Winter is cold for everybody. Cats are no exception. It’s important to keep your little furry four-legged friends warm and sheltered throughout the cold seasons. In this guide, we review the TOP 5 Best Heated Cat Houses that would protect your kitties from both rain and snow. Whatever cat you’re caring for, a feral, or a free-roaming, she would appreciate the greater comfort a warming house can bring her. Here, we talk about why cats need shelter, benefits, and limitations these houses can have, as well cover the major types of shelters that are currently available for purchase. Take a look at some of the best information we’ve gathered for you to make that well-informed decision.
- What is a heated cat house and how it works?
- Why does your cat need a heated house?
- Benefits of a heated cat house
- Types of heated cat houses
- What to look for when shopping: criteria
- TOP 5 Best Heated Cat Houses
A heated house is a shelter that provides comfort for a cat during autumn and winter. The houses are usually available with both heated and unheated pads and can be used either outdoors or indoors, or both. Some of those beddings are made of plush and cozy materials, like fleece or faux fur, but these are generally meant for indoor use, in case you house comes down to chilly temperatures during winter. Others are water-proof or water-resistant insulated shelters that can be thermostatically controlled and use from 4 to 40 watts of electricity, these are meant for both indoor and outdoor use, but still preferably under the roof.
Now, you may wonder, if your cat really needs a heated house. The answer is absolutely affirmative in case you have a free-roaming house cat, meaning she spends a lot of time outdoors, as well indoors. Again, if you want to give shelter to other kitties in the vicinity, then a warm house would be greatly appreciated, trust us. If your cat spends time indoors only, then you might consider getting a warming house for her, in case your house or apartment lacks adequate heating.
But what temperature is too cold for a pet? According to the veterinarians from the University of Texas, the answer depends on many factors, such as your cat’s fur thickness, its length, and your pet’s body mass. The scientists also recommend that an indoor pet not acclimated to cold weather always stays indoors when the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Especially, that concerns little kittens, old or sick cats. And even if a cat has got used to cold temperatures, the warm shelters should always be provided.
And if you are not yet convinced that your feline friend needs a nice comfy shelter by your house or a garage, then these are a few other benefits, worth mentioning:
- Older cats would specifically benefit from a heating house because it will help them maintain their body temperature and relieve any joint pain they might have (especially if they suffer from arthritis)
- According to VetInfo, the trusted resource for veterinary information, a warming shelter and heated pad can help prevent and fight many illnesses, boost the immune system, and even improve temperament
- The heat makes a pet feel less alone, as the warmth of a pad would remind them of another animal or a human being by their side
That are not many types of heated cat houses available on the market, but they would certainly differ from each other in a few characteristics:
Capacity: meaning there are cat houses available for just one cat, while the others can incorporate several felines at a time. If you have a few cats you’d like to care for, then you’d obviously want to consider the heated house capacity and dimensions
Indoors vs outdoors: not all houses are created equal, and while the majority of options covered in this guide claim to be water-resistant or water-proof, it’s best to keep them covered under the roof or any other similar structure. Some houses or beds are not meant to be used outdoors at all, usually, these are not water-resistant, and are made of very simple fabrics, like fleece and fur, to make your pet comfortable inside the house.
Electrical or self-heated: electric houses will obviously need a power source and electricity to function, however, these models can be used without electricity just as well. Self-heated houses are made of materials that reflect the pet’s own heat to make them more comfortable. However, even if electric ones are not considered very safe, they are still preferred because they would be able to provide warmer temperatures.
MET Safety Label
If you care so much about your cat that you’ve decided to invest your time and money into choosing the best available heated house, then I’m sure you care about her safety just as well, if not more. If that’s the case, look for the MET safety mark on the products you’re considering for purchase. The mark ensures that the house has been tested for safety and meets all required standards and accreditations. Additionally, the label ensures the products are periodically inspected and continue to comply with the requirements.
A power cord should be enough to position a house at the desired place, however, the extension cords are provided by some manufacturers free of charge, so that should not be an issue of critical importance.
Some sophisticated models come with a thermostat that would allow you to control the temperature at the safest possible level. However, some models use just 4-5 watts of electricity, so there’s nothing to worry about in terms of safety.
