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Home > Cats > 5 Awesome DIY Self-Heating Cat Bed Ideas (with Pictures)

5 Awesome DIY Self-Heating Cat Bed Ideas (with Pictures)

cat sleeping peacefully in its bed

If electric cat beds feel too dangerous to you, but your cat needs something a little warmer than the standard bed, a self-heating bed might be for you. These cat beds look like normal beds, but they include a layer of mylar or other heat-reflective materials—the same thing in those foil emergency blankets. This helps them reflect your pet’s body heat back at them, giving them an extra heat boost without electricity.

The only problem is that these beds can get pretty pricey. But if you’re willing to try it yourself, DIY self-heating beds are cheap and easy! From super basic to practically professional, here are our favorite self-heating cat bed ideas.



The 5 DIY Self-Heating Cat Beds

1. Heat Reflective Cat Blanket by Feral Trapping

Materials: Outer fabric, batting, space blanket, thread
Tools: Sewing machine (optional), needle, Scissors
Difficulty: Easy

This heat-reflective blanket is about as easy as you can get, and it makes a great liner to any pet bed or works on its own. It was designed for use with feral cat populations, so you know that it’s cheap and simple to make, but it still looks professional and attractive. The blanket requires basic sewing skills and can be sewn by hand or machine. Sewing your own blanket gives you a ton of flexibility in design, too—with practically endless fabric choices out there, you can match it to your décor or pick something fun!

The video is also full of advice on picking the right size of blanket, machine washing your blanket, and other handy tips that are helpful whether you need to warm one cat or a hundred.

2. Sewing an Insulated Pet Bed by What The Craft

DIY Self-Heating Cat Bed
Image Credit: What The Craft
Materials: Main fabric, lining fabric, insul-bright batting, thread
Tools: Sewing machine (optional), needle, scissors, pins
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

If you really want a professional-look bed, this insulated pet bed from What The Craft looks like it could be store-bought. This bed is soft, reversible, and fully lined. Unlike some of the other pet bed options here, this one skips the mylar space blanket and uses insul-bright batting. Insul-bright is used in hot pads and oven mitts to create padded, mylar-threaded insulation that is softer and quieter than a space blanket. If your cat won’t settle down in a crinkly blanket, it’s a great option, even though you might not have it around the house.

The tutorial for this pet bed is a little more involved, with a few more steps than a simple blanket, but it’s still a fairly easy beginner sewing project. Although a sewing machine would make this process a lot easier, if you don’t have access to one, hand sewing will work just as well.

3. Rice Pet Heating Pad by South Pacific County Humane Society

DIY Self-Heating Cat Bed
Image Credit: Beach Pets
Materials: Uncooked Rice, Socks, String or Ribbon (optional)
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty: Super Easy

If a foil-blanket style self-heating bed isn’t working for you, an alternative is a rice heating pack. These packs can be warmed in the microwave and will give off heat for hours—making them perfect for keeping your kitty warm. They’re also super easy to make—you don’t need any special tools or sewing skills, just rice and socks.

Although this isn’t a traditional self-heating bed, we put it in the same category because they add extra heat to your pet’s bed without needing to worry about electricity problems or overheating.

4. Outdoor Winter Cat Bed by Cheryl Comfort

DIY outdoor winter cat bed
Image Credit: Cheryl Comfort
Materials: Blanket, plastic storage tub, foam pipe cover, styrofoam insulation, wooden skewers
Tools: Utility knife
Difficulty: Easy-moderate

This remarkable cat bed is actually a self-contained cat house that offers warmth in the cold winter months. If you have a cat that spends any time outside, then this house is a great option. It’s very easy to make and can be made with very easily accessible materials.

The directions are very easy to follow and concise, making it suitable for new DIYers. You don’t need many tools, either.

5. Hanging DIY Cat Bed by Hymns and Verses

DIY hanging diy cat bed
Image By: Hymns & Verses
Materials: Screws, jute rope, 2 shelf brackets, plywood, basket tray
Tools: Drill
Difficulty: Easy

This self-heating cat bed is designed to be hung in front of a window, which helps keep the bed warm with sunlight shining on it. It’s a great option for cats that like to climb and sit in high places.

Plus, the plan is super easy and the only tool you need is a drill. Therefore, it’s a great option for new DIYers.



As you can see, you don’t need to pay a ton to keep your cat warm. Although there are lots of self-heating bed options on the market today, it’s also super easy and cheap to make a bed or a blanket yourself. Once you decide what kind of bed you want, you can customize it to make sure that it’s the perfect fit for you and your cat.

Featured Image Credit: Aleksandar Cvetanovic, Unsplash

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