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Cats love to nap in a warm spot. If your purr monster always seeks out the sunniest place to sleep, they’ll probably love a heated cat bed! Heated beds can be especially great for older cats, providing much-needed comfort for arthritis. But which heated cat bed is best for your pet?
Self-warming cat beds have a thin layer of a reflective material such as Mylar inside (you may be familiar with Mylar camping blankets or emergency blankets). That material reflects heat back to the source (in this case, your cat) to provide a cozy haven. Plug-in beds come in two types: those with electrical cords rated for outdoor use and those that should be used only indoors.
Because they use no electricity, self-heating cat beds are safe for indoor and outdoor use (and washable). If you buy a plug-in heated bed, there are some things to consider before you deploy it. Be sure to read the directions for the bed you choose. Most come with a light plush or fleece cover and manufacturers will caution you not to pile on additional beds and layers that could create a fire hazard. The bed should always be positioned so that your cat has the option to move to a non-heated area. This post from K&H Pet Products, one of the largest manufacturers of heated pet beds, describes more safety precautions you should take.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite heated cat beds—self-warming, plug-in, indoor, and outdoor. They’re durable, easy-to-clean, and safe.
These have a thin layer of “space blanket” material that reflects your cat’s heat back to the source. They’re surprisingly effective, and they hold up to machine washing. They’re a safe, inexpensive way to keep your cat warm.
Does your kitty love to burrow under the covers? They’ll love this convertible cat bed with a soft fleecy lining that they can use as a cave. It can also be used as a flat cat bed or plush pod so they can relax in view. It’s machine washable.Find on Amazon
This is a sweet little self-warming bed for kitties who enjoy a bolster; it comes in a few sizes and is machine-washable and dryable.Shop on Chewy
This heat-reflecting dog crate pad is perfect for a cat (in the small size, 14 by 22 inches). It’s great for putting on a desk or sofa or adding to your cat’s existing bed. The slits on the corner let you fit it easily into a smaller space, and a non-slip bottom prevents it from sliding around or getting bunched up. The plush pad comes in three neutral colors and is machine washable.Shop on Chewy
Most indoor cats will fall in love with these—especially older cats with arthritis pain. The internal heating pads are removable, so you can keep the beds fresh with machine washing. Note that some users report that the heat from the bottom of the bed can discolor some upholstery fabrics, so put some thought into where you’d like to put these.
This designer plug-in cat bed has comfy bolster sides, some great rich colors (mocha or deep blue), and I like it because it’s big enough (22 by 16 inches) to accommodate my chonkiest cat, Max. The internal heating pad is removable so you can machine wash the plush bed (gentle cycle, cold water).Find on Amazon
Does your cat need a little more luxury in their life? This plush bed is lined in soft leopard-print fleece and has an internal heater to keep them warm. In colder months, the optional hood and plug-in heating element keep them warm. And in summer, just remove the hood and don’t plug it in.Shop on Chewy
This mod-style cat cave bed with a machine-washable nylon cover zips together in the center. The roomy interior provides comfort and privacy to even the largest cats. And while the design is decidedly cool, the comfy heating pad is warm. You get a choice of very retro shades of green or brown.Shop on Chewy
Whether you have a confirmed feral who won’t come in out of a blizzard or a house cat who likes to get a few hours of fresh air, there are sturdy, safe outdoor cat beds to keep them warm in winter. These range from simple pads you can put in a sheltered area, to weatherproof cat houses that serve as stand-alone shelters.
Basic and affordable, this soft outdoor heated pad with a washable fleece cover will keep your kitty warm. The small size (18 by 14 inches, with a smaller, narrow heating pad inside) should be fine for most cats, but you can go larger if you like. Note the metal coil protecting the cord from wear—it’s great if you are putting the pad on a rough concrete floor or threading the cord around a post or stairs.Shop on Chewy
This may look like the less expensive Lectro-Soft (above), but what’s inside is a much larger, tougher heating pad. The pad is made of hard ABS plastic and can’t be ripped or bent. I’ve used one of these in a shelter for the “neighborhood” cat for more than 10 years and, yep, it’s durable! Newer models, like this one, have steel-wrapped cords. Ideal for putting in a sheltered area to protect an outdoor cat from serious cold weather.Shop on Chewy
This A-frame house is cozy, sturdy, and waterproof. The heated floor pad inside ensures that kitties are comfortable even in freezing temperatures. This house can comfortably fit two to three cats (depending on their size) and has two exits so they won’t feel trapped inside.Shop on Chewy
This house is my top choice for keeping outdoor cats warm. Made from 600-denier polyester, it’s water- and weather-resistant. It has front and back entrance/exit doors with removable clear door flaps and is easy to assemble (with fuzzy fastener strips). The heated cat bed inside is removable and wipes clean. Since it’s relatively lightweight (4.8 pounds), be sure to place it in an area where it’s safe from the wind. Chose from several colors and designs (including log cabin, haunted house, and barn). Have multiple cats that are willing to share a shelter? There’s an extra-wide model.Find on Amazon