Size & shape
According to the vets from the University of Texas, whom we mentioned earlier in this guide, the heated house should have a well-insulated structure and be large enough to allow the cat to curl up and maintain its body heat.
The heated padding must be safe for use outdoors. The vets recommend adding blankets to give an animal more comfort. However, these should be kept in order and cleaned on a regular basis.
Look if the house needs high-maintenance, can you machine wash it or would you have to handle it with greatest caution and care? Luckily, most of the options we’ve covered here can be partly washed in a washing machine, and party - hand washed.
Now, let’s cover the best cat houses on the market, both heated and unheated, for outdoor and indoor use. We’ll look at various shapes and sizes, so even finicky kitties would be satisfied.
Outdoor Kitty House | K&H Pet Products - the bestseller, 20 watts
This outdoor kitty house comes from a renowned manufacturer of pet products, namely K&H, which has garnered a solid reputation over the years as an industry leader of reliable and high-quality devices for pets. K&H is a reputable business, and you can rely on support and warranty with any device they brand.
As mentioned earlier in the guide, one of the important criteria to look for in a heated kitty house is a certification that meets all the necessary safety standards. And K&H never disregards the said requirements, which has been proven, tested and certified by MET Labs to ensure the K&H products meet the USA/CA electrical safety standards.
This smart house comes in both heated and unheated styles, with heated ones priced slightly more than 60 dollars. This is not yet the most expensive cat house on our list, but it tends to be on the pricier scale. But rest assured, you’re paying for the patented and proven technology, as well as the safety of your pet, which is priceless.
This house comes with a featured 20-watt soft heated bed inside the house to keep your kitties warm, even in sub-zero temperatures. The exterior surface is constructed of 600-Denier polyester, which makes this product water and weather resistant. The two exits include removable door flaps to hold in the warmth and help protect kitty from rain, wind, or storm.
While the house itself can be washed on the gentle cycle, the heated bed must not be washed in a washing machine, but rather cleaned using a damp towel (or sponge) and mild detergent.
This product is an absolute bestseller in its category, meaning the customers just keep coming back for more houses for more kitties! I would not be so much confident in recommending this product if not for the overwhelmingly positive consumer response and praise. The testers said they were amazed at how much their kitties loved the house. Many shared the pictures of their little four-legged furry friends, nice and cozy, in their new snug heated houses. However, there were people who complained that the house was not waterproof (and the manufacturer, by the way, never claimed that), and didn’t get hot enough (but again it might be a good thing since you don’t want to burn your kitty, do you?).
Outdoor Kitty House: Check the current price
Heated Outdoor Cat House | PETYELLA - with extension cords & plug-in timer
This is a slightly less expensive unit from PetYella, a relatively new company, which is according to the manufacturer’s website, was established in 2016 in Sweden. Other than that, there’s not much information available about the company, but according to the positive testers’ response, it can be worth looking into.
The heated house is indeed quite beautiful and designish, and resemble a little dollhouse. It will certainly add some style and beauty to your yard, in case you care about how the kitty’s house would look. It’s also water-resistant and would suit both cats and dogs under 25 lbs.
The house features a heated pet mat with a 3-ft chew-proof cord and 13-ft extension cord. There’s also a plug-in timer for those concerned about saving energy and the overall pet safety.
There are also both front and back doors with flaps, a safety buckle, and a cozy padded bottom, which, as seller claims, is waterproof.
The majority of consumers found the house easy to assemble, durable, agreeable, and functional. Just as with the other option from K&H, many shared the pictures of their happy little pets, with comments like “my cats loved it”, “the house was just adorable”, “worth the money”, among other compliments. Those who left negative reviews complained that the house was small, and came in not exactly as pictured.
Besides, I have not found safety marks on the unit, so there’s another downside to this product.
Heated Outdoor Cat House: Check the current price
Outdoor Multi-Kitty A-Frame | K&H Pet Products - super toasty, will fit 4 cats, 40 watts
This is the most expensive item on the list, which is available both heated and unheated, with the latter being slightly cheaper. The unit also comes from the same renowned manufacturer, as the first one in our guide, namely K&H, with all the necessary safety marks and one year warranty.
