parents usually have both Luci AND Gypsy sleeping with them -- and sometimes Annie as well. And Annie's like a radiator.

Gypsy usually comes in with me after she eats in the morning. She usually curls up beside me.* My mother gets up at 4am everyday -- not because she has to, but because she likes to. Yes, she's nuts.




*Except everyone once in a while, she'll sleep on my pillow and whack me in the face with her tail. Dammit.
#34
Old 12-15-2012, 10:30 PM
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Try marrying your dog and paying off all of her debts, as well as trusting her with your life savings. Buy her a big new dog house. Put her puppies thru expensive obedience schools. Give her a big bone every time she demands one, even if you just flew in late from an overseas business trip. Then let her catch you flirting with her sister.

I did the above, and my ex wife stopped sleeping in my bed before the ink on the marriage license had dried.

Last edited by cougar58; 12-15-2012 at 10:35 PM.
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