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Space heater in tack rm: should I just throw in a molotov cocktail and be done w/it?

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  • Space heater in tack rm: should I just throw in a molotov cocktail and be done w/it?

    I've chummed up with a feral cat recently, and he's indicated that he'll probably be overwintering here at Dreadful Acres. I am the Hostess with the Mostess, so I thought I'd set him up with a little spa area in the tack room, maybe with a space heater to take the edge off on really cold days.

    The question is, am I smoking crack? Is there such a thing as a space heater that won't get my farm in the paper under the headline "Tragic Barn Fire Claims Crone, Cat and Miscellaneous Ill-Fitting Tack"?
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

  • #2
    The ceramic space heaters are very safe... As long as you keep the dust & hair build-up vacuumed out of the air intake. Don't get anything that has radiant elements... More likely to get you into the news.
    Equus makus brokus but happy


    • #3
      What about something like a crate heating pad? They make them for puppies/kittens/oldsters, and it's just this flat, heated mat that you slip between blankets. It doesn't get hot, just warm....maybe less of a fire risk? They're meant to be on for hours.


      • #4
        The oil-filled heaters that resemble steam radiators from Honeymooners episodes are very safe, reliable and unlikely to create negative headlines in your local gossip-rag. Our tack room sports one for the pair of lazy felines of the orange variety. They do frequent quality control checks on its effectiveness.

        Mr. CC and I provide one for our fat Corgi and his large wolfhound friend in the insulated, dog-bed filled "garage" that hasn't seen a car in 10 years during the chilly months. Oh, and they are quite economical, too, unlike space heaters.
        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


        • #5
          I have a small thermastatically operated space heater for my tack room. I placed it on a wire shelf out of the kitties' reach. I set it for 65 degrees and low fan setting. It doesn't make it "toasty" warm in there, but keeps it comfortable enough for the kitties at night. It helps that my tack room is insulated and tight as well. I also plug it into a GFI receptacle (just in case). It will autoatically shut off if it is tipped over.
          "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."


          • #6
            Since the baseboard heaters died in my house (replacement 125.00 a foot plus installation), I replaced them with a ceramic furnace and a couple of oil filled radiators. The radiators are wonderful things and while they do put out a lot of heat, they stay at a non-burning temperature, and they attract the cats as they can snuggle quite close to them. They also have a tip-over switch and pretty good temp regulation. They also don't draw a lot of juice
            Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

            Member: Incredible Invisbles


            • #7
              I would consider one of those heated pads meant for critters. Even though I think the ceramic heaters are great, pretty safe, etc, I hate to borrow trouble with both hands--Murphy and I have a love/hate relationship.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                What about something like a crate heating pad? They make them for puppies/kittens/oldsters, and it's just this flat, heated mat that you slip between blankets. It doesn't get hot, just warm....maybe less of a fire risk? They're meant to be on for hours.
                I know, right? It seems the ideal solution, so I looked at these online, but the ratings on Amazon gave me pause. A whole bunch reviewers said their mats -- and it didn't seem to matter which brand -- overheated to the point of melting. Which is why I'm now looking into the heater thing.

                Why doesn't stuff just work?

                But thanks a bundle, CoTHers, I'll check out some of these suggestions. The oil-filled radiator particularly appeals to me, because out of all the ways to describe it, CalvinCrowe chose charmingly to allude to the Honeymooners.
                Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


                • #9
                  One must paint a picture when dealing with 13-14 year-old children, with whom I deal daily. They are woefully ignorant of the world, beyond the crapola on Youtube and Facebook. When one's news arrives via text, one cannot be expected to understand the finer nuances of daily life. Our Corgi, despite his generous girth and ample hair coat, enjoys his oil heater with much enthusiasm! He'll scootch as close to as possible (his padded back pressed up against it) and stay until he's panting. If he hasn't caught fire yet, I think your tack room is safe!
                  Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                  • #10
                    If it were me, my barn wouldn't be worth the risk of a space heater catching fire for a feral cat.

                    Provide him with one of those round cat beds so he can hunker down for the night, and call it good.

                    Sounds harsh, but I wouldn't be able to sleep at night wth a space heater going in my tack room all night.
                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                    • #11
                      The enlosed oil ones

                      That just plug in. They look like the old style radiators, are filled with some kind of oil, but completely enclosed, no flame and even my slightly drafty tack room with the cat door stays toasty warm.