It’s both waterproof (bottom) and water-resistant (top), and specifically designed for use outdoors (preferably under the roof). There are two exits, just as in any item we’ve covered, to ensure your pet’s convenience and safety. The heated mat uses only 40 watts, which is more than the kitty house featured first in our TOP list, meaning it will keep your four-legged friends nice and toasty throughout freezing temperatures.
The house is also spacious and can accommodate up to four felines. The unit’s easy to assemble, and comes with hook & loop fasteners, meaning no tools required. The K&H cover can be machine washed on gentle cycle, but the house exterior, as well as the heated bed, should only be spot cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge.
Amazingly enough, the house has again received an ample number of positive reviews, with many customers saying they were very impressed with the warmth of the house and how their cats positively received a new addition for their dwelling. Again, a lot of happy doggies and kitties on the pictures, shared by testers. Even a cold-hearted will have his heart melt away just looking at those happy little furry faces.
Outdoor Multi-Kitty A-Frame: Check the current price
Mod Dream Pod | K&H Pet Products - 4 watts
This unit looks totally different from the others featured above and resembles a little comfy pod or bowl. Just as the other options, it’s available both heated and unheated and comes in 3 colors to match your kitty’s color preferences (just kidding). The unit features a rugged 600-Denier polyester exterior, which is water resistant, and plush lycra interior with a comfortable polyfill pillow to keep your kitty comfy and cozy during winter. It’s so easy to assemble with the zips, that even the least smart person on Earth would figure out the construction in no time. The heated model uses only 4 watts, so the heating is very gentle and easy. The heater is removable and the poly-filled pillow inside is super-soft and completely washable.
The customers loved the product and said it accommodated even more kitties than the seller claimed. The ones, who were left unimpressed, complained about the chemical smell that reminded them of a rubber factory. Which is, of course, a dealbreaker for some. Other than that, the product seemed pretty good.
Mod Dream Pod: Check the current price
Pet Magasin Self Warming Cat Thermal Bed | Pet Magasin - fleece and faux fur
When looking at this bed, one would probably wish it for himself. At least I do. The bed looks so comfy and plush, I’d be totally glad to receive one of these for Christmas because the nights where I live are so frigid that make living here seem like a terrible idea. And indeed, this pet bed is luxuriously warm and soft: it features a faux-fur lining and trim, a combination of fleece and foam padding, and a microfiber outer shell. What can be softer than that? Besides, what’s pretty cool about this bed, is that it can be used in four different ways: a cave to hide in, a flatbed to stretch out on, and the fur-lined "cup" or microfiber-lined "pod" to curl up in.
It also looks great, to be honest with you, judging by the super lovely and funny pictures the consumers shared. Everyone seemed highly impressed with the quality of the bed that it makes it super easy to recommend. Just a heads up!
I still wonder if the seller sells this for humans too...
Thermal Bed: Check the current price
Are heated cat beds safe?
Yes, they are, if used cautiously and not left unattended for long periods of time. They also need to be regularly checked, cleaned, and properly maintained.
How to get my cat to use her new heated cat house?
All you need to do is show your kitty her new place, offer some food, and always be gentle and “gentlemanly” showing her around.
I decided to share a beautiful video about a man’s relationship with his cats, it’s unrelated to heating houses, but it very well shows how cats need a genial and nice relationship with their owner to live a fulfilled and satisfactory life. And you can practically teach your cats anything you want just by being nice to them:
How cold can outdoor cats tolerate?
Cats should stay inside if the temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If that’s not an option, a heated house should be provided.
How long can I leave a heated cat bed plugged in?
It’s best not to leave it alone when unattended. Usually, it’s recommended to allow at least 20 minutes for the bed to sufficiently warm up. If you’re present and around the house, you may leave the house plugged in at all times, provided your cat is okay with this, otherwise, unplug it after 20 minutes.
Can I wash a heated cat bed?
You can wash parts of a heated bed, excluding heating pads or electrical elements.
How much electricity does it use?
As mentioned above in the guide, the houses usually consume from 4 to 40 watts of electricity depending on the model.
Comparative chart of Heated Cat Houses
No more cold kitties in winter with these beautiful luxurious houses! Choose any, they are all good and worth looking into. We’ve chosen only the best available models to keep your feline friends safe and toasty!