I bought a couple of cat-beds last week. At my house, there is no longer a great deal of floor space to be given over to more furniture, either for me or for the cats, but I purchased a heating pad for Tungsten a little while ago and felt that it needed a better base than a couple of old towels. Someone who had read about the heating pad on my blog suggested a cat-bed for it, so I looked for a suitable purchase.
Tungsten likes the heating pad very much. She was always on the towels being warmed by the pad. But I thought the towels didn’t provide much comfort on top of the pad. Tungsten didn’t seem to mind, but I thought that since I bought the pad to warm her on cold winter nights - she is very thin and getting old - I should provide her with some sides to keep away draughts. Besides cats loved enclosed spaces.
The cat-bed I found at Canadian Tire. It is a small one, and cost $16. The heating pad fits as if made for it, put into the bed under the removable cushion. The only problem is that I don’t know if enough warmth is getting through. The cushion is thicker than the towels I had been using, and Tungsten is such a light-weight animal, that I don’t know if she is compressing the cushion enough for the heat to get to her. It must go somewhere; that much I learned from my high school physics classes. But it could just be settling into the cushion and dissipating there. This is the bed before the cushion goes on top.
I have two cat-beds. I wanted to see how the cats favoured one before I bought a second. And, to be honest, my newest cat, Tucker, had a problem with cat-beds when he first came to stay with me as a foster-cat. He wet in them. I believe this is due to his previous home’s attempt to deal with his litter-box issues. He was feeling stress due to the arrival of a new baby. This could have been dealt with, but the attempts were, I believe, half-hearted. One was to buy what I recall as being termed ‘puppy-pads’. I assume these were for young dogs who hadn’t yet been house-trained. (Why they should feel compelled to go on pads when they weren't trained to ask to go outside yet, I don't know.) The cat-beds I provided Tucker were low, their sides being little more than rims. I think that, to him, they resembled the ‘puppy-pads’, where he was supposed to wet. So he did. He has not done anything he shouldn’t to the new cat-beds I’ve obtained. But he hasn’t sat in them, either.
One bed is heated, one is not. I can’t judge by the cats' reaction whether the warmth is being felt, really. Renn enjoyed curling up in the unheated bed. He can barely fit, but as I recall from when he was a foster-cat with me in the old apartment, he prefers the squeeze. Now, he's discovered the warm bed, and takes up much of the evening there, to the detriment of Tungsten. I may have to look for another heating pad.
Josie likes either bed. The only time I thought warmth played a factor in a cat deciding where to lie was when the orange one was occupying the unheated bed and my Chubs was in the warm one. The hard-food bowl came out and Josie ambled over for a bite. Tungsten swiftly took her place in the heated bed. This, however, could be due simply to the fact that Tungsten is used to lying in that bed, in that location. My Chubs, too, finds the beds snug.
I thought of replacing the heated bed’s cushion with towels. Even several folded towels would provide less volume than the cushion, and thus allow more heat to transfer. The cat-bed would still have its high, comforting sides. The disadvantage would be to the thickness of padding - which of course may be why the heat isn’t getting through the cushion. But in any case, Tungsten seems to enjoy the new furniture - and she fits it perfectly.
I dislike the idea of the heating pad serving no purpose, warming up the bottom of a cushion and giving nothing to the cats. However, the beasts appear to like the beds regardless of artificial heat, and all are using them - except Tucker, who prefers my armchair.