If you live in a part of the country that experiences harsh conditions during the winter, including snow, constant rain, and freezing temperatures, your cat may have a hard time staying warm and comfortable, especially if they’re older or they’re an indoor/outdoor cat. So, what’s the solution? A heated cat bed. The best heated cat beds will allow you to adjust the thermostat to the perfect temperature and leave the bed on day and night, so your cat will stay warm and comfortable around the clock. There are several types, brands, and styles of heated cat beds to choose from, including self-heating, electric, and indoor and outdoor. If you’re having a hard time finding the right model, and you’ve read plenty of reviews on the best heated cat beds with still no luck, then my buyer’s guide is just what you need to make the right choice for your pet. I’ve put together this buyer’s guide based on whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, you need a bed to use for ferals, and information on the different features available. I’ve also used several of these beds for both my indoor cats and the ferals I care for, choosing the beds that the cats actually used and responded positively to. I created a best-of list, including six of the most popular beds. Below, you’ll see a comparison chart that I’ve created that includes each of these models, their rating, and their top features.
Heated Cat Beds Comparison Chart
Best Heated Cat Bed-K&H Pet Products Thermo Kitty Heated Cat Bed
This K&H Pet Products Thermo kitty heated cat bed is surrounded by tall six-inch soft foam walls, with a diameter of sixteen inches. The heated cat bed is thermostatically controlled and will automatically start to heat up once it detects a cat’s weight. This model comes with a one piece pillow inside the cover, with a cover that’s made out of heavy fleece. The pillow is polyfilled and plush. The cover can be removed for cleaning and is washing machine safe. The bed’s dual thermostat operates with just four watts of power and provides a type of heat that will complement the normal body temperature range of your feline.
- Body weight activated heating element
- Heated cat bed is designed for indoor use
- Plush design
- Comes in two sizes
- Machine washable cover
- Takes up to 15 minutes to heat up
The Thermo Kitty heated cat bed comes with all the features you need to keep your pet warm and comfortable when it’s cold outside. The thermostat is body weight activated, so the cat bed will switch off as soon as the sensors detect your cat is no longer on it. The plush cover and polyfilled pillow provide cushioning and support for tired achy joints, while the heating element will keep your cat comfortable and warm around the clock.
Best Self Warming Bed-Best Friends by Sheri OrthoComfort Deep Dish Cuddler Self-Warming Cat Bed
This self warming heated cat bed by Best Friends by Sheri is designed to keep your cat warm and comfortable in colder weather. It’s perfect for indoor use and it’s considered one of the top self warming heated cat beds on the market. A self warming heated cat bed is designed to keep your cat warm by reflecting their body heat back at them. This cat bed is very flexible and designed to accommodate cats of all sizes. The bottom of the heated cat bed is waterproof, so it will protect your floors from damage, in the event your pet has an accident. The cover is dryer safe and machine washable. The padding consists of air loft fibers, which is designed to keep its loft 3xs longer than the padding or filling used in competing cat beds.
- Ergonomic bed shape
- Self warming heated cat bed
- Machine washable
- Warms cats by using their body heat
- Does not come with a heating unit
While this heated cat bed is perfect for most cats, because it does not come with a heating unit, this model may not be the best choice for cats with diabetes, or older cats who have trouble regulating their body temperature. Overall, the bed’s ergonomic design makes it perfect for cats with joint problems or those who live in colder climates.
The bed’s high walls and deep dish design wrap around your cat, providing them with a sense of comfort and security. Additionally, the nine-inch high wall design makes for the perfect head rest. The entire heated cat bed is covered in sherpa fabric which is plush and warm, so your cat can rest in total comfort, all winter long.
