How to choose a heated cat bed for your cat

Most cats love to find the warmest place in the house before curling up for a satisfying nap. During the summer that might be pretty easy, but over the colder months, a heated cat bed is the perfect way to make sure there’s always a cosy spot for your furry friend.

Heated cat beds provide a comfortable and warm spot for your cat, no matter how cold it is outside. They’re a great choice for any cat, but can be particularly helpful for elderly cats with joint pain or arthritis, or for cats recovering from injuries and operations. If you’re not sure what to look for when choosing a heated cat bed, we’ve answered some of the most common questions.

What are heated cat beds?

There are two main types of heated cat bed: electric and self-heating. Electric heated cat beds plug into a mains power socket and contain a heating element, plus they often contain a thermostat, too. Self-heating cat beds have a layer of reflective foil inside that bounces your cat’s body heat back towards them.

Are heated cat beds safe for cats?

Heated cat beds that use electricity have been specifically designed to be safe for cats. These beds will only heat up to a cat’s body temperature and not any higher. That means you don’t need to worry about your cat overheating.

For safety, most manufacturers recommend unplugging a heated cat bed when you’re out of the house, and making sure any cables are coiled away to avoid entanglement. But always check the instructions for your chosen brand.

What if my cat doesn’t seem to like their new bed?

Cats are creatures of habit and sometimes it can take them a while to get used to new things. You can try sprinkling their bed with some catnip or scattering a few treats to encourage them to investigate. As the bed starts to smell more familiar your cat will probably decide it’s a safe space, especially once they discover how warm they feel!

How to choose the best heated bed for your cat

Heated cat beds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with different features to choose from. Here’s what to consider when choosing the best bed for your cat.

Size and shape of cat bed

The size and shape of bed you choose will depend on whether your cat prefers to sleep curled up or stretched out, how much room you have to spare, and whether you have multiple cats that like to share a bed. You’ll find heated cat beds in a wide variety of designs, from donut cat beds to covered beds and flat mats. One of them is bound to suit your cat!

Heat source

If you’d prefer a cat bed that doesn’t need to be plugged in, a self-heating bed is the best option. While these don’t get quite as hot, you don’t need to worry about power cords getting chewed, or whether you unplugged it before you left the house. Electric cat beds may be better if your cat suffers from joint pain and you want to make sure they always have somewhere warm to relax.

Location of cat bed

If your cat loves to sleep high up, you’ll probably want a radiator cat bed, or one that can easily be placed in their favourite napping spot. In these cases, a self-heating bed is your best option so you don’t need to worry about dangling power cords. For cats that prefer to sleep on ground level, you can choose either an electric or self-heating bed, and simply place it in your cat’s favourite spot.

Safety tested

Always choose electric cat beds that have been safety tested and certified. Because self-warming beds don’t contain any electrical elements, they don’t need to be safety tested.

Washable cat beds

Most heated cat beds are washable, but always check the manufacturer's instructions. With electric cat beds you can usually remove the heating element before washing the bed. Take care not to wash self-heating cat beds on a hot wash, or put them through the tumble dryer, as the heat can damage the reflective foil inside.

Does your cat have a heated bed? Share your photos of your cosy cat with us on social media, using #PethoodStories. We’d love to see them!

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