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Keeping an old kitty warm...

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  • Keeping an old kitty warm...

    Hello all,

    Need some ideas...I have an elderly kitty that I thought I was going to lose, and she's now rallied back (eating on her own, etc).

    She's kept separate from the other kitties because she came into the mix late, is four-paw declawed, and really doesn't like other cats; she goes upstairs (has a glass door) to spend the day and comes down at night to sleep with us.

    I have noticed that she's pretty lethargic upstairs, curled up on the spare bed or on her blanket next to the radiator; at night she prefers sleeping on a heating pad on the couch. She perks right up after being on it, hence my concern she is cold during the day.

    My problem is I will not run a heating pad all day long when I am not at home. Has anyone used a sweater (I assume they make them for cats)? I was also thinking of microwaving socks filled with rice for her to snuggle against, but don't know how long that would keep warm.

    Any creative suggestions much appreciated...she seems on the mend (I had some sort of mild upper respiratory cold go through my cats and she was the one who took it hard) and I'd like to get her past this - I've only had her a few years (rescue, got her when she was 9) and would like to keep her around longer; if keeping her warm makes her happy, I"ll do what it takes.


  • #2
    We currently have an acquired stray camping in the attached shed. While insulated, it's pretty chilly out there. We have a larger microwavable heat pack that my mother made stuffed into an upside down foam cooler with a hole cut for a door; we microwave it nightly and it is still very toasty in her "house" well into the next day. Inside, you could skip the cooler and just stuff it into a kitty sized box.

    My Mom makes the heat packs with feed corn shaken free of dust and dollar store dishtowels. She sews up the sides, fills them and stitches the end shut and voila! We nuke it for three minutes at half power, shake it up a bit, and do the three min/half power thing again. They smell a little weird and may steam a little the first few times, but she's been making them for years and we've yet to burn a house down.
    bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
    free bar.ka and tidy rabbit


    • #3
      Does her blanket have some loft to it? Fluff it up and leave it slightly wadded instead of folded. Burrowing into it might help her stay warm.

      Making microwaveable "bed buddies" will help too.


      • #4
        How small is she? I have a cat sweater that I used to put my old girl in. She was long haired and brushing just wasn't enough so we would have to shave her. I still have the sweater and if she's small I would be happy to send it to you. Here's a picture of when she would wear it (which she hated but let me put her in it anyway) They also make cat beds that aren't electric but made of material that stays warm.

        I was quite literally receiving the death stare from her lol

        Here's one of the self warming beds
        The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.


        • #5
          I've had several cats which would burrow into the bed covers if I left the bed unmade.

          I tried leaving a hot water bottle wrapped in flannel for one of my previous cats. He didn't much like it; I think the squelchy texture and faint rubber smell weirded him out. I had considered offering him some oven warmed bricks wrapped in towels instead. He died before I got around to the experiment.


          • #6
            How about something like this under a blanket. It's meant to keep pyrex dishes warm for potlucks and such for long periods of time. Warm it in the microwave in the mornings and see how long it retains the heat. Only be careful not to get it too hot.



            • Original Poster

              Thanks all! She's very small...a siamese, probably no more that 5 lbs. I would love to try the sweater, if you don't mind Also am shopping with my mother/daughter and will look for a pyrex dish warmer, too. I appreciate the ideas!


              • #8
                i got some nice beds at petco for my small dogs, but they are meant for cats.......almost shaped like a hershey kiss, made out of fabric,lined with a thick fleece, door cut out with enough of a lip at the bottom of the door to keep the draft out......nice spongey cushion in the bottom..........my small dogs love them, and one cat is trying to claim one outside, but he can only fit half his body in!
                i keep my house at about 60, so it's chilly for napping (being still) and these work really well......
                you could even turn it so the entrance is facing the radiator, and add the micro-warmed pillow......she would be TOASTY


                • #9
                  Microwave disc

                  Someone may have already suggested this...but they sell discs aboug 12 inches in diameter which you can microwave. The discs hold their temperature for almost 10 hours, and are intended for pet use. I use one for my feral.


