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As kittens enter their golden years, health issues are likely to arise, which Dr. Lindsay Butzer, DVM, a Florida-based veterinarian, can be enhanced by the place where they nap most of their naps. “Older cats are usually very thin and have protruding hip, spine and elbow bones that tend to become bruised over time after sleeping on hard surfaces,” Butzer told Bustle. Because of this, the best cat beds for older cats all have supportive cushioning and are easy for cats to get in and out of. And because “they move slowly too and may not make it to the litter box in time,” suggests Dr. Butzer is trying to find a bed that is also easy to clean.
To help you make the right choice for your cat, Dr. Butzer’s main features:
- Size and height: Dr. Butzer recommends measuring your cat’s head to the waist and then doubling that size to find the right model. “You want a cat bed that is larger than your cat’s size so that they can move around comfortably, especially geriatric cats, because when they soil themselves you want them to move from that spot to a clean one [area]”She explains. Also, options with a low, wide opening are the easiest for cats to step into. Otherwise, Dr. Butzer states,” If the bed is too thick, an older cat may have difficulty climbing in and develop arthritis pain. “
- Damping: The built-in damping supports, according to Dr. Butzer the arthritic joints and cradles tired bones. However, for the greatest relief, opt for one labeled as Orthopedic.
- Shape: The best way to decide on a style is to use your experience with your cat’s personality traits. Does it like to curl up and be nestled? Looking for one fluffy Marshmallow style to sink into. Do you always find it stretched out when it is dozing? Take a flat mat with no borders. What if they have become less social with age? Dr. Butzer suggests an igloo bed to give them some privacy.
- Heat: “Older cats get cold easily,” explains Dr. Butzer. “A controlled cat warming bed with a built-in heating pad will help your older cat stay warm and comfortable.”
All of the best cat beds listed below are comfortable and cozy for older cats and are machine washable for convenience.
1. The best cat igloo
Not only does this cat igloo have an impressive 6,800 five-star ratings, but it’s also rated by Dr. Butzer recommended as an excellent bed for cats who like to hide and only come out when they’re comfortable. The covered cat bath is available in nine colors and three sizes (small gray grid, 16 x 16 x 4 inches, shown) and has a large and wide opening in all three. Inside the igloo is a removable pillow that reviewers say offers “soft” and “fluffy” padding (the manufacturer doesn’t say how thick it is). In addition, both the softshell structure and the pillow are machine washable.
The admission of a cat sitter: “This bed is our older cat’s favorite place. I put it in the cubicle of a desk and he sleeps there for hours and purrs all the time. It’s well made and soft. The top doesn’t collapse, but it’s the kind of private sleeping place Cats love. “
2. The cult favorite
Over 19,600 Amazon shoppers have given this plush sofa bed glowing reviews for its support. It’s made of 3 inches of egg crate orthopedic foam that cushions pressure points and evenly distributes your kitten’s weight. It also has a low and wide entry point that makes it easy for pets with mobility issues to find their way around. The three-sided padded edge offers neck and back support and the faux fur top is particularly cozy and soft. Bonus: The polyester cover zips off and is machine washable. Choose from 14 colors and five sizes (quilted navy in size small, 20 x 15 x 5.5 inches, shown). If your older cat has incontinence issues, consider this waterproof sofa bed instead.
A fan takes: “We have a very old cat with special needs who we adopted as a senior years ago. She has problems holding her poop, is arthritic, does not groom (long hair), takes anti-seizure medication […] The point is, we are basically taking care of our cat and whenever something you have helps you, you will be over the moon. That’s the case here, and our cat LOVES this bed (it’s the little cool blue one) – it relieves her joints and old bones. “
3. The most heated cushion
If your older cat is having a hard time regulating their body temperature, this heated pillow is a great investment as it can provide something of value to your furry family member: warmth. The removable heating pad heats up in just 20 minutes and, according to the brand, maintains a preset safe maximum heat of 102 degrees Fahrenheit when your pet is lying on it. What if you get up? A clever “Eco-Mode” starts and lowers the temperature to just 10 to 15 degrees Farenheight above your room temperature. So you don’t have to worry about turning it on and off when you are not there. Also note that the heating pad comes with a 5.5 foot cord so that you have some flexibility with where the bed is placed. Other highlights include a 2-inch orthopedic foam base and a soft faux fur cover. The entire bed (excluding the heating pad) is machine washable and you can choose between two colors and two sizes (large, 16 x 22 inch oval, pictured here).
A fan takes: “This cat bed is safe to stay connected all day and gets warm when Kitty lies in it. I love that he can help himself when it gets cold and we’re not home. He’s an older cat with arthritis and will cold and cold hurts and goes straight to his warm kitten bed. Doesn’t get too hot, just nice warm heat. When he gets up, the heat is dissipated and cools down. “
4. The best affordable cat mat
If your older cat prefers to stretch out, this contoured mattress provides great support for sore joints and is great for pets who like to be in the middle of the action as it doesn’t obstruct their view of the surrounding area. The U-shaped cradles and cushion joints relieve pressure and give your cat a seat to rest their head on. The bed has 2 to 4 inches of orthopedic foam for added comfort and a soft micro velvet sheet that is removable and machine washable. Choose from four colors and six sizes (micro-velvet tone in size small, 21 x 14 x 4 inches, shown).
The admission of a cat sitter: “My cat is 23 pounds and has cancer in his hind leg so we had to have him amputated to save his life. I recorded this a few days after his surgery. It took a few days but when he found it really comfortable and easy to get on and off again, he was there the whole time. I think it helped him feel less pain and stress. ”
5. The best marshmallow cat bed
This donut-shaped cat bed is filled with deep-pile, thick polyester fiber and has a self-warming fleece center and a soft faux fur exterior. The edge serves as a cushion and gives older cats a place to rest their heads. Although the sides are a little higher, they help keep kittens feeling protected and comfortable while napping. “Having a thicker donut rim around the cat bed is good for geriatric cats who don’t have enough strength to lift their head into a comfortable position,” explains Dr. Butzer. Just note that while the base has a nice fill in it, the base isn’t as supportive as the picks above. With 4,600+ five-star reviews on Amazon, pet owners love it. The entire bed is machine washable and has a waterproof, non-slip base. Choose from two sizes (small, 19.7 “in diameter and 7.9” high, as shown) and eight colors.
A fan takes: “Our cat loves this bed so much that we bought three for different rooms in the house. It’s incredibly soft, but seems to have enough structure that it can snuggle up to its side. We tried both sizes and our 12- Pound Cat Clearly Prefer He’s an older cat with arthritis. We suspect he’d like a little more room to spread out. “
Dr. Lindsay Butzer, DVM, veterinarian at Clint Moore Animal Hospital in Boca Raton, Florida