Are Heating Pads Safe For Cats? Let’s Find Out!

by Jayley

In the winter months, you may be searching for a way to keep your favorite feline warm — especially if you’ve got drafty windows. Cats are as susceptible to the cold as we are, but if they spend long periods of time in cold weather or just colder than normal temperatures, their immune system may be compromised, and they have a higher risk of becoming sick. Are heating pads safe for cats?

Your cat may like to sit by the wind or even in the sun, but as winter is a time when the sun can be few and far between, what else can you do to keep your cat warm? One option is a cat’s heating pad. This is a thin, cat-sized mat that sits on the floor, and it heats up when you plug it in. Similar to an electric blanket, these pads will give your cat a cuddly place to sit on a cold day.

Do Cat heating pads seem to be the ideal solution, a warm pad that your cat can sit on? Sounds fine, doesn’t it? However, some cat owners are wondering about protection. Are heating pads safe for cats? Yes, for the most part.

Are Heating Pads Safe For Cats: The Advantages

With cat heating pads, they need little energy, so there is no high risk of burning, overheating, or electrocution. Since the pads are cat-specific, most of them won’t get hotter than the cat’s internal body temperature, and you should feel better, leaving them for longer periods of time. As a whole, the cat heating pad is secure, so you won’t have to worry about it causing harm to your cat or your house.

Cat heating pads will give your cat a sense of protection by giving them a room similar to a lap or a warm bed. In fact, most cats are going to think about it in the same way and find it soothing. They can also provide an easily accessible location for older cats who might get a little stiff in the colder months.

Are Heating Pads Safe For Cats: The Disadvantages

Unfortunately, there are circumstances in which a cat’s heating pad might not be safe in your house, but the secret to deciding whether it’s worth it is simply how well you know your cat. The cat’s own heating pad is not likely to hurt your cat. Your cat, on the other hand, could damage itself by messing around with a heating pad.

For example, if your cat has a habit of chewing stuff, it might chew through a cord or pad and end up electrocuting or burning itself. If she goes further than chewing and really starts eating a pad, she might also end up with an intestinal blockage. There are wires inside the pad that create heat, and if they’re ingested, they can wreak havoc on the inside of your cat and leave you with an enormous vet bill.

You’re also going to want to make sure that if you have a heating pad, you don’t get one that can get any colder than a cat’s body temperature. If the pad is left too long and begins to get hotter, your cat could end up with burns.

Since the pad is electrical, it’s got a thread. This also runs the risk of strangulation if your cat rolls around with another cat near the cord and gets tangled up.

Are Heating Pads Safe For Cats?

are heating pads safe for cats

Many cats and dogs will love and enjoy a heated bed, and there are many product options available, but it is crucial that all pet parents choose the right option and use it safely.

Dogs and cats with thin or no fur that are easily chilled during the winter will benefit from a heated bed. In addition, smaller dogs and cats (including puppies and kittens) have more surface area per pound than larger animals, which means that they can lose body heat faster and may need extra heating. In addition, elderly or infirm dogs and cats also appreciate extra warmth for both comfort and soothing achy joints. These are all excellent reasons to use a heated bed as long as you take care to keep your pet safe and happy when doing so.

There are three major types of pet beds heated. Electrical heating beds contain an electrical heating element that is plugged into the outlet. Self-heating beds are made of materials that mimic the warmth of a pet’s own body. At the end of the day, heating pads may be applied to the existing pet bed to maximize warmth and comfort.

Find out more about each choice and how to keep your pet safe when using it below.

a. Thermal Pet Beds

Thermal pet beds contain a reflective insert or are made of materials that reflect the warmth of your cat or dog’s body to help keep it warm. These beds can be very comfortable and, of course, they are very healthy because they do not necessarily generate heat and thus can not rise above your pet’s body temperature. They also have no electrical wiring capable of a malfunctioning or actually damaging the destructive chewer.

There are two primary considerations that pet parents should remember when choosing and using any electrical pet bed or heating pad. First and foremost is the tendency of your particular pet to chew electrical components. Many electrical pet beds have a hard wrapping around the electrical cord to avoid chewing, but these protection measures usually make the product chew-resistant, not chew-proof. 

As time passes, a persistent chewer may get through such a covering and have a chance of electrocution if it is able to chew through the wiring. Even if not electrocuted, damage to the wiring caused by chewing could result in potential injury as well as a fire hazard the next time the product is used. Don’t forget about your cats in this situation — while dogs are usually heartier chewers. Not all kitties are healthy around the cords!

