How can I keep my cat cozy in cold weather? What is winter weather like at your place? How do you keep your cat warm in cold weather? Even if your cat stays indoors the temperature may not be warm enough to keep kitty warm.
We know that cat seek places of warmth and comfort. A cat’s mission in winter is to be a warm cat.
Keeping Your Cat Warm In Cold Weather
Temperature Inside Your Home
Ideally, keep the temperature in your home between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, or 20 and 22 degrees Celsius. This temperature range is within the typical comfort range for humans and indoor cats. How do you know if your cat is feeling cold?
Regarding heating, here is a warning regarding space heaters that you will not read elsewhere.
We have a gas heater in one of the rooms in our home. Our cat loved to lie in front of the space heater on his futon. Yes, he had a futon, and it was a great little bed, easily cleanable. It was his favorite spot to stay warm.
The space heater is powered by gas and is connected to the mains. It is turned on by depressing an electronic button for a few seconds, causing ignition to occur. The fan can then be adjusted.
All are actually very safe and meet safety standards, UNLESS you are a cat lying in the direct path of receiving a dose of gas prior to the ignition.
Call our cat unlucky, but this is exactly what happened to him. Fortunately for the cat, an astute family member saw immediately what had happened and gave the cat mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Yes, I know, you have that picture in your head now.
I kid you not, this happened, and the cat lived for many, many more years. Our heater did have the adequate ventilation required by law, but still this happened. When the weather is cold, we are quite likely to catch a cold. What about cats? Do cats get a cold from being around us, if we have a cold?
The heater had been turned on many times, with the cat nearby on his futon without incident, but there is always that one time.
Here is a photo of the offending heater. It is an incident that we will never forget, and it traumatized us all, thinking of the possible bad outcome.
So just a word of warning about space heaters as the unexpected can happen.
Needless to say, we were careful to make sure that this did not happen again. There is more information on this type of poisoning here.
If you are looking to purchase an electric heater, get one that has concealed elements, something like the one pictured here.
This heater switches off if it accidentally tips over.
Never leave your cat alone with an older electric heater or any floor-standing heater. A heater like the one pictured above has the option of being free-standing or wall-mounted.
Consider Heating Pads Or Heated Cat Beds For Extra Warmth.
This is the easiest way to provide extra warmth for your indoor cat, particularly if you are away from home and not able to monitor the temperature as often as you would like.
Before I describe the different types of heated cat beds/ pads, read this article which will answer any of the questions you may have regarding the safety of heated cat beds/pads. Put your mind at rest before you start exploring options.
Heated Cat Pads
A heated cat pad is usually rectangular in shape, does not have sides, is padded for comfort, and is designed for comfort and to keep cats warm.
It is a flat pad made of materials such as foam and covered in a soft, plush material, with a heating element inside.
The heating element is powered by electricity and is regulated by a thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature for the cat to lie on.
The heated cat pad works by emitting a low level heat, creating a warm surface for the cat to rest on.
This can be especially beneficial for older cats with joint problems. The warmth of the pad can help soothe and relax the cat, promoting better sleep and comfort.
How safe are heated cat pads?
Some safety tips to keep in mind include:
Checking the pad regularly for signs of damage or wear, and replacing the whole pad if necessary. If it is looking worn out, honestly just ditch it and get a new one.
- Just make sure that cat is not chewing the pad. Unlikely but well cats are not predictable.
- Make sure the cord is lying flat and not lying in a tangle.
- Place the pad on a stable surface, away from any flammable materials.
- Unplug the pad when not in use.
Microwavable Heating Pad For The Cat
This is pretty self explanatory. A microwavable cat heating pad is designed to be heated in a microwave. These pads are often discs, and once heated, they can be put just about anywhere that the cat likes to recline. Some places are
- In a cat cave – the most perfect place – place some light bedding on top. This is most inviting.
- In a self heating pet bed
- Under items belonging to you that the cat likes to curl up on, like fleece sweaters
- At the foot of your bed, under the said items mentioned above. This is good if the cat likes sleeping with you but you don’t want him sleeping on the bed
- Still in your bedroom but maybe on a chair near your bed, tucked into a doona or blankets
- On cat trees where there is a ledge to rest. Pop the disc under a blanket.
The option of using a microwaveable heat pad appeals to those who are not confident about leaving a heat source turned on all day. The typical pad heated in the microwave will cool down over time.
Heated Cat Bed
Of course, you can just get a heated cat bed. The cat will be drawn to the warmth as if it were a powerful magnet.
Heated cat beds do not warm up to be hot, and you may even question whether the heat is working. The beds are not designed to just get hot, unlike the heated blankets and throw rugs that we use as humans.
Provide An Insulated Bed For Your Cat To Sleep In
The bed you provide for your cat does not have to be heated by artificial means.
Felted Wool Cat Cave
A felted wool cat cave is a very good example of this. Wool, being a natural fiber, has heat retaining properties. The wool is felted to give the material some structure. Felting wool is a natural process.
The felted wool cat caves are made of 100% natural fiber, usually Merino wool from Australia or New Zealand.
Cats love the warm, cocoon-like nature of the cat caves. They really do love them, so definitely consider a cat cave if you are looking for a new cat bed.
Self Heating Cat Beds
These beds do not have any heat source, but many contain a thermal insulating material that warms with the cat’s own body heat and reflects the heat back to the cat.
They are often filled with recycled plastic fibers or synthetic materials such as polyester. These beds are great for those cats that like to snuggle up in a warm spot and stay there for hours.
Create Cozy Hideaways For Your Cat Using Scrap Fabric And A Box
This is a super easy idea to make a comfy bed for the cat to stay warm, just using a box, scrap fabric, and glue. There is nothing about this video that has been measured or even done carefully, but somehow the cozy cat hideaway works out wonderfully well.
The ideas in this video could certainly serve as a starting point for your own super-homemade, cozy cat hideaway, which is also inexpensive.
General Tips To Keep Your Cat Warm In Your Home
- During the long, cold winter days and nights, try to keep the litter box out of places that are too cold, such as garages or basements.
- Choose a warm, draft-free location for the litter box, away from areas near windows or other drafty areas in your home.
- Use a heavy rubber mat underneath the litter tray to help insulate against any cold drafts that may come up from underneath.
- Use weatherstripping or draft stoppers to seal gaps and prevent cold air from entering your home.
- Consider adding insulation to your walls, particularly if you live in an older home.
- Hang heavy curtains over windows to help block out cold drafts.
- Place rugs and mats on cold floors to provide insulation .
Some cat breeds cope with cold weather far better than others. This article explains the best breeds of cat for coping with cold weather extremes. It also talks about cats who would prefer the weather to be temperate as ideal living conditions.
It’s hard to think of summer right now but it will eventually arrive. How can you help your cat stay cool in hot weather?