Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Does a Cat Really Need a Cat Bed? (Facts & FAQs)

Beth Crane

By Beth Crane

Male marble cat lying in bed

Cats are creatures of comfort and will seek warm, soft spaces to curl up and sleep on. The answer to whether you need to buy your cat a bed or not is both yes and no. Cats need a place to sleep, and providing them with a bed gives them a designated place to sleep. However, some cats will insist that they don’t need a bed specifically made for cats!

Each cat will have its own preferences regarding what they sleep on, so it might not use a cat bed if you buy one and might prefer to sleep on your bed instead.

hepper cat paw divider

Do Cats Like Cat Beds?

Being enclosed in a small space helps cats to feel safe, which is why many cat beds have raised edges. Items such as blankets, pillows, clothing, or even the bed or couch are all commonly used as favored sleeping places by cats as they’re often warm and comfortable, so you don’t necessarily have to buy them a bed of their own. However, some cats love their cat bed and use it daily, so it’s worth buying them one if you think they’ll appreciate it!

cat lying in its bed with toy
Image Credit: Nataliya Derkach, Shutterstock

Why Does My Cat Not Like Their Cat Bed?

There are a few reasons why your cat might shun their cat bed, which can make you feel bad since you assumed it would love it! The fact is that some cats will sleep anywhere, and some are much pickier when it comes to what they find comfortable enough to sleep on.

Some reasons why your cat might not like their cat bed include:
  • The bed not being comfortable or padded enough
  • The bed is too padded
  • The bed is placed in an area your cat could find stressful or too busy (such as near doors or in hallways)
  • The bed isn’t stable enough for them to rest in
  • The bed is placed in a draughty area
  • The bed is too warm (more likely in the summer months)
  • The bed is too small or large
  • Your cat is unable to comfortably get into the bed

Do Cats Prefer Open or Enclosed Beds?

Since most cats prefer enclosed spaces, many may feel safer sleeping in an enclosed bed, such as a cat igloo. Cats like to feel enclosed as it prevents attacks from most sides when they’re at their most vulnerable, and it means they have a single point of defense should a threat come to visit them. This is more applicable to cats in the wild, but the instinct to protect themselves and find an enclosed space to shelter in still exists in domesticated cats today. That is also why cats like to sit in cardboard boxes!

Cat Peeping Out Of Cardboard Box

Where Is the Best Place to Put My Cat’s Bed?

If your cat already has a place they love sleeping in (such as on a sunny windowsill), placing the bed there can encourage them to use it. Your cat will quickly decide if the bed is in the appropriate place. However, some areas are more appropriate to place a cat bed to encourage your cat to use it and feel comfortable and safe, such as:

  • Non-busy places
  • Quiet rooms or areas of the home
  • Warmer areas
  • Places that are high up
  • Away from their food and water bowls and away from their litter box

Which Materials Do Cats Like to Sleep On?

Cats love sleeping on comfortable and warm surfaces, such as beds, towels, blankets, or even piles of clothes. Some cats prefer to be closer to their owners and will sleep in their beds or next to them on the couch. If it’s warm, a cat might sleep on a cold floor to cool down.

If your cat is ever found sleeping in their litter box, take them to their vet. Cats are fastidious cleaners who don’t like to sleep (or eat) where they poop. If your cat sleeps in their litter box, they’re likely very unwell and require urgent medical attention!

a tortoiseshell cat on top of its sleeping owner
Image Credit: Beliphotos, Shutterstock

hepper cat paw divider

Which Beds Do Cats Like?

There are many choices of beds that cats might love to sleep in. The best model for your cat will depend on its preferences, but you can determine which one by watching your cat’s behavior. If they love to sleep in cardboard boxes, an enclosed bed or igloo might suit them perfectly. If they like to snooze near a radiator, consider a bed that hooks over it. If your cat often sleeps on top of their cat tree, a bed connected to a higher level of the tree can be the perfect place for them.

Consider your cat’s needs before purchasing a bed, as older cats might have problems stepping into a high-sided bed, and more anxious cats might prefer an enclosed over an open-top bed.

The different types of beds include:
  • Igloos and sheltered beds
  • Radiator beds
  • Rounded beds
  • Enclosed or open beds
  • High or low-sided beds

Also, remember that beds can be made out of things around the home, and your cat might prefer a cardboard box with a pillow inside it to a bed lovingly bought by you. They might even prefer your bed!

Finding a bed that your cat truly enjoys can be a challenge. Our Hepper Nest Bed features an enticing, portable design that encourages cats to explore and curl up in. Created with a comfy bowl shape to offer maximum support and a self-warming fleece insert, you’ll have a hard time getting your cat up from their daily naps. 

Hepper Cat Nest - Washable Cat Bed with Removable...
228 Reviews
Hepper Cat Nest - Washable Cat Bed with Removable...
  • HAPPY COZY CATS - Your kitty will bask in luxurious sherpa-lined comfort while feeling warm, safe,...
  • MODERN DESIGN - Contemporary styling with upholstered fabric construction; just like your human...

hepper cat paw divider


Most cats will appreciate a bed of their own! The type of bed your cat will love depends on their likes and dislikes, so observing their behavior and where they like to sleep can help you choose a bed they will enjoy. Some cats won’t use any beds you buy for them (unfortunately) and prefer to sleep somewhere of their choosing. However, you can encourage your pet to use a new bed by placing it in a quiet area of the home where they frequently sleep.

Featured Image Credit: Iva Vagnerova, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database