The second major safety problem in some heated pet beds is that the heat buildup allows for higher heat settings than the pet’s body’s temperature. When using an electrically heated device, it is absolutely crucial that the pet is able to move away from the bed if it is too warm. 

are heating pads safe for cats

More Information

Never use a heated bed that can surpass the pet’s temperature in a crate or in a small space that does not give the pet an area away from the sun. In addition, never use such a mat for an animal with little ability to reposition itself, such as one recovering from surgery or one that is too old to get up and move easily when needed.

If such conditions include the use of an electrically heated bed, ensure that the bed is set to a lower temperature and that your pet is carefully monitored. If your bed feels too warm to hold your own hand between your bed and your pet for a long time, it’s too hot, and it presents a danger to your pet’s skin. In addition, watch for a dog’s panting, which could be an indication that your pet is in pain, discomfort, or overheating. Changes in your pet’s comfort or well-being can happen quickly, so supervision is highly recommended in such circumstances. Many beds have thermostats that regulate the temperature of the animal lying in bed to reduce these risks.

B. Microwaveable heat pads

Microwave heating pads are also available to cover your pet’s bed. These pads are filled with gel or other material intended to hold heat for as long as possible. If used carefully, these can be very effective. Safety issues with microwaveable pet heating pads include overheating, so always test your own ability to hold your skin in direct contact with the heated product before you place it next to your pet. Ideally, cover your bed with a pillowcase or a cloth to provide a barrier of safety between your pet and the heating pad. Notice also that some home-made or hand-crafted microwave heating devices use rice or other dry grains as an indoor heat-containing agent that may cause some dogs to chew or eat the product.

Are Heating Pads Safe For Cats: Protection Tips

Ideally, any heating product should always be used under supervision. However, this may not always be the case. If the pet is not always supervised by the product, at least monitor the pet for the first few uses and monitor how the animal uses the product. This will allow you to determine whether they are interested in chewing electrical components and how well they can tolerate the heat. It also helps you to ensure that the product performs well initially and does not malfunction.

Check the temperature under your pet intermittently to ensure that it is a temperature that you will constantly enjoy on your skin and that it is not too hot to be in comfortable touch for long periods of time. Many items include thermostats that react to the occupant’s body temperature, so measuring the temperature when your pet is not in bed is not an accurate test.

Finally, if you intend to allow your pet to use this product outdoors, ensure that the product is rated for outdoor use. Outdoor goods are typically designed to be more durable against elements and safer from weather wear over time. However, regardless of consistency or outdoor rating, always check your bed for any signs of chewing or wear that may increase electrical concern and danger to your pet.

Are Heating Pads Safe For Cats: The Benefits

are heating pads safe for cats

A cat heating pad is a small, padded device on which your pet cat can rest and provide warmth. These pads are comfortable for cats of all ages and at all times of the year, but most pets will especially enjoy them when it’s cold outside. Older cats also tend to spend more time on their heating pads compared to younger cats. There are a variety of reasons why having a heating pad for your cat will help make it more comfortable and relieve the pain it experiences due to arthritis, bone and joint problems, and other medical conditions.

1. The immune system enhances.

Cats are as susceptible to the cold as humans are to the cold. If your pet spends a good part of his time outside when the weather is cold, his immune system may be weakened. This helps diseases of different forms to have a greater chance of affecting them during this time of year. As a result, your cat is more likely to get sick. If your pet has a heated pad to rest when indoors, however, he will be able to get enough rest, and his immune system will remain high.

2. Advantages for versatility.

Older cats, in particular, can experience stiffness during periods when the outside is extremely cold. Cats of all ages can be stiffer when they wake up or in the early morning. Having a heated pad at your disposal will give your pet a place to rest your legs and other parts of your body that might become stiff as well. Many vets suggest the availability of a heated pad to give your pet a chance to minimize stiffness at these critical times of the day and at particular times of the year.

3. Heating pads give cats a feeling of comfort.

Many cats find the heated beds a comforting place to rest. Unlike the floor or a piece of furniture, a warm bed is naturally warm and gives your cat a feeling of being close to a living being. For many cats, a heated bed is a replacement for a human lap or a mother cat.

Final Words

Heated cat pads are a good choice for your home since they are very secure and need little electrical power. These pads do not heat up above the cat’s body temperature, which ensures that the chance of being caught by fire or overheating is very small. This also ensures that you can easily leave the cat’s heating pad on for longer periods of time when leaving your home without having to worry about the safety of the pad, your cat, or the house.

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