Monday, January 19, 2015

Keep Indoor Cats Warm in Winter

Even if your cat is an indoor-only kitty, he can get cold in the winter.  Senior or arthritic cats may become especially uncomfortable in the cold weather.  Fortunately, there are several things you can do inside your home to ensure your cat stays warm.





Heated Cat Beds

Heated cat beds come in different styles; some are donut-shaped while others are igloo-shaped.  And some are flat mats.  When choosing a bed for your kitty, take her preferences into account.  If your cat likes to sleep under blankets or snooze partially hidden, she might like an igloo-shaped or cave-like bed.

According to Pam Johnson-Bennett, many cats feel more secure if they can feel their back up against something.  So if your cat is one of those but doesn't like being hidden while he sleeps, he may enjoy a donut-shaped bed.  If your kitty enjoys sprawling out while he sleeps, he might prefer a heated mat.  Furthermore, if you have an elderly or arthritic cat and he is unable to step over things or curl into a ball, a heated mat would be best.

Safety is obviously an important issue.  Purchase a bed that only heats up to a cat's body temperature.  The safest types of heated beds are those that return to room temperature when the kitty gets off the bed.  Beds with removable covers allow for regular washing.

In an attempt to keep cats warm, some pet owners may wrap a human heating pad in a blanket or towel.  However, even if kept on the lowest setting, these heating pads can burn kitties.  That's why it's advisable to get a heated bed made specifically for kitties.


Sunlight 

Lots of kitties love sun puddles, so when your home gets sun, open the blinds or curtains for your cat.  Jewel loved to follow the sun puddles around the apartment!  I think they helped ease her arthritic joints a little, and she was able to stay nice and warm at the same time.

Other Ways to Keep Your Cat Warm Indoors

If your cat enjoys watching bird or squirrel TV out the window, provide him a padded window perch so he doesn't have to sit on the cold floor or windowsill.  Alternatively, you could provide him a heated cat perch for window watching.  Additionally, if you have drafts coming from the windows in your home, take care of the leaks to help your kitty be more comfortable during the winter.

Try to elevate all of your cat's favorite sleeping spots so she isn't as close to the floor.  If you have a senior or arthritic cat who has trouble jumping or climbing into high beds, provide her with a towel, blanket, or heated cat mat in a cardboard box (what kitty doesn't enjoy a good box?) and cut out a low entrance so she can easily get in and out of it.

Try to provide your cat with several warm and cozy spots so he has plenty of options for staying warm.  For instance, Milita really likes fleece blankets, so I've covered all of her favorite sleeping spots with them.

Many people turn their thermostats down when they are at work or aren't at home to save energy.  This may be okay for a healthy kitty, but it can be uncomfortable for a senior, arthritic, thin, or ill cat.  In these cases, you might want to turn your thermostat up a few degrees to take the chill out of the air for your kitty.

Keeping Your Cat Warm on Trips

If you drive, go out and start your car a few minutes before you need to leave to warm it up a little for your cat.  Line your cat's carrier with a towel or blanket.  You might also want to put a towel or blanket over the top of your cat's carrier when you take him to and from the car to keep some of the wind and chilliness out of his carrier.  

If you do not or cannot drive, it can be a little more difficult to keep your kitty warm on a trip to the vet.  If it's possible, take a taxi or ask a friend to take you to the vet.  If you're disabled and your city has a paratransit system, you could use that to get to the vet.  Line your cat's carrier with a blanket or towel to keep her warmer during your trip.  You may also want to cover her carrier with a towel or blanket when you are going to or from the vehicle to keep some of the wind and chilliness off of your cat.

We are participating in the Keeping Pets Warm event today hosted by Davinia and Indiana from Two Little Cavaliers.  

32 comments:

  1. So important to be careful with heating pads. I see patients with burns from these.

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  2. Those are some great tips. For some reason, we've never liked heating pads. The mom put one in our bed and we wouldn't use it.

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  3. Great tips. Many people don't always take into account that their cats may be cold too.

