How To Know – Are Heated Cat Beds Safe?

As the weather starts to cool, the cat takes up residence in his favored warm places - in front of the fire or the heater, on the radiator or in any patches of sun that might peek into the house. He has an uncanny knack for finding the warmest spots in the house.  

Has he got nothing better to do with his day? No probably not!

safety of heated cat beds

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I can't live without an electric blanket in winter. I also have a heated throw which has changed my life. I feel the cold. When I first saw heated cats beds and heated cat mats I thought it was a great idea. This was based on my own experience of course but how does that translate to cats.

We did have some questions about how heated cat beds work or if they could be left on overnight safely and so on. After doing our own research and purchasing a heated cat bed in the process we have answered those commonly asked questions about heated cat beds.

FAQ Heated Cat Beds

Do cats like heated cat beds?

Cats definitely like heated cat beds or heated cat mats or heated anything.  We already know that cats seek out places of warmth whether they are indoor or outdoor cats and a heated cat bed or heated cat mat is going to be heaven for your fur baby, providing he is in good health.

cat keeping warm on amplifier

Can cats and kittens use a heated cat bed?

There are some precautions that should be taken. Don’t use a heated cat bed with young kittens, cats that are ill or have just had surgery, or a cat that is not mobile.

The reason for this is that the cat needs to be able to independently move away from the bed.

Do cats get cold at night?

Cats do get cold at night, hence the reason they are always looking for the warmest place to settle down,  such as on your bed in the middle of the night.

If your cat is an outside cat providing him with an outdoor heated cat house or a heated pad inside his current cat house will give you peace of mind knowing that he is warm outside, even when the temperature drops. There is information here from a vet about cats keeping warm outside when the weather is cold.

Do self warming cat beds work?

Self-warming cat beds or self -warming cat pads mean that no electricity is involved. Instead, a thermal material is used that heats and adjusts to the cats body temperature.  Note: Not all beds labelled as self warming have the thermal material. Self warming beds can be used indoors and outdoors.

Top points for convenience because they can easily be moved and be placed on furniture, for example the couch or our bed, plus do double duty to contain cat hair.

Self warming cat mats are particularly convenient when transporting your cat by car.

There's more information here about self warming cat beds.

Are heated cat beds used Indoors and outdoors?

There are heated cat beds specifically for use indoors and outdoors.  

Outdoor heated beds also offer shelter from the weather so are more robust than indoor heated cat beds.

Are heated cat beds safe?

Heated cat beds are considered safe as the wattage used is generally less than that of an average night light.
The heated cat beds from K&H heat the bed to approximately 10- 15 degrees above ambient room temperature and then once the cat enters the bed and settles in, the warmth adjusts to the cat's normal body temperature which is about 102F.

Read indoor heated cat beds reviews here.

Can heated cat beds be washed?

The K&H heated indoor cat beds have an insert that can be washed, however specific instructions are given for washing to maintain the integrity of the product.

Other brands will vary so it is necessary to check the manufacturer's instructions. Usually there is an outside cover that can be removed for washing.  With a self warming cat bed, usually the whole bed can be machine washed.

What length cord do heated cat beds have?

K&H indoor heated cat beds have a cord that is 5.5 feet. Other brands vary however the length is around 5 ft.

Is it safe to leave a heated cat bed on at night?

Cat beds are intended to be left on overnight and have a low wattage which is considered safe.  
The instructions that accompany your cat bed may suggest not using an extension cord so read this advice before purchase.  Extension cords are not dangerous per se, however regulating authorities have no way of measuring the safety of the extension cord that you are using, hence the precautions given.

In addition extension cords are not recommended as a permanent solution when using any electrical product.

Do heated cat beds become dangerous with age?

The wattage used is low however there are too many external factors to consider.   This may be a purchase that you would be prepared to replace every few years depending on the use it has had and the condition it is in.

Help! I've gone to work and left the heated cat bed on.  

If you are like me, you may have been conditioned to turning off anything remotely connecting to heating if you are leaving the house.   K&H products, which are the market leaders in this field have this suggestion regarding heated cat beds.

Our heated dog and cat beds are designed for 24/7 operation. It's actually easier on the thermostat if a bed is left plugged in and allowed to operate without interruption. Constant unplugging is harder on the thermostat because it's forced to reset itself each time it's plugged in. This item has been certified by MET labs to adhere to strict electrical safety standards. For more information, please visit MET Safety Laboratories suggests unplugging the bed if you leave your home on an extended vacation, as with any electrical appliance.

Some heated cat beds have a timer that can be set for up to 12 hours. The Riogoo heated cat bed has a timer that can be set for up to 12 hours.

Are heated cat beds pressure activated?

The K&H beds are not pressure sensitive.  By warming 10F to 15F above the ambient room temperature when plugged in, the cat is likely to be drawn towards the bed for warmth.  Cats are particularly good at finding the best and warmest places to reside. Once the cat enters the bed the warmth is adjusted to the cat’s own body temperature.

Other brands have different options regarding temperature controls. The aim is to warm the bed to a comfortable and safe heat for the cat, which doesn't necessarily mean hot to the touch, as we may expect when warming something for ourselves.

Are Heated Cat Beds Safe?

Heated cat beds are safe with one caveat - always follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Some heated mats, pads and beds are fine if covered with a light blanket, others are not.  It is important to read all specifications so that you end up with the product you need for your cat.

Compare The Prices Of Heated Cat Beds

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

You can be pretty sure that your cat is going to love whichever heated option you choose.

The Best Heated Cat Bed

Choose a heated cat bed that is just right for your cat.

Heated Cat Pad

A heated cat pad may be just what you need.  There are options.

Cat Pads SpecificallyFor Heating In A Microwave

A heated cat pad that is heated in the microwave is a quick solution for a cold night.

heated cat beds

15 thoughts on “How To Know – Are Heated Cat Beds Safe?”

  1. I have a cat but I never thought that heated beds for cats existed. This would have been amazing when he had to go to the cattery when I was on holiday, as it was quite cold there.

  2. This is so cool! I’ve never thought about getting my boy a heated cat bed! However, he is fully indoors where it’s always warm 🙂 Definitely going to look into one now though!!

  3. This is just great, haha. I love the idea of heated anything for pets, my dog is always freezing it seems like! I would do/buy anything to make her comfortable!


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