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Keeping Your Indoor Cat Warm in Winter

keeping your indoor cat warm in winter

Many cats really enjoy a warm, cozy place to nap. It’s not unusual to walk into a room and find your cat curled up in the sunniest spot. With the approach of colder months, many indoor cats, especially older ones or kitties with arthritis, will seek out the warmest spots in the house.

 

There are things you can do to help create safe, warm napping areas for your cat. This can be especially helpful for your older cat who may have stiff joints. The comfort of napping on a soft warm bed will ease some of that arthritic pain and stiffness. It’s important though to make sure any heated bedding you create is safe. It’s also important to make sure your cat is able to freely move away from the heat should she get too warm. Cats have very thin skin and it can burn easily.

black cat at window

Photo: Pam Johnson-Bennett

Heated Cat Beds

There are several types of heated beds commercially available. Some are semi-enclosed, some are donut shaped and some resemble the typical old-fashioned heating pad. Choose a style based on the type of bedding your cat has previously preferred for sleeping. If your cat likes the warmth of getting completely under your bed covers or likes to be partially hidden when sleeping, then one of the semi-enclosed “A” frame beds may be a good choice for her. Many cats feel more secure when they can feel their backs leaning up against something so if your cat prefers that but doesn’t like to be in a cave-like bed, then one of the donut-shaped beds would work. And, if your cat prefers to sleep all sprawled out then a traditional flat heated bed might be your best option. Pay attention to your cat’s preferences and also the position she typically tends to sleep. If the cat is too stiff to curl in a ball or she can’t step over things then a round, high-sided bed won’t work.

Even if you don’t choose to buy a heated bed, provide your cat with several cozy sleeping options so she can curl up and get away from cold surfaces. The high-sided beds or “A” frame beds work great but even a towel-lined box will be appreciated by your cat. If she’s not very mobile and can’t step over the sides of the box, cut out a low-sided entrance for her.

Safety is obviously most important. Make sure the bed temperature heats up to only the cat’s body temperature. The safest type of bed is one that returns to room temperature when the cat steps off the bed. You also want to look for a bed that has a removable cover for washing. Place beds in elevated locations for added warmth.

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