Best Heated Cat Bed for Outdoor Use-K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pet Bed
This heated cat cat bed is specifically designed for outdoor use. On top of the heating mat is thick orthopedic foam, with a plush fleece cover. The cat bed is thermostatically controlled and will respond to temperature changes automatically in order to warm up to a cat’s body temperature. This bed is perfect for use in any type of sheltered area, such as barns, tool sheds, and garages. It comes equipped with a long power cord that measures in at 5 ½ feet. The cord is wrapped in steel to prevent damage caused by chewing. The exterior of the cat bed is made out of PVC material that’s waterproof and durable. The bed’s heating element is designed to never exceed a cat’s body temperature, so there’s no fear of a cat overheating.
- Durable heating mat
- Easy operation
- High walls
- Low price
- Not recommended for freezing temperatures
This model by K H Pet Products is available in three size options, so it’ll work for single or multi-cat use.The bed’s heating mat is designed to warm up within a matter of minutes to keep your kitty nice and warm outdoors. However, because it’s only designed to heat up to a cat’s normal body temp it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a model that can keep a cat warm and toasty in freezing temperatures. In terms of durability, this heated cat bed definitely excels and is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable model you can use outdoors in the fall and winter months.
Best Heated Cat Cave-K H Thermo-Kitty Leopard Deluxe Heated Cat Cave
This K H Thermo Kitty cat bed, the Leopard Deluxe is one of the best cat beds on the market and it’s perfect for felines who love their privacy. Cat caves can make your cat feel more comfortable and secure. However, cat caves that come equipped with built-in heating pads can provide even more benefits, especially if you live in a colder climate, or you have an older kitty who has trouble regulating their body temperature. Cat bed key features include low power needs, a removable heater, removable cover that you can toss in the washing machine, and a plus design that your cat will love.
- Comes in two sizes
- Heated cat mat
- Cat cave design makes felines feel more secure
- Machine washable
- Plush design
- Short cord
Considered one of the best heated cat beds for felines who love a private spot to nap the day away, this is one of K H Pet Product’s top models for all the right reasons. The cat cave features a thick heating pad, combined with the soft removable cover make for the perfect resting spot, especially during the colder winter months. Cat owners will appreciate the low price, while felines will fall in love with the supportive, comfortable sleeping surface and the constant heat the bed provides around the clock.
Best Heated Cat Bed for Seniors-K&H PET PRODUCTS Thermo-Kitty Mat
Most felines will enjoy a self warming cat mat to snooze on. One of the key features is the lack of walls. The heating pad style mat makes this model much easier for older cats to get on and off of. This heated mat is thermostatically controlled and designed to respond automatically to temperature changes. The mat will warm up to your cat’s normal body temp, so there’s no fear of your feline overheating. This is achieved by internal sensors that will only be triggered once the sensor detects your feline’s weight.
- Removable cover
- No walls
- Perfect for seniors
- Thermostat is not adjustable
The lack of walls makes this bed a better choice for arthritic cats or kittens who have trouble climbing in and out of cat caves or bolster-style beds. This bed offers a number of features that cat owners will appreciate, such as a removable cover, low power needs, and a one-year limited warranty.
Best Self Heated Cat House-Miss Meow Cat Bed Round and Cave
This cat house is self heating and designed to match the air temperature, ensuring your cat doest overheat. A cat cave is a great choice for felines of all ages, especially those who prefer a private spot to nap. This cat cave features a soft faux material that feels similar to merino wool. However, it’s made out of a mixture of synthetic materials, which provide warmth and comfort that’s comparable to merino wool, but at a price you can afford. The design features more padding than you’ll get from competing models, making it a good choice for arthritic cats in need of a sleeping surface that provides joint support.
- More padding than competing models
- Designed to match air temperature
- Will not cause overheating
- Self warming
- Cover is not removable
- Available in one size only
The bed’s key features include the self warming cat bed design that prevents the need of a heating pad or built-in heating element. The cover’s thick material and extra padding will provide a nice comfortable napping spot for your cat during the colder months of the year. If you’re not a fan of heated cat beds that rely on electricity, then this self warming model is the perfect choice and one that’s designed to keep your cat comfortable all winter long.