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  4. This is some great advice! One other little thing...whenever I make tea Truffles likes for me to add a little hot water to her water bowl. She laps it up and then naps...I think a warm tummy comforts her :)

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  5. Really good tips, I like my little bed warmer and my neighbor kitty friend comes over, walks in my doggy door, and snuggles wif me in my bed! :)

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  6. Thank you for reminding people to cover the carriers when the have to take their kitties to the vet. Many people don't think about doing this but the cold air can get in the carrier and quickly cool a kitty down. It also helps the kitty to feel secure and calms them.

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  7. I have a Snuggle Safe that heats up in the microwave and stays warm for hours. Thunder gets it during the day--I get it at night. It keeps my feet warm in bed! Thunder will often seek it out on the bed, and then we will share it.

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  8. What is really cool in the condo we live in is that there are a few pipes for the heat in the floor that we like to lay on that keep us nice and toasty warm.

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  9. Thanks for the tips! I like the heating pads idea

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  10. what wonderful suggestions these are. I am chilly even though the inside temp is 71, I tend to huddle near the vents sometimes.

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  11. We are usually plenty warm but a heated bed does sound nice!

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  12. I love the sunlight...and I'm a dog! I move with the sun during the day!

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  13. Great advice! I think I will look into a heated cat pad -- I think Delilah would love one of those.

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  14. That is one terrific post and some good ideas. My cats all get in the bed with me to stay warm. At times there are eight or nine cats surrounding me. They all have blankets to cuddle up in. Take care.

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  15. Mom wants to get Ellie a self heating bed. Ellie prefers Mom or Dad's pillow :)

    The Florida Furkids

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  16. Heated cat beds are amazing! My mom's elderly cat never wants to leave his. I wish I had one to curl up on, but I'd never want to leave it, either.

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  17. Stinky the Farm cat has a heated cat pad that sits on the cat tree in front of a window. She has the cat life.

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  18. Thanks for all that info! We didn't know you could get heated window perches.

    We like to snooze by the floor level furnace vents...

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  19. We didn't know that heating beds for kitties did exist ! Great post, full of good ideas to keep us warm ! Purrs

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  20. We like laying against Dad. He makes a lot of heat both on the couch and when he is reading to us at night.
    Thanks fur a great article!

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  21. We don't have to worry too much about this here in Southern California. Although I wouldn't mind having a heated cat bed!

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  22. If it is sunny my mum moves a chair around to follow the sun for me. If it is dull and cold I like to nap beside the fire. I still like to go outdoors but only stop out for a few minutes, not the hours I used to like to spend outside.

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  23. Great post! It is so important to keep our pets comfortable and warm.

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  24. I have a summer cat bed and a winter one. I love the winter one. I’m not a real snuggler so it works for me.

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  25. I didn't know kitty heat pads existed either. My guys are are long-haired and fluffy; I have to keep the temp. down more than I would like. I'm the one bundled up!

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  26. A heated mat can work wonders for arthritis!

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  27. Great tips for the kitties to keep them warm! Most people think us dogs & cats are always warm because we have fur but we sure get cold. For my sister Meow Meow, we have a heating pad under the top liner of her bed, then a blanket on top of that for softness. She loves it! Also, in the downstairs area where she hangs out, we keep a stand up electric space heater that is very safe (Grampy is an electrician who makes sure it's all okay) that keeps her favorite room extra warm for her to snooze in.
    Nice to meet you by the way! I'm a fellow BlogPaw pet blogger! Come visit sometime. :)
    Pixel Blue Eyes (mini Schnauzer trick dog)
    www.pixelblueeyescom

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  28. I never knew about kitty heating pads and thanks for sharing. I hope to see you in Nashville at BlogPaws this May.

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  29. Heating pads make me a bit nervous as I'm away at work for a big part of the day. I've been using a handwarmer (the kind you might bring to camp - open a package and expose to air and then they warm up) everyday put in a sock tucked in the corner of his bed. Found them at Costco for $12.99 for 40 which isn't too bad if you only have 1 cat.

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  30. Purrfect tips - especially the warning about human heating pads!!

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  31. Thank you for all these helpful hints. I just found this site while looking for ways to keep my ferals warmer than last winter. In addition to what I've been doing, I think I'm going to cover my porch screens with heavy plastic for winter and buy the heated water bowl that was previously mentioned. Again, thanks to all for the great ideas.

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  32. I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.
    Luxury Cat Beds

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