Keeping Kitty Warm
Photo of Pepper Ann from Friskies Explorer Shadrack
I don’t know about your area of the country but it’s starting to get pretty chilly here in Nashville. As I start wearing my sweaters and bundling up more, I pay attention to how the colder weather affects my cats.
Even though my cats stay exclusively indoors, they’re getting up there in years and tend to seek out the warmth more and more. In the summer I can usually find my cats stretched out on the bed but once the cold weather moves in, my cats start looking for cozy little hideaways. And, with the current economy, many of us are turning down our thermostats to save a few dollars. Brrrrr!
If your cat likes to sit at the window to watch the activities going on outdoors and now it’s just a bit too chilly, there are heated window perches available at pet supply stores and online. These perches are similar to a typical heating pad but have a very comfy fleece outer covering. If your windows are very drafty though, kitty may still stay chilly so you may want to consider using some plastic window insulation covering (the kind you seal with a blow dryer) or roll a towel up and place it along the window sill to cut down on the draft. That way, when kitty sits on the window perch he’ll stay warm from top to bottom.
At our house we have a variety of cat beds scattered all over. In the colder weather I notice my cats tend to use the beds that help retain body heat better. These types include the “A” frame beds and the high-sided donut beds. There are also beds available that resemble paper bags. All of the above-mentioned styles help retain heat so kitty can stay warm and cozy during naps. Some donut-style beds have warming pads as well.
If you have a senior kitty who is not very mobile though, before using any type of heated bed, make sure he has the ability to move away from it. Never use a heated bed with a cat who can’t walk unless advised to do so by your veterinarian.
When considering where to put cat beds, take your cat’s preferences as well as physical ability into consideration. Most cats tend to prefer napping on elevated areas rather than being in a bed that’s placed on the floor. If your cat is a senior citizen like mine (she’s 16), he may have difficulty to a preferred elevated area. You can create a home-made ramp or stairs for him or purchase one from the pet supply store, or simply place the bed on an elevated area that is just a little bit off the ground so it’s easy for kitty to reach.
If your cat perches on the heating vent or radiator, set up a heated pet bed nearby instead. The direct heat from your heating system can be very drying to the cat’s fur. If you notice an increase in static electricity when you stroke your kitty, then a humidifier may help as it puts much-needed moisture back into the air.
Where is your cat’s favorite spot for a cozy winter nap?