Best Self Warming Cat Mat-Milliard Thermal Cat Mat
If you’re looking for a heated cat bed that allows your cat to stretch out and relax, then this cat mat by Milliard comes loaded with all the key features you’re looking for. The flat surface is equipped with a built-in thermal core that reflects a cat’s body heat back at them, so they’ll stay nice and toasty. Additionally, the lack of a heating pad will also save you on your electric bill. The cat mat comes with a removable cover, so you can toss it in the wash if your pet has an accident. These types of self warming cat beds are perfect for owners who are uncomfortable with leaving an electric model plugged in while they’re away from home.
- Removable cover
- Self warming
- Spacious sleeping surface
- Low price
- Thermal materials in the mat make a crinkling sound that can startle some felines
This self heating cat bed is a great choice for your home, whether you have one cat or three. The large sleeping surface allows your cat to stretch out and relax, while the thermal materials used will keep your cats nice and warm in colder weather. This model’s durable cover and large sleeping surface makes this one of the best cat beds for multi-cat households.
Best Heated Cat Beds Buyer’s Guide
The first question you need to ask yourself is why you need a heated cat bed. Is it to provide warmth to strays and feral cats during the winter? Do you have an older cat who is constantly cold? Once you’ve answered those questions, the next one is whether you need a cat bed that can be used outdoors or indoors. As you can see, when you’re shopping for a heated cat bed, there are many things to consider. With so many of these models on the market, choosing the right product for your cats can be difficult. If you’re not sure that your cat needs this type of bed, how they work, or what features they have to offer, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide will go over the important features to look for, based on your cat’s needs, whether the bed is going to be located indoors or outdoors, and how these heated cat beds work.
Does My Cat Need a Heated Pet Bed?
Some cats absolutely loved heated cat beds, and most cats love to stay comfortable and warm when it’s freezing outside. But the key will be finding a bed that suits your cat’s specific needs, since some heated cat beds are more adjustable and comfortable than others.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of reasons why these models can be invaluable in your home, especially if you take care of strays or you have a senior.
- If your cat is over the age of seven, they’re considered a senior. Many older cats have trouble regulating their body temp and often seek the warmest spot in the house to hide, sleep, and stay warm. Using a heated cat bed will ensure your older cat remains comfortable and warm at all times.
- If you have a sick cat on your hands, then making them comfortable and warm by using a heated cat bed can also be very helpful, especially if they have poor circulation caused by diabetes.
- If you live in a part of the country that experiences snow and freezing temperatures, and you live in a drafty older house, a heated bed will be essential.
- Do you take care of the local strays and feral cats? Adding a heated bed to their outdoor sleeping enclosure can be lifesaving. This is especially true for younger cats that wander into your yard, older strays, and cats with compromised immune systems.
- A heated bed can also be a great solution if you’re tired of sleeping with your cat and you feel a little guilty about kicking them out of bed.
- The biggest benefit of using a heated bed is that they can help keep a cat warm, heating up to a cat’s normal body temperature of 102 degrees. Some models may even come with a cooling feature that’s designed to lower the temperature of the bed to match the ambient room temperature.
- These beds can help to relieve pain and inflammation in cats with arthritis and other types of joint problems
- They can also help keep seniors warm. Older cats have trouble regulating their body temperature.
- A heated bed can provide a comfortable and safe spot for both indoor and outdoor cats to sleep.
Now that you know why a heated bed can come in handy and how they can help an outdoor or indoor cat to stay comfortable during harsh weather conditions, let’s take a look at the important factors to consider when you’re shopping for the right model.
Factors to Consider
A heated bed is specially designed to not overheat an animal. One of the key features to pay attention to is the heating element, or materials the bed is made out of. The bed’s built-in heating element usually runs at a low wattage, so the heat won’t harm your pet. If you have a young cat, one that loves to chew and play with cords, then you may need to hold off until your cat is older. Instead of a corded model, you can choose a self-heating bed instead.
