Cats are quick to find the warmest spot to sleep in. Whether it’s a sunny windowsill, a warm radiator or grabbing your seat when you get up to take a bathroom break, if there’s a cozy place to sleep then your cat will find it.
So you can understand why heated cat beds like the Thermo-Kitty Heated Cat Bed are so popular among pet owners. But should you be treating your kitty to a warmed bed? If so, what should you look for in a heated cat bed? Read on to find out!
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Why do Cats Like Warm Spots?
Cats don’t operate at the same temperature as humans. While our body temperature is around 98.7 degrees, a cat will be a toasty warm 102. That’s why they’re such a comfort when they sit on our knees in colder weather. Of course, maintaining a higher body temperature takes energy. Almost one-third of all the energy that a cat uses is burned up keeping their skin and fur healthy so they can stay warm.
So, cats have evolved to help their bodies along by sleeping in warm places. It means they don’t have to devote so much energy to heating themselves up, as they can let the sun do that job for them. Of course, not all cats are the same, and there are times when a cat is more likely to seek out a warm spot.
- Breed – If a breed is originally from a desert area or has been specifically bred to be hairless, like the Sphynx, then it will need more help to stay warm. Cats such as the Maine Coon, which has thicker hair and is more used to cold temperatures won’t seek the sun out quite so much.
- Age – Kittens are more sensitive to warmth, particularly around their faces. They use this ability to find their mothers, so they can feed If kittens have lost their mother, then they will need to be kept warm. Kittens who are too cold, may not feed well and will not thrive.
- Health – Older cats will need more help maintaining their temperature too. As when we get older, we’re more likely to want an extra sweater or a blanket on our knees; elderly cats also like a bit of help. Infection can also cause a cat to seek out warmer (or cooler) places. We might want an extra blanket if we have chills, or to open a window with a fever, cats do the same. If your cat’s behavior changes, then it can be a sign of ill health. If your cat is suffering from arthritis or joint pain, then a heated pad or bed can be just the thing to give them some relief from their joint pain.
When a cat is sleeping, it’s body temperature drops. Finding a nice, warm, spot to nap in will help compensate for that and let your cat sleep for longer. Since cats sleep up to 16 hours a day, that’s important!
Things to Look for in a Heated Cat Bed
Depending on your needs– and those of your pet– there are a number of different choices you will need to make when choosing a heated cat bed. If you’re looking at the range of beds available and wondering which is best for you, here’s our lowdown on some of the features you should look for to help you decide.
The first thing to consider when choosing a pet bed is size. To get an idea of how much space your cat will need to get comfortable, you will need to take some measurements. It can be helpful to have someone else on hand to distract your cat with play or treats while you use the tape measure.
Start by measuring their spine, from the top of their back to the base of their tail. You will also need to know what your cat weighs. If you have more than one cat, then measure both and look for a bed with enough space for them both.
Got a kitten and you’re not sure what size will last as it grows up? You can do your research on the breed and make the best guess as to how big kitty will be when he or she has done growing.
And it isn’t just the size of your cat that is important to take into consideration. You will also need to think about where you are going to put the bed. If you have a certain windowsill or tabletop in mind, then measure that area before you go shopping, so you know that your bed will be suitable for that location.
When you’re thinking about location, you’ll also need to think about the availability of a power outlet. If there isn’t one nearby, you’ll want to buy an extension cable too (non-electrical options are available, as we’ll discuss later in the article!)
Indoor or Outdoor
Will your cat bed be located indoors or out? If it will be outside, then you will need to think carefully about where you place the pet bed, as it will need to be close to a source of power. You will also be looking at buying a kennel-style cat home that has a roof to help keep your cat safe and dry when it’s raining or snowing.
This kitty house doesn’t just offer a sheltered spot, it’s also been designed to keep your cat safe. There are two doors, each with their own flap to retain the heat. That means that your kitty will be able to escape if any predators come looking for their dinner.
Mat or Bed?
If you have a drafty area in mind, then a high-sided pet bed can help retain the heat. If not? Then a mat can work really well. Both beds operate in the same way; it’s really a matter of personal preference for you and your cat.
With a removable cover for easy washing, the inside heater uses just 6 Watts and has an internal thermostat so your cat won’t get too warm. Coming in a range of colors, the Thermo-Kitty is a MET listed.
This bed comes with a six-foot-long cable, and it’s chew-resistant too! With a non-slip polycanvas base, this bed is weather resistant and has an internal thermostat to regulate your cat’s temperature.
Electric or Not?
If you have a power outlet, then the easiest way to heat up a pet bed is with an electric mat. If you don’t have one handy, then you can choose a model which has a microwaveable insert. Alternatively, there are now self-warming beds that have been designed using space technology, just right for an adventurous little fur rocket.
This clever bed doesn’t make heat, it uses your pets own body warmth to create a toasty environment. Made from the same space-age technology as Mylar blankets, it will soon warm up and stay warm when your cat curls up inside.
This pad gives an amazing 10 hours of heat after being put in the microwave for just a few minutes. It’s about the size of a dinner plate and is perfect for slipping into an existing pet bed or under a favorite blanket.
If you add some dry rice to this mama cat-shaped bag you can put it into the microwave and create a lovely warm shape to snuggle. If you’re raising kittens without their Queen, this could be the heater for you.
Keeping your pet bed clean is an important part of looking after your pet’s health. Not only will the bed get grimy, but you may also find that flea eggs and other pests come home with an outdoor cat and set up home there. It’s important that you can either remove the covers of your pet bed to wash it or that the entire thing can be placed in the washing machine. Low-temperature washes aren’t as effective at getting rid of problem guests as higher ones.
For most cats, the standard layer of foam or fleece that is provided in a cat bed will be fine. However, if you have a pet who is recovering from an injury or looking for relief from the pain of arthritis, then a more padded mattress will be a good idea. In that case, look for a bed that has a memory foam pad, which will give maximum support and comfort.
Ideal for small dogs and cats, the memory foam insert helps keeps your elderly kitty more mobile by reducing joint pain. The cover is removable, for easy washing.
If you don’t want to add to your energy bills and carbon footprint, then you can always choose a bed which attaches to a window sill or radiator and makes the most of the natural heating your home already provides.
This clever design uses industrial strength velcro to attach to any window you choose. Find your cat’s favorite sunny spot and set it up!
Hook this cat’s cradle over a radiator and see how long it takes your kitty to make a home there. We’re betting it won’t take long at all!
If you live in an area that has extremes of temperature either way, then you might want to look at a bed that also includes a cooling option. The same gel pad can be microwaved for warmth, or put into the freezer to help your cat stay cool on those scorching hot days.
Created to meet customer’s demands, this pad does double duty to keep your kitty at the right temperature no matter what the weather. It has a soft fleece cover that is easy to remove to put in the washing machine.
Ready to Choose!
As you can see, there are plenty of things to consider when you are choosing a heated pet bed. Whether you want something indoor or outdoor, electric or not, there are beds for you to buy. We hope that this guide has helped you choose exactly the right bed for you and your pet!