But here you are, on this page because your cat hasn’t figured out its Cat Ball® or Cat Canoe® yet. That’s okay. Your cat has chutzpah. We like that.
Here’s the thing. Cats can be grumpy stodgy slow to warm up to new things. Don’t worry, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. That’s why we’ve compiled advice from lots of pet parents in the same canoe as you, below. We’re pretty confident one of these tricks will work.
Cat Psychology 101
We’re not gonna lie, cats are mysterious. It’s not them, it’s you. You just haven’t learned to think like your cat, yet. Be the cat.
Cats need to feel safe when they sleep. That means that where you put the bed is really important. Cats have an instinct to climb, and so putting the bed somewhere high can help. They also value their privacy, so tucking the bed in a closet is a solution that works for some cats. And sometimes they want both! Can you put the bed on a shelf in a closet?
One pet parent put her Cat Ball® up on the cat tree while she was vacuuming and she forgot it was there. Later on, she realized it was still on the cat tree – and there were feet hanging out of it! Bingo. She leaves it up there now.
Cats are social creatures. They like to be close to their humans (we know, this is the exact opposite of the ‘privacy’ thing we just talked about, but what can we say… mysterious), so consider placing the bed in a room where you spend a lot of time, like a living room. Locations that are up high (like the back of a sofa) or intersections (like a hallway or doorway) allow them to keep an eye on what’s going on.
In my house, Retro likes the back of the couch. He’s up high, on the edge of activity, where he can see what is happening. It’s a spot where he can see both doorways and the stairway from this spot, so it’s one he’s naturally drawn to.
Cats like what they like. Watch what your cat likes, and then put the bed nearby. Maybe next to a bed they’re already using or on top of the hamper full of clothes your cat is always sitting in. Does your cat often sit on the landing of the stairs? If so, put the bed there.
Twix came to stay with us for a while, and I noticed he was hiding in our bedroom closet.
So, I took a big, wide, solid box, put a blanket from his home on top of it, then put a Cat Ball® on top of that blanket. Then I tucked the whole thing under the clothing, so that the Cat Ball® was partially hidden behind hanging clothes. The next day I peeked in and saw his legs hanging out of the Cat Ball®! I think this worked because I selected a place he was already using and I just added a comfortable, private cave that was slightly above ground.
Put catnip in the bed.
You can always vacuum it out, later on (or turn the bed inside-out and shake it out outdoors).
Put the bed in a warm place.
This tip comes from a super-observant family that noticed their cats would move the Cat Ball® so that the large opening was in front of the floor register so that the warm air blew inside!
Turn it inside out.
Why does this work? Maybe because it makes the thing different and therefore “new” again. With the Cat Canoe®, the shape gets wider, so it might look more inviting to the cat.
Do not allow children to harass the cat while she is using the bed!
The Cat Ball® should become a place where a cat can feel safe and secure. Imagine that you falling into a deep, relaxed sleep, and then suddenly a toddler comes over and starts beating on your bed. It would be terrifying and could create a complete aversion (toddlers can be such beasts!).
Use the bed as a toy.
When your cat is in an active mood and wants to play, use the bed. How? Try a string or a fish pole toy, and pull the string slowly through the bed, or get the cat to chase the string, then pull it through the bed.
Stabilize the bed.
Some cats are afraid of the Cat Ball® because it rocked or moved when the cat first started to enter it. Makes sense. You can either place a towel beneath the bed to stop it from shifting or put the bed inside a bolster bed to stop it from moving. This gives the Cat Ball® a sense of security.
The Chair Trick
Does your cat sit on your chair when you leave? Put the bed on your chair - and sit on it! You might need to do this several times, and do it at times when your cat is there and paying attention to you. If you are working at your desk and the cat wants attention, this might be a good time to try the switch. Will she sit on top of the flattened Cat Ball® after you leave the chair? Next time, try opening the Cat Ball® back up, restoring the shape. Position the bed on the chair again and leave the room. Will she get into it now?