                      I sit it on the cement floor in the middle of the room, plugged into a surge protector. The cats love it, one sits right next to it.

                      You can get them at any hardware store.


                      • #12
                        I agree with those who say not to trust any kind of traditional space heater in your barn. I like the ceramic heaters, but those too work on electricity, so I'd be uncomfortable leaving one in the barn.

                        My suggestion is the "Snuggle Safe" microwavable pet heater.


                        We've used one of these and they do retain heat for many hours. They say 10 hours and while it may not be as hot after so many hours, it does stay warm for a long time. The only downside is that you have to microwave it every night (or 2X/day if you want to use it 24/7).

                        You can put it under a blanket or get one of the covers they have for it (it does get too hot initially to use without covering it). Put it in a little pet bed or basket and kitty can snuggle up on it and stay nice and comfy in the tack room and you don't have to worry about any fires.


                        • #13
                          DH got an oil filled radiator when they were remodeling and moved out to the shed. (it was a nice insulated shed). He said the electric was horrific.
                          We use a heat lamp or even a 100 watt incandescent for the chicks, in one of those clamp on fixtures. Knock on wood haven't burnt the place up yet.
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                          Incredible Invisible


                          • #14
                            Everyone around here uses those cheap well house heaters sold in all places for over half a century in well houses and tack rooms and have not had any problems.
                            They last a few winters, then burn out and you put a new one there.
                            We always keep a spare around.
                            They look like this one:


                            I think the danger is if you have something fall on them, but maybe you can put them were that is not apt to happen?


                            • #15
                              Those microwave disks Claddagh mentioned really do work and last a long time. Of course, that means you have to have a microwave available. But they are safe and easy to use, so that would be my choice. But I'm not a cat person, not at all, so I'd never allow one in my tack room!


                              • #16
                                How about something like this? http://www.petco.com/product/105593/...And-Cover.aspx

                                Or this? http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=8982
                                It warms without electricity. My bf's cat had one a long time ago and it really did warm up. Maybe put it in a nice little kitty house?
                                http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
                                The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
                                Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
                                Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding


                                • #17
                                  A heater in a tack room is not a really good idea as it will accelerate the drying out process for any leather goods stored therein.

                                  The oil-filled radiators and nice and reasonably safe. Unless, of course, the plug shorts out. If you're lucky the breaker will trip and all you'll have is a nasty, black mess on the socket faceplate. If you're not lucky you'll be on the front page of your local newspaper posing with the firefighters.

                                  You're in the Texas Hill Country. If you were in UP of Michigan then some sort of heating device might be in order. But for a feral cat in Texas? I'd not bother.


                                  Former Resident of Houston and Corpus Christi
                                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                                    Those microwave disks Claddagh mentioned really do work and last a long time. Of course, that means you have to have a microwave available. But they are safe and easy to use, so that would be my choice. But I'm not a cat person, not at all, so I'd never allow one in my tack room!
                                    I second the microwave disks. They're safe, last forever and generate quite a bit of heat. I've used them for feral cats, old sick cats and when I've had to take a house cat out in the cold to visit the vet. Five minutes in the microwave equals approx. 8 hours of warmth. I put mine under a layer or two of towel or fleece blanket and the cats stay nice and toasty.

                                    Really, with a little bit of heat, and shelter from wind and precipitation, the feral kitty will do just fine.

                                    I wouldn't risk any kind of electrical or oil-type heater in the barn, but I'm very paranoid.


                                    • #19
                                      A hooded cat bed & a piece of fleece. Kitty can decide how far back to snuggle in for warmth. The fleece certainly makes it toastier & allows kitty to make their own bed comfy how they want it to be. Real easy to wash the removable piece of fleece too.


                                      A closed card board box with a nice kitty hole in it. A generous bunch of hay on the bottom, & then add the fleece would work a lot cheaper.

                                      Lucky kitty.
                                      "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."


                                      • #20
                                        Oil filled heater!!

                                        I have used one of radiator-like oil filled heater in the tack room for several winters. I keep the place just above freezing, the cats are happy, the boarders less so.

                                        But nothing freezes.
                                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.