What is the best heated cat house?
When your cat can’t find an empty lap or a sunbeam, a heated cat house is an excellent option for a nap. Heated cat houses come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have a feline-friendly structure and a source of heat. Depending on the design, they can be great for your indoor pet or helpful to outdoor cats in your neighborhood.
Some look like actual houses, including one excellent option from Petyella, which features a cottage design, complete with shutters and a flower box, but most have a more subtle design.
What to know before you buy a heated cat house
There are many options when buying your heated cat house, so it is worth defining what you need for your cat before you get started. Here are some of the key features to consider:
Electronic vs. self-heating
An electronic model requires an outlet to plug into, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be indoors. Some options work well for different types of locations. The electronically-heated options are generally more expensive and offer more heat.
Self-heating models use the cat’s own warmth and reflect it back to them using specialized materials. This can be an excellent option for the outside because it doesn’t require an outlet. However, it might not be warm enough to truly protect a cat if you live in a colder climate.
The size of a cat house is an essential factor. Cats love small, cozy spaces, but they might not use it if it is too small. If it is too big, it might let too much heat escape. Consider the size of your pet in your purchasing decision. If you have a home with multiple cats, some options keep them nearby but not on top of one another.
What to look for in a quality heated cat house
If you are considering an electric model, pay attention to how long the cord is to place the cat house where you want. You can add an extension cord, but you don’t want to have to run it across a driveway or through a puddle if your outlet is far away.
A thermostat might seem a little much for something an animal will use, but it adds considerably to ease of use. Having a thermostat means you can set and forget, knowing your cat is comfortable.
The best cat houses come with a timer so the heating element turns itself off during the warmer daytime hours, for instance, and won’t be wasting electricity. This feature is especially nice if you go out of town.
A little padding is excellent in a heated cat house for the same reason it is nice on your own bed in that it makes everything more comfortable.
Look for weather-resistant features for a cat house you plan to keep outside. Otherwise, it might be ruined in the first rainstorm. Place even weather-resistant models in a garage or carport for more protection, if possible.
How much you can expect to spend on a heated cat house
There is a pretty wide price range in heated cat houses, and consumers can expect to spend anywhere from $15-$155. The lower-priced models are small, self-heating and generally won’t be warm enough at night if you plan to put the house outside, but they will be great for indoor napping. The more expensive units will offer electric heating, enough to keep warm even on a winter’s night, depending on climate, and may offer enough room for multiple cats.
Heated cat house FAQ
Are heated cat houses safe?
A. Yes, but use caution. The wattage is very low but gives some thought to fire safety like you would with anything wired. The American Veterinarian Medical Association recommends caution due to burn risks. Self-heating cat houses pose no risks.
Can all cats use a heated house?
A. Yes, but use your best judgment with kittens and senior cats. The heat can be soothing and even help ease arthritis pain, but make sure your cat’s mobility allows him to get up off the heating element when necessary.
What does MET mean on a cat house label?
A. An MET label is very similar to a UL label. Both mean the product meets the minimum requirements of all relevant safety standards.
What’s the best heated cat house to buy?
Top heated cat house
What you need to know: This cat house is adorable and designed for either indoor or outdoor use.
What you’ll love: The chew-proof cord comes with an extension so you can find the perfect spot and a plug-in timer so you can save energy.
What you should consider: Although sturdy, this one may not hold up in strong winds and the timer only works indoors.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top heated cat house for the money
What you need to know: This is a well-regarded, less expensive and more compact option.
What you’ll love: The two doors and removable flaps will ensure this cat house gets used even by picky pets.
What you should consider: This is water-resistant, not waterproof, and the cord may seem short in some settings.
Where to buy: Sold by Chewy
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The leopard print design can act as a neutral in your interior design.
What you’ll love: This easy-to-assemble option has a good amount of microfleece and suede padding.
What you should consider: The heating pad just gets as warm as your cat’s body temperature and your cat may prefer something warmer.
Where to buy: Sold by Chewy
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Angie Parkinson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.