I adopted Garland 13 and a half years ago, when she was just a tiny, tiny kitten. Like any nervous new parent, I went out and bought a bunch of books on cat care before I brought her home. Every single one of these books advised me to buy a cat bed for my new kitten. The cat bed was really, really important. Every cat needed its own bed. If I did not buy a cat bed, my kitten would certainly die.
I could practically feel the ASPCA breathing down my neck as I ran to the nearest Walmart and purchased a cat bed. Then I brought Garland home. And Garland proceeded to completely ignore the cat bed for the next 13 and a half years. It was like the cat bed was shielded by a Harry Potter invisibility cloak. Garland would sleep on the human bed, the couch, the floor, a dining room chair, even the top of the refrigerator, but she would not set one paw on that cat bed.
For reasons I can't explain, however, I held on to that cat bed and kept it around the house. I never let it go, even though we moved all the time: four different apartments and a house. I think I did it mostly out of habit, and because it made an excellent storage area for all of the cat toys that she refused to play with. (The cat toys were also required by the books for kitten-death prevention.)
Then, last week, out of the blue:
Yes. She started sleeping in the cat bed. All the time.
So, I guess the moral of the story is that if something doesn't work out at first, just give it a little extra time. Like 13 and a half years.