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Buying the best cat bed can be one of the most important decisions you make as a cat owner.
We all know how fiendishly sophisticated and demanding our feline companions can be, which translates to them wanting the best, most comfortable and supportive place to lay down their heads and stretch out their paws.
However, there are hundreds of cat beds on the market, with each one shouting about how they’re the best: so how to find the best possible bed for your cat?
Never fear: we’ve rounded up the best of the best cat beds and written a buying guide to help you make the best possible purchase for both you and your cat.
If you want to keep your kitty purring, you’re going to want to keep reading…
Why You Need Only The Best Cat Beds
Before you shake this article off and decide to simply buy just a cheap pad for a cat bed, you should really consider whether that’s the best purchase for your cat.
As all cat owners know, our pets sleep a huge amount.
We’re talking up to 20 hours a day.
And don’t even get us started on kittens and older cats — these sleepy animals have to preserve their energy even more!
Cats sleep so much, in fact, that they’re one of the top sleeping species in the entire animal kingdom.
So, that means that the places they sleep are very important. Not only should their cat bed keep them comfortable, but it should also provide support for their bodies and even some warmth — this is particularly important in cold climates.
A lot of us will spend serious money on mattresses, toppers and pillows for ourselves, but won’t think to buy something equally beneficial for our cats.
Now, we’re not saying that you have to fork out for a deluxe memory foam cat bed — although you can if you want! — but it’s definitely worth considering what would make your cat’s bed as comfortable as possible.
Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
If you’re wondering whether you can cut down on your kitty’s sleeping time, the answer is no — cats are hardwired to sleep for a long time during the day.
Although they’re not nocturnal, they are crepuscular — which means they’re most active at twilight and early morning dawn. The exact opposite to humans, who are mostly winding down or gearing up at those times!
This does mean that they spend a lot of their time sleeping during the day.
They’re more active at dawn and dusk because these are traditionally the times that cats will hunt. Of course, most pet cats won’t be hunting (although we’re sure we’ve all been woken with the gift of a dead mouse from Kitty at some point!), but they still have the instincts of wild cats that control their sleeping patterns.
Plus, cats need more sleep than us and other animals as they don’t have such restorative sleep as we do. They typically sleep much lighter and more disturbed.
This is because — as predators, in theory if not reality — they are almost always ready to pounce if they sense prey, even if they look like they are in deep in sleep.
Cats do have periods of deep sleep, but these only last for around 5 to 10 minutes at a time — a cat nap, in fact!
So, because they sleep so often, they have a great need for a high quality cat bed.
What Makes A Good Cat Bed?
Before we get into the best cat beds on offer, it’s worth examining what it is that makes a product like this considered high quality.
We think there are a few factors to take into account.
- Warmth: one of the most important things your cat needs from its bed is warmth. Cats have a body temperature of around 102° F — much hotter than humans — so they need more warmth and coziness to keep themselves at the correct level for all their bodily functions to process properly. If you live somewhere cold, or you like to keep your house cool, it’s especially important that you provide a cat bed that’s warm.
- Soft: just like humans, cats like to snuggle up in a place that’s comfortable, and part of this will come down to the texture of the bed. Plush is a particularly popular material for creating this super soft feel.
- Safe: make sure that you choose a cat bed that’s durable and well constructed. We all know how much some cats love to scratch and you don’t want your brand new bed to be destroyed as soon as your cat has spent a few hours with it. Not only will this prove expensive as you’ll need to replace the cat beds often, but it could prove unsafe with torn-up pieces of bed proving a choking hazard.
- Supportive: as well as comfortable, the best beds for cats will also provide some support to their bodies and joints. This is particularly important for older cats and those with joint problems. Ideally, choose a bed that is plentifully padded with supportive foam. You may want to invest in a specialist orthopaedic cat bed if your cat has more severe needs.
- Looks good: now, this is less important for your cat, but probably will be of some importance to you. There are some really well designed and beautiful cat beds on the market right now that will blend in well with your home’s aesthetics. Make sure that you don’t buy anything that’s too out of place if you’re concerned with how a room looks!
- Washable: accidents happen when you have pets and it only takes a bit of mud or a full bladder to make the cat bed a bit stinky. Some of the best cat beds are machine washable which will make the cleaning process much easier.
- Non-skid bottom: this is a particularly useful feature if your home has bare floors — you don’t want the bed to go flying if your cat runs into it!
A Note On Price
As you read about what makes a good cat bed, you might be a little concerned that having this many needs will equal an expensive bed.
