What Is The Best Bedding For Outdoor Cats: A Guide
Every living being needed a place to rest and relax when tired. Humans have beds and birds have nests.
The purpose of a cat’s bed is to provide a comfortable and safe space for the cat to rest and sleep in. A cat’s bed also provides the cat with security and protection. This is all the more relevant for outdoor cats, that need to be protected from outside dangers.
Seeing as cats are animals that value their sleep, you must choose a cat bed that is made from materials that are not only comfortable but that can also stand the elements.
All cats have preferences when it comes to their beds; most prefer a specific shape, size or material. Choosing a bed that fits your outdoor cat’s preferences is important to ensure they will use it and feel comfortable in it.
What Is The Difference Between An Indoor And An Outdoor Cat Bed?
The primary difference between an indoor and an outdoor cat bed is the level of protection they provide from the elements.
An indoor bed is designed to be used in a climate-controlled environment, such as inside a home, where the temperature and humidity levels do not fluctuate. It is therefore made from materials that are usually softer and less hardy.
An outdoor bed is designed to be used in an environment where the temperature and humidity constantly fluctuate.
As an outdoor bed will be exposed to varying weather conditions, such as wind, rain, and harsh sunlight, it is often made of materials that are more durable and resistant to weathering. Outdoor beds may also protect against insects often found in outdoor environments.
Things You Should Consider Before Buying An Outdoor Bed For Cats
Before you start looking for an outdoor bed, observe your outdoor cat’s habits.
Be mindful of your cat’s sleeping habits; do they curl up as they sleep? Do they prefer enclosed spaces? Do they prefer to sleep in high places? Keep note of these habits, and use them to decide which cat bed to buy.
You also need to be aware of your cat’s health and agility and ensure that the bed meets those needs. Does your cat find it difficult to jump? Then it is probably unwise to buy a bed with a raised entry point.
Once you have made sure that the bed meets your cat’s needs and caters to their unique habits, you can think about the proper style and size. As the bed will most likely be outdoors, be sure to choose muted, simple colours, as they will help the bed blend into its surroundings. This will prevent the bed from being stolen.
The Best Outdoor Cat Bedding Materials To Help Your Outdoor Cat Stay Comfortable
Straw is considered by most cat enthusiasts as the number one bedding material to create beds for an outdoor cat.
It is inexpensive and will stay dry and fresh throughout the year. This is important as it will help prevent your outdoor cat from getting sick during the cold, rainy winter.
The main disadvantage is that it will become embedded in the cat’s fur and will require regular brushing to keep your cat clean.
When buying straws, be sure to get long strands of straw. Most shops commonly sell straw blended with wheat, rye, and corn. You should avoid using blended straw as it holds moisture much more easily, which can put your cat at risk of getting sick.
Memory Foam Padding
Memory foam padding is another great bedding material to use because not only does it provide extra support and pressure relief, but it also acts as an insulator, protecting your cat during every type of weather.
It is extremely easy to clean; you only need to chuck it in a washing machine.
Because of these properties, memory foam is perfect to be used as a base for your cat’s bed.
A versatile material that can be placed on the base of your cat’s bed to provide extra insulation.
Make sure to use cardboard that is made of non-toxic materials.
To provide even more insulation from the cold, you can use any material that reflects body heat.
The best reflective material that you can use is a Mylar blanket. They are also known as space blankets and will ensure your cat remains nice and toasty during the winter.
They should not be used during the summer as they trap heat. This extra heat could lead to hyperthermia during the summer.
How do I know if my outdoor cat is cold?
There are four signs that you need to look for to deduce if your cat is cold.
If your cat is really cold, they may start shivering. Shivering is also a sign of anxiety, pain, or illness, so it is important to be observant of your cat in order to know what your cat might be communicating about their physical condition.
Cold cats may hunch down closer to the ground and puff their fur a little to preserve heat.
Your cat’s extremities will feel colder to the touch than normal, like the tips of their ears, tail or nose. This is a sign of hypothermia. A cat experiencing hypothermia may become sluggish, with dilated pupils or shallow breathing.
A cold cat will instinctively seek out warmer spaces more frequently than usual.
How long can a cat survive outdoors?
Outdoor cats have a life expectancy of two to five years, according to experts at the University of California-Davis.
At what temperature should outdoor cats be brought inside?
Any temperature below 45 degrees is too cold for outdoor cats. So be sure to bring in your cats in order to prevent frostbite to their eats, tails, and toes.