Different Types of Cat Beds
Cat beds are available in a number of different configurations, with individual cats often preferring one over others. One of the most popular styles is the cat cave, which offers an enclosed space that provides your cat with a feeling of security and privacy. A cat cave serves their instinctual need to burrow, while still giving them the ability to see what’s happening outside of the bed.
Cat beds designed with cushioned walls or bolsters are also useful, especially for older cats, who need the extra support to relieve pain in their back and joints.
- Heated Cat Beds: Cats are instinctively drawn to sleep in warm places, and a heated bed gives them the cozy spot they want. Heated cat beds can be self-warming, using the cat’s own body heat to warm up the bed, or have electric heaters to maintain a consistent temperature.
- Cave-Style Beds: Cave style beds are fully enclosed, giving your kitty a sense of security during naptime.
- Wool Cat Beds: Cats are naturally attracted to wool; animal behaviorists think that it has something to with lanolin, a natural oil in wool. Regardless of the reasons, wool cat beds are either made entirely of wool (such as cat caves) or covered with wool. Wool cat beds are popular because they are naturally resistant to bacteria, and repel moisture better than other beds. They also resist cat hair and are easy to clean.
- Convertible/Collapsible Cat Beds: Convertible and collapsible beds give your kitty the best of both worlds: A comfortable place to sleep, and a secret hideaway. Most are pop-up style, so you can easily transition between the bed and hideaway. Collapsible beds are also useful for travel, as they don’t take up much space but still give your cat a safe and familiar spot when you’re on the road.
- Scratcher Cat Beds: Scratcher cat beds give your cat a safe, appropriate surface for scratching along with a comfortable sleeping or lounging surface. Often made from cardboard, which cats prefer, these beds bridge the gap between the beloved cardboard box and a padded bed.
Cat Bed Care and Maintenance
Adding a favorite blanket, or a clothing item that smells like you, can entice your kitty to try out their new sleeping spot and make it their own.
Once your cat has established the cat bed as their own, clean it every week or two to eliminate allergens and bacteria. This is especially important for outdoor cats. Follow the care instructions for your individual cat bed.
For machine-washable beds, use a mild, unscented detergent and hot water, and wash the bed separate from other clothing or household items. Fabrics like sherpa, should always be dried completely in the dryer to prevent matting, tangling and pilling and maintain the soft surface.
If you ever notice that your cat’s bed is damaged, and losing stuffing, repair or replace it right away.
What Else Should You Consider When Buying a Cat Bed?
When shopping for a cat bed, here are a few things to consider when making your selection.
- Care: A bed that can be machine washed, or has a cover that can be easily removed for washing, is always a good choice.
- Size: Most cats can use cat beds that support up to 30 pounds. For larger cats, choose a larger bed so your cat can stretch out comfortably.
- Durability: Look for a cat bed with a durable cover or made from materials that can hold up to scratching and chewing.
- Waterproof: Older cats or cats with health issues can have accidents. A cat bed with a waterproof base can prevent damage to your floors, while a bed made from a naturally water-resistant fiber like wool will stay dry to the touch until you can clean up.