Firstly, a high price tag won’t necessarily equal a good bed. There are lots of cat beds on the market right now that are very reasonably priced and of high quality. Some are overpriced — but we’ll help you to avoid those.
Secondly, it’s a good idea to view the purchase as an investment.
If you go for a cheap cat bed that’s of a low quality, you should be prepared to spend lots of money down the line on replacing the beds as they fall apart, lose their plushness and support. Talk about a false economy!
By spending a little more now on a high quality bed, you can be assured that it will last for a very long time — sometimes even equalling your cat’s lifetime.
While the initial outlay may be a little more than you’d normally pay, you’ll be paying much less down the line.
Plus, your kitty will get to enjoy a much better cat bed in the meantime!
Types Of Cat Beds
Now unlike beds for humans, there’s more than one type of cat bed.
Which type you choose will depend on the personality and needs of your cat, plus the environment of your home.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Standard Cat Bed
The standard bed is exactly what you imagine when you think of cat beds.
It’s a square or rectangular shaped bed that’s padded on the bottom with reinforced sides to keep your cat inside the structure. It should be big enough for your cat to fully stretch out in, but not too big that it doesn’t feel like their own personal space.
As you can imagine, standard cat beds are the most common bed on the market and they’re usually priced very reasonably.
Make sure you buy one that’s plush and well padded for maximum comfort and support.
Best Cat Beds – Standard
Enclosed Cat Beds
Another relatively common type of bed is the enclosed or dome bed.
This is just like the standard cat bed except that the sides will continue around the bed, forming a cover. There will obviously be a small entrance for your cat to enter and exit the bed too.
Enclosed cat beds are best for kitties who love having their own den.
The small, covered space creates a very personal space for your cat, while they can still watch the world go by out of the entrance hole.
A lot of cats like to snuggle up inside the bed and rest their heads on the ridge of the entrance.
Again, these are common and usually only a little more expensive than standard cat beds.
Make sure that whatever you buy is well constructed so your cat doesn’t scratch the inner walls to shreds.
Best Cat Beds – Enclosed
Cat Heat Pads
A little different, although not too difficult to come by, are heated pads.
These are best for cats that need the extra warmth of a comfy pad, but aren’t bothered about making a cozy den for themselves.
Many owners buy heat pads to be placed inside their cat beds in order to add an extra layer of warmth.
These are especially popular in the winter and in year-round cold climates.
Cat heat pads can either be self heating — they’ll be made of super insulating material — or will be electric powered and thermostatically controlled to reach the optimal temperature for your cat.
If you choose to buy an electric heating pad, we recommend getting one with chew resistant wires to make it as safe as possible.
Best Cat Heat Pads
Orthopedic Cat Beds
Some cats will require something a little more specialist if they have special physical needs — like joint pain or plain and simple old age.
This is where orthopedic beds come in handy.
These beds are often fitted with memory foam instead of just plain padding and provide an unprecedented level of support for your pet.
Not only are they supremely comfortable, but orthopedic cat beds will mold to your cat’s shape and distribute their weight evenly through their body.
This ensures that pressure is taken off their joints and gives the overall feel of floating on a cloud — something your older cat will truly appreciate!
Orthopedic beds are often usually equipped with better bolstered walls too, allowing your cat to lounge on the sides without having to support their own body weight.
As you might expect, orthopedic cat beds are generally more expensive than standard beds and pads, although this is an indication of their quality. It’s hard to put a price on your cat’s comfort and health so we think it’s a worthy investment to make.
Best Cat Beds – Orthopedic
Waterproof Cat Beds
If you’re toilet training a kitten or are caring for an older cat, you may want to look into buying a waterproof cat bed instead.
These may not have the same plush feel as standard cat beds, but they do help save the bed from any little accidents, which are almost inevitable.
Thankfully, a lot of high quality beds are already decked out some way with waterproofing so this isn’t too hard to find.
If you can’t find a waterproof bed that suits your needs, however, you might want to simply buy a machine washable one that you can clean quickly and easily as and when you need to.
Best Cat Beds – Waterproof
Shark Cat Bed
OK, we’ll admit it… this one isn’t for your cat at all: it’s for you!
You won’t believe the number of requests we get for a shark cat bed — that is a bed in the shape of a shark. We guess there’s a handful of owners that love the look of their kitty sleeping peacefully in the toothy mouth of one of earth’s greatest predators!
These novelty beds are super fun and great for homes with young kids or old jokers.
Other novelty favorites include cat burger beds too.
Best Shark Cat Beds
Now that’s everything you need to know about the best beds for cats!