A few weeks ago I wrote about the cold weather and keeping cats sheltered during the winter. This week I am writing about how I keep my cats warm. In the previous post I mentioned I was using Snuggle Safe disks to keep them warm. These things are amazing. You pop them in the microwave for a few minutes then put it in the bedding of your favorite animal. They are great for neonatal kittens and geriatric pets as well as feral cats. (Of course, you have to make sure not to overheat the disks, it says you can heat them up to 8 minutes, but I never do more than 6 because I am paranoid). I also got them some reflective cats beds. They are soft on the outside and have the heat trapping Mylar-like material inside of them to help keep the cats warm. I figured between the beds and the Snuggle Safe disks they would be cozy warm. The great thing about both the Snuggle Safe disks and the reflective cat beds are that they are indoor/outdoor safe and don’t require any electricity. The Snuggle Safe disks are small enough that they can be tossed into a traditional feral cat shelter as well to help take the sting out of the cold winter nights.
This year, I decided to try something new. I was looking for a heating pad for my girls. I just felt that they needed something more to stay warm. I have always been leery of getting anything electric for their house. I worry about the cords outside, even when it says it is for outdoor use. There is so much water/snow around here in the winter you never know what might be enough to cause a malfunction. Besides, I didn’t want the cats getting burned from too much heat. Even the best heating pad can malfunction. I found them a nice one, a product called Lectro Kennel, from a website called Cozywinters.com. It is a weight activated heating pad designed to only heat up to a certain temperature. I love this concept, it is a great way to keep them warm without having to constantly bother them.
As far as I can tell the Lectro Kennel works wonderfully. They seem to really enjoy sleeping in their house since I put the Lectro Kennel in. There was a short period where it seems to have blown the fuse, and thus stopped working but we got that fixed. It takes up one side of their house so they can move if it gets too warm. I tried it out before I gave it to them. I tried to put weight down on the pad and didn’t get much of a result. I figured this was a good thing. I checked it a few days after installing it in their house and the white fleece cover was filled with cat hair. I took this as a very good sign!
So tell me, what do you do to take the chill off for your outdoor or feral cats? I would love to hear your stories.