Adjustability is one of the most important key features. Heated beds are designed to provide a moderate amount of heat, but they should not get so hot that it’s uncomfortable for a cat. Some models are more adjustable than others and come with controls that allows you to turn up or lower the heat. Other models are not quite as adjustable and may run too warm for some cats.
Test Out the Heated Bed
With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to test out a heated bed before allowing your cat to use it. When you receive the bed, switch it on and allow it to heat up for fifteen to twenty minutes, then test the heated surface with your hand. If it feels too warm to you, lower the heat setting. You can also add a pad on the surface of the bed that can put some distance between your cat and the heating element, making the heat more tolerable.
If the bed doesn’t come with an adjustable thermostat and it provides too much or not enough warmth, you may need to send it back and choose a model that’s more adjustable. This is a common problem with lower priced beds.
With the information I’ve included here, you’ll learn more about the different styles of heated beds available and the variety of features to choose from that can make the bed more comfortable for your pet.
Now, let’s take a look at the different styles available.
Outdoor Heated Pet Beds
An outdoor bed often features a waterproof design that will prevent an animal from getting shocked, even if the bed gets wet. Because these models are designed for outdoor cats, ferals, and strays, one of their key features is a protective cord design. The cords are also often covered in a coiled thick piece of metal that will prevent animals from chewing on the cord. The cover on this type of bed is usually lacking in terms of padding, but features a more durable design that can withstand plenty of wear and tear. In most cases, the padded cover is also removable and machine washable.
Indoor Cat Beds
These models don’t share the same level of durability that an outdoor bed does, because the bed will be protected from the elements. They will also come with heavily padded covers that are removable and often machine washable.
Types of Heated Cat Beds
There are a couple of types of heated beds: electric and self-heating.
An electric model will come equipped with a cord, a hard plastic surface that contains the heating element inside, and a cover for the bed. These covers can range from fairly basic, thin padding and materials, to very plush beds. An electric model may come with an adjustable thermostat that allows you to precisely control the temperature, or it may only have two to three heat settings to choose from. Some models are designed for indoor use, but you can also find outdoor models available that are perfect for providing a warm, comfortable spot for an outdoor, stray, or feral cat.
Many pet owners worry about leaving a heated bed on when they’re away at work or out of the house running errands. While most heated models are designed to stay on and are perfectly safe, pet owners tend to have more peace of mind with the self-heating option. A self-heating bed will keep a cat warm using reflective panels that are designed to reflect that cat’s body heat back at them.
Key features can include:
- An open or closed design
- And how adjustable a bed is.
Key features can also be those special features you know your cat will appreciate, such as a cave-style design, an extra-large sleeping surface that they can stretch out on, or a model that comes with an extra-soft fleece cover. You know your cat best. Write down a list of key features to look for and make sure you check out most of the boxes before you buy.
There are several important features that you’ll want to consider before you hit that buy now button.
If you’ve decided to purchase an indoor heated bed, make sure the cord is chew-proof, if you have a curious younger cat who loves to chew cords. The cord should also be long enough that there’s a little give in it, preventing your cat from tripping.
Make sure the bed you buy is big enough to comfortably accommodate your pet. If you have cats that love to sleep together, then you’ll need to find a larger model. Additionally, some breeds of cats are bigger than others, such as Maine Coons. Pay attention to the model’s dimension before you buy, to ensure it provides more than enough space for your cat or cats.
Covered and Open Designs
A heated bed can feature an open or closed design. With an open design, the sides may be high, or low, which will make the bed easier for seniors to climb into. If you have a cat that prefers to hide when they sleep, then a bed with high sides or a closed top will be the best choice.