                  • #10
                    I was going to suggest the disc: http://www.amazon.com/Pet-Supply-Imp...t+warming+disc

                    Though we have a heated bed for our girl (she's a spoiled only cat!) and this is the second winter we've left it plugged in nonstop from Sept onward: http://www.amazon.com/Thermo-Kitty-C...heated+cat+bed

                    We've never had an issue with it, and she loves it! A little too much - she often picks it over our laps when we're home!

                    She also (see: spoiled!) has one of these heat-reflecting thermal mats, and it does seem to work - she does feel noticeably warmer when she gets up from it: http://www.amazon.com/Slumber-Pet-Th...hermal+Cat+Mat


                    • #11
                      Boxed Wine! Step A: Drink all the wine. Step B: fill the bag halfway with hot water,close spout. Place fleecy blanket over bag and voila, nice squishy hot water bed for kitty


                      • #12
                        Here is a selection of every kind of heated product for pets that you could possibly want. I use their heated pet pads for my cats. I have several spread around the house and I have left them on continuously for several years now, from October through April. There's always a cat sprawled on them.

                        Sigh, I knew I shouldn't have linked that site. I just ended up ordering another cat mat and some ice cleats for myself.


                        Last edited by Louise; Dec. 8, 2012, 02:30 PM. Reason: to expose my weakness
                        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                        Desmond Tutu


                        • #13
                          My opinion is the most important thing to keep warm is their nose, and the air they breathe. So enclosed box or bed with a makeshift flap made of plastic over the entrance. Plastic should be thick enough that it will fall back down if pushed up, and be larger than the entrance hole so it seals it from drafts.

                          My elder cat always wrapped her tail over her foot pads and then buried her nose into the tip of her tail.


                          • #14
                            Dryer Warmed Bath Towels and then a light wool or polar fleece balnket on top ~

                            Dryer warmed bath towels ...cat .... then top with a light wool or polar fleece blanket ~
                            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                            • #15
                              I got motivated by this thread to plug in my electric cat bed for my oldest girl again (since she's never used it in the years I've had it). After putting the bed in numerous positions, in numerous things, and on top of numerous things, I have again become unmotivated, as it is once again not being used. Sigh.


                              • #16
                                JumpQH, I hope you don't mind if I give you a couple of hints. Leave the bed in one spot for several days or even weeks. Sometimes, it takes them a long time to begin to cotton to that new and strange thing sitting there. Also, my oldest cat is beyond persnickity. I am constantly washing the covers to my mats because "Miss Particular" doesn't like to sleep on anything that is not fresh, pristine clean. The others could care less, but you might want to try washing the cover to your bed, just to make sure it suits the royalty that you live with (that we all live with).
                                If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                Desmond Tutu


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Louise View Post
                                  JumpQH, I hope you don't mind if I give you a couple of hints. Leave the bed in one spot for several days or even weeks. Sometimes, it takes them a long time to begin to cotton to that new and strange thing sitting there. Also, my oldest cat is beyond persnickity. I am constantly washing the covers to my mats because "Miss Particular" doesn't like to sleep on anything that is not fresh, pristine clean. The others could care less, but you might want to try washing the cover to your bed, just to make sure it suits the royalty that you live with (that we all live with).
                                  Of course I don't mind! I guess I WAS a little impatient. I'd arrange everything, all the kitties would check it out, and then nothing. I'd think they didn't like it, rearrange, and the cycle would start all over! I will leave it as is and see what happens. Thanks, Louise!


                                  • #18
                                    I bought the small Back on Track lap blanket (it's about 12" x 24") for me to lay on when my back was injured. Cat LOVES it. It's soft, reflects her heat back and non-electric. I do still have to fight her some days for it.

                                    It was about $40 however, not sure of your budget.
                                    “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky


                                    • #19
                                      I have the warming disk I use for an outside cat that won't come inside. It does keep warm for a long time. She loves it.


                                      • #20
                                        Low tech solution: an old down vest. Ms Yorkie loves hers, when the cats get up and let her use it!