Simply put, they’re cold!
Chandler was my teaching cat, he taught me all the things I needed to know about managing multiple medical issues, how to care for older cats, and how to deal with house soiling.
Among the many things he taught me, was a cat’s deep love of all things warm. One winter when Chandler was young still, he started spending all his free time sleeping on the heating vent in our dining room. I had seen heated cat beds around but thought they were probably unnecessary. So, after seeing cold, sad Chandler sleeping on the vent for a few days I gave in and bought him a heated bed. And OMG he found it the very next day and didn’t move for days, except maybe to eat and pee. Of course, then the other cats all wanted a turn on the warm bed and then there was fighting over the bed and then there were more bed purchases. Before I knew it that winter, I had 4 heated beds plugged in around the house and we’ve never gone back since.
At this point those old beds have lived out their lives and have been replaced with newer beds, I now have about 15 heated beds for my 6 cats. Because we had to have some downstairs but then we had to have some in the bedroom when we all went to bed and some in the office when I was working, and they wanted to be near me. This is likely the first step in becoming the crazy cat lady, right?
I have discovered over the years that many cats love heated beds. Certainly not everyone, I have a few friends who say their cats don’t care for them at all. But I bought one for my cousin’s cat who lives in Nebraska and the day after she got it, she messaged me saying her old lady Siamese kitty hadn’t budged off the thing in 24 hours.
As we know from personal experience heating pads can be very soothing to sore muscles and joints. And any cat over 15-ish likely has some arthritis. Does your older cat seem stiff after sleeping for a while, or do they sometimes limp after a big jump? Then they have arthritis. Buying them a heated bed may help them feel a lot better.
One would think, OK it’s a heated bed, I’ll unplug them in the summer. Starbuck would like everyone to know she sleeps on her hot bed year-round. She doesn’t care if it’s August and 100 degrees outside, she’s on the heated beds.
The mission Chandler conferred onto me all those years ago was to spread the word and joy of a simple heated bed. So many options exist out there, I now exclusively use one brand that I like a lot. Over the years none of my cats have been burnt or overheated on these beds and I’ve never had one do anything scary like try to burn down my house.
Duncan prefers the round deep bed, Starbuck is happy with the long flat beds. And I have one friend whose cat adores what we call the spaceship bed. Chandler’s favorite was the round bed because he really liked to curl up and sleep for hours.