Cats have a body temperature of about 101 - 102.5 degrees F. Often they seek heat just to help them maintain their body temperature, especially if they are slim or senior cats. They seek the sun and warm spots in our homes.
Heat therapy is one of the best treatments to soothe aching joints or kitties who are just feeling under the weather. However, a little extra warmth is great for cats even if they feel fine. It makes them just that extra bit more comfortable, and we want our cats to be as cozy and happy as possible.
Sick cats often have difficulty maintaining their body temperatures (because their bodies are busy fighting the infection). Some cats naturally seek heat no matter if they feel ill or are perfectly healthy. If your cat is seeking heat much more frequently and showing any other sign of illness, please see your veterinarian. Other signs of illness may include not eating, vomiting, and being lethargic.
How can you provide heat support to your cat - whether it is just to make your cat happy or to support a senior or sick kitty?
There are several methods that you can use to deliver heat support to your cat.
First, make sure you are doing so safely. The most common methods to provide heat support at home are:
1. Rice socks: Rice socks generally tube socks filled with rice. Yes, just plain old cooking rice. To make one, get a nice long thick tube sock and fill with rice. Tie one end by using the end of the sock to form a knot or use a thick string. Whatever you use, make sure it is microwave safe. Make sure it isn't too hot - cats can be burned. To use the sock, place in a towel next to your cat. Don't place directly next to your cat's skin; doing so increases the risk of burns.
2. Electric pads : Electric heating pads can work great for heat support. They work best by placing them under the bed or box that your cat is sleeping in. Only place the pad under HALF of the box or bed. This will allow your cat to move away if he or she gets too hot. Place on the lowest setting and make sure it doesn't get to hot. Monitor the pad closely. Don't use it directly next to your cats skin.
3. Warm water bottle :You can use an old fashioned warm water bottle or a 2-liter soda bottle filled with warm/hot water. Make sure it doesn't get too hot. (If it's too hot to comfortably hold, it's too hot for your cat.) Place the cap on the bottle. You can heat also by putting in the microwave (be sure to follow the instructions on your water bottle).. Place the bottle in a towel and then next to your cat, not directly next to them.
4. Heated beds: several companies make heated beds for cats. This is the ultimate in cat heat support. One company makes one called the K & H Heated Cat Bed. It has a soft furry cover that's washable, and cats love the extra comfort.
However you provide heat support - be safe and careful. Cats can burn easily!
Dr. Debra found a great new cat bed called the Cozy Cuddle Mat that gives your cat soothing, comforting heat with no mess or danger. It is inexpensive and cats like it.
The secret to this bed is the all-natural buckwheat pellets.These pellets retain heat once microwaved, giving your cat a soft and warm place to lay down. The durable plush shell is machine-washable; just remove the interior cushion of pellets, toss in the cover for a quick wash, and your cat will have a clean place to snuggle in no time. Top the Cozy Cuddle Matwith their favorite fleece blanket for even more comfort.
One Cozy Cuddle Mat can help give your cat years of soothing heat, all the way from kittenhood to adulthood. It's great to have around for cold days, or even when you think your cat might want something extra to snuggle with.