If you have a senior cat with sore joints, then padding is one of the key features you should look for. An indoor cat bed often features a plush design and plenty of padding, allowing your cat to sink into the surface and enjoy the warmth. Unpadded models or those with minimal padding can be a better choice for outdoor use, since the cover will need to be washed often due to a cat tracking in dirt and debris.
Care and Maintenance
If you have a senior who has the occasional accident, then a cover that’s machine washable will be a must. This can also be true for kittens who are not yet litter box trained.
Some models will come with a thermostat dial that will allow you to precisely control the temperature, while others will come with one to six temperature adjustment options. Higher priced models are often the most adjustable, while the lower priced models offer the lowest temperature settings.
Automatic Shut Off
Automatic shut off is one of those key features that can provide pet parents with much-needed peace of mind.
This safety feature is one that you’ll commonly find on outdoor beds, although some indoor models will come with it as well. This shut off feature is weight activated. If the sensors in the bed detect that the bed is empty, then the heating element will shut off, automatically. Not only is this a great safety feature, but it’s a good way to conserve energy.
Common Safety Concerns
Safety is major concern for people who want to leave their cat’s bed turned on during the day. Will the bed overheat? Can a bed that’s left on potentially start a fire? Will leaving the bed on at all times fry the heating element?
Safety is the number one priority for all pet owners. Fortunately, these models are designed for around the clock use and run on a low wattage. This type of bed is not a fire hazard and it’s perfectly safe to leave one on when you’re not at home. Most manufacturers will incorporate safety features that are designed to prevent the bed from overheating. A thermostat will regulate the temperature and prevent the bed from becoming too hot for your pet.
Will My Cat Use a Heated Pet Bed?
A cat may or may not decide to use the bed. To increase the odds that your pet will fall in love, make sure you find a model that comes loaded with plenty of key features that will ensure your pet stays warm and comfortable. You already know that your cat is a very picky independent individual. It can be hard to determine whether or not your cat will like and use their heated bed without actually trying it. Some cats will instantly fall in love with their bed, especially if they’re older or have a short coat and you live in a colder part of the country. If you’re on the fence in terms of whether or not your cat will love or benefit from a heated bed, then make sure you choose a model that comes with a return policy that allows you to return the bed, no questions asked, for a full refund.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Wash a Heated Cat Bed?
This will depend on the model you purchased. Before you wash a heated bed, always read the included care instructions. Most models will come with a removable cover that is machine washable.
Do Self-Warming Cat Beds Work?
Some people worry that electric heated beds are dangerous and will consider purchasing a self-warming bed instead. Self-warming heated cat beds do work and can be a great option for some cats, although because the bed relies on using your cat’s body heat to keep it warm instead of a thermostat, your cat may become too hot using it and you will have no way to lower the temperature.
How do I Keep My Stray Cat Warm in the Winter?
Keeping a stray cat warm in freezing winter environments can be a challenge. However, there are some things you can do to ensure they remain comfortable and safe once the temperature drops below freezing.
- Purchase an outdoor heated bed
- Provide an enclosed shelter
- Fill the shelter with straw
- Provide food and water
Are Heated Beds Safe for Cats?
Yes. These beds come with heated inserts that are designed to mold to a cat’s body. Most are weight activated so they will turn on or shut off once the sensors detect your cat’s weight. In terms of heat, most models will not exceed 102-degrees, which is a cat’s normal body temperature.
Where Should I Put My Heated Cat Bed?
Heated cat beds should always be placed somewhere safe and quiet, away from the noise in the home, the kids, and other pets. Placing the bed in your bedroom is often a good choice, however, you can also place the bed in your home office, den, or even a quiet corner in the kitchen.
The best heated cat beds are adjustable, durable, and designed to meet your pet’s needs, whether your cat is indoor or outdoor only. There are many different types and styles to choose from. With this in mind and by using the information I’ve included here, you can find a heated bed that will work for your cat, home, or outdoor setup and keep your cat or cats warm and comfortable, all winter long.