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Picking the Best Bed for Your Cat

By: Karen Commings

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Cats are creatures of comfort and likely to seek out the warmest, coziest places to catnap, but the place your cat chooses to catch some winks may not be your first choice.

A recent pet-owner survey conducted by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine found that 60 percent of pets sleep in bed with a family member. If you would like to give your cat a special bed instead of, or in addition to your own, you'll find many styles from which to choose.

Cup-Style Beds

Kitty cups really appeal to cats. The circular design follows the natural contour of a cat's curled up sleeping position and helps him retain body heat. Most cup beds are made of plush fabric. Cup beds come in a variety of sizes, and some have hoods. They can be placed wherever your cat likes to sleep.

Pads

Pads are simply flat pieces of fabric, some stuffed, that lie on a chair or sofa cushion. The makers of some pads claim that their products are electro-statically charged to capture dander and hair. Some are made from fake fur or sheepskin and may be washable.

Pads made for your cat are more esthetically pleasing, but, just placing a towel or blanket over a chair will attract your cat and prevent hair from being deposited on your furniture.

Heated Beds

Heated beds come in a variety of styles and have a heating unit that fits inside a protective outer covering. They are pre-set to maintain an even temperature and may be beneficial if your cat sleeps in a colder location in your home or if he suffers from arthritis.

Mini-Furniture

Furniture cat beds come in styles that complement your decor. Bunk beds, hammocks, chaise lounges, stuffed sofas and chairs are just some of the styles that are available. While these types of beds are comfortable for cats, they are designed mostly to appeal to humans.

Window Perches

A window perch attaches to the windowsill so your cat can snooze or leisurely watch the world go by. Window perches are either firm or soft. If your cat enjoys sleeping in the sun, installing a perch in a sunny window may be just the ticket for his comfort.

Cat Trees

You can save hair from being deposited on your furniture and keep your cat from clawing it at the same time by buying a multi-level cat tree on which your cat can sleep and scratch. Trees that have wood and sisal to claw and carpeted levels on which to sleep are most appealing to cats.

What To Look For

Cats sleep for sixteen to eighteen hours a day, so a cat bed can become covered with hair quickly if your cat enjoys sleeping in it. Many beds come with removable covers that are washable. Other types of beds can be thrown in the washer as is.

If you've opted to buy your cat a heated bed, make sure the heating unit is approved by the Underwriter's Laboratory, the independent, not-for-profit electrical products safety testing and certification organization. Also, make certain the protective cover cannot be
punctured by your cat's claws.

If the bed is a mini piece of furniture, make sure that it is sturdy and won't collapse when your cat gets into it. Examine it to determine if there are places on it that might trap your cat or in which your cat could get stuck. A more adventuresome cat could stick his head through wooden slats on a bed's headboard, for example, and be unable to pull his head back through. Or, if your cat wears a collar, make sure that the collar is break-away in case it gets caught on your cat's furniture-style bed.

Most beds use man-made stuffing. Avoid beds with animal-based fill, such as wool or other types of hair. These can be difficult to keep clean and may trap fleas should your cat become infested.

Although providing a bed for your cat is not vital, he may enjoy having sleeping quarters that are his own. Place the bed in a spot in your home that is safe and comfortable for your cat. If you put your cat's bed by a door that is constantly being opened, near Fido's bed or in a damp location, you may find him sleeping elsewhere.

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