Not every cat owner allows their fur babies to sleep inside with them. Once fall starts to come to a close, it’s vital to set up a warm, safe place for outdoor cats to escape the bitter cold. Outdoor heating pads can even be brought indoors and used for kittens, seniors, and sick cats as well.
The challenging thing about buying one of these products is that there are far too many to choose from that claim they work the best. How do you know which reviews are trustworthy or not? Check out this list we’ve put together of some of the most reliable heating pads being sold this year. Each item comes with a pros and cons list to help you get a feel of what it offers and why it will or will not work for your home.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2024)
|K&H Heated Pad for Pets
|FurHaven Self-Warming Mat
|K&H Thermo-Kitty Home
|Best for Kittens
|Downtown Pet Supply Thermal Mat
|Nicrew Pet Heating Pad
The 7 Best Outdoor Heating Pads for Cats
1. K&H Pets Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pad – Best Overall
|24 x 19 x 1.5 inches
The K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pad is by far one of the best overall outdoor heating pads for cats. This pad uses low wattage that keeps the area warm without overheating your animals. It’s also made from a soft, orthopedic material that is comfortable for them to lay on. The inside padding itself is soft PVC that is easy to clean and won’t absorb water from any precipitation.
K&H created a heating pad that is perfect for either indoor or outdoor use. However, it does require an electric outlet which could make finding a spot for it a bit tricky.
2. FurHaven ThermaNap Pet Heating Mat – Best Value
|Gray, espresso, black, cream, leopard print
|22 x 17 x 0.25 inches
Heating pads aren’t a cheap investment for everyone. This FurHaven ThermaNap Self-Warming Pet Heating Mat is a self-heating mat that uses a special material that warms itself from body heat. This is great to put inside small boxes or areas because it doesn’t need any electricity or batteries to work. However, because it is self-warming, it doesn’t get as warm as many of the other heating pads, and cats will have to stay put if they don’t want the heat to dissipate.
This heating mat comes in two sizes and many different colors and patterns. The cover is machine washable, and it can be placed anywhere around your property, either indoors or out. Because of this, it’s one of the best outdoor heating pads for cats for the money.
3. K&H Birchwood Manor Thermo-Kitty Home – Premium Choice
|18 x 16 x 15 inches
If you want the best of the best, this thermal home for cats is the best way to keep them toasty this winter. The K&H Pet Products Birchwood Manor Thermo-Kitty Home is made from birchwood and comes with a heated pad inside. The two door flaps allow your cat to come and go as they please, and you won’t have to search all over the property for a place to set it because they will be protected from harsh winds wherever it goes.
The house is sturdy because it is made from real birchwood. As a bonus, you don’t even have to assemble it after it arrives. However, the cable cord is fairly short, and you’ll have to use an extension cord if you don’t have many outdoor outlets.
4. Downtown Pet Supply Thermal Cat Mat – Best for Kittens
|Beige, gray, ivory & pink
|22 x 19 x 0.5 inches
The Downtown Pet Supply Thermal Cat Mat absorbs and reflects your cat’s natural body warmth instead of using electricity. The pad can be moved freely to any indoor or outdoor location and the faux fur is soft and inviting. The slight crinkle noise that the reflective layer makes might scare away some more skittish cats, though. While it will keep your cat warm, it won’t be warm enough in below-freezing temperatures.
5. Nicrew Pet Heating Pad for Cats and Dogs
|17.7 x 15.7 x 0.4 inches
The Nicrew Pet Heating Pad for Cats and Dogs isn’t as thick or plush as others, but the cover is still machine washable to help keep it clean. The cord is also wrapped in a type of metal that prevents cats from chewing on it and potentially hurting themselves. While it produces plenty of heat, there is no temperature control, and it could start to get a little too hot for some cats. Unfortunately, this also means that you’ll likely have to monitor the temperature yourself.
6. Puppy Love Waterproof Pet Heating Pad
|Blue and yellow pattern
|9.65 x 9.21 x 3.74 inches
While it may be small, the best feature of the Puppy Love Waterproof Pet Heating Pad is that there is a temperature control connected directly to it so that you know exactly how hot it is going to get. The electric cable is also long and protected so that cats can’t chew through it. While the polyester material is waterproof, this pad isn’t very thick and doesn’t come with a lot of cushion for your cats. It is also fairly small and might not be suitable for multi-cat households.
7. K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Heating Pad
|Sage, mocha, gray
|25 x 12.5 x 3 inches
The K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Heating Pad will quickly become your cat’s favorite place to warm their bones. This bed has a soft shell made from suede to entice your kitties to lay on it while still protecting the heating element inside. The shell is also removable and machine washable for easy cleaning.
The downside to this bed is that the heating unit is smaller than the entire bed. However, it does have two heating pads to keep the temperature uniform without getting too hot. Because it is best for indoor use, we recommend using it in a barn or another outdoor building.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Outdoor Heating Pad for Cats
There are a lot of factors to think about when buying a heating pad for the outdoors as opposed to a heating pad for inside the house. Read through our buyer’s guide to help you determine which of these characteristics are most important to you and determine how each one is going to work for your circumstances.
The obvious goal of buying an outdoor heating pad is ensuring that it is going to be warm enough for your cat during the coldest parts of the year. If your cat has no other form of protection other than the pad, then you’re going to want to buy one that uses electricity because they stay the warmest. While the self-heating mats that reflect your cat’s own body heat are great, they are more ideal in places where there is already protection from the elements, such as a barn or covered box.
A lot of issues arise with outdoor heating pads because some require electricity and may get too hot for your cat to lay on. Some curious kittens also might try to chew through the electric cord and wind up getting shocked. Electric heating pads should be tested by you before ever allowing your cat to use it. If possible, you should also buy a product that comes with a cord cover that sharp teeth won’t puncture.
Of course, you want your cat to be comfortable. Softer materials encourage your cat to use the pad right away and keep them comfortable until they are ready to get up. Some materials make a lot of noise or don’t have a whole lot of padding. While some cats don’t mind, others are a little pickier and might not adjust as easily.
As an outdoor product, these heating pads are going to eventually get dirty. Most of them are machine washable. Those who can’t find a good machine-washable option should at least buy a pad made from materials that are easy to clean with some soap and water.
These reviews have shown you some of the top outdoor heating pads that are currently on the market. Narrowing down thousands of options isn’t always simple, but we hope that this article has helped you make a decision you’re confident in. To reiterate, we have found that the best overall outdoor heating pad for cats is the K&H Lectro-Soft Pad. However, there are choices for every budget. Those trying to splurge should look into the K&H Thermal Manor, and people on a tighter budget would most likely enjoy the Fur-Haven Self-Warming Heating Mat.
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Featured Image Credit: jax10289, Shutterstock