I’ve been taking care of a couple outdoor cats who frequent my backyard with regards to keeping them as warm and dry as I can whenever we get a burst of rain. I’m not going to lie – keeping cats dry through bad weather is proving to be quite a challenge to me, and is something I definitely never had to think about in my years as an indoor-cat owner.
It’s fairly tricky I think because you want to make sure cats are warm and can find shelter in the form of insulation and a cozy bed, but when that bed gets wet, it’s pretty impossible for a cat to use until it’s dried out thoroughly.
Of course, the first solution to this problem you think about is to grab a waterproof outdoor cat shelter to house a cat bed in, but honestly, while these help oh-so-much to keep your cat dry, they can’t possibly do the trick completely. The why comes down to the fact that cats will often go out for food, to drink, or to go to the litter box, get wet in the rain, then come back into the shelter making everything in it dry.
Then there are cases where cats are caught off-guard by rain that blows in out of nowhere, and arriving completely drenched, their bed – if it’s made of fleece or some other type of fabric – becomes so soggy they’re probably better off without it at that point. Staying in a soaking wet blanket is more likely to give a cat hypothermia than having zero blanket at all in a plastic waterproof pet house, for instance, as at least a cat will dry off more quickly with no blanket.
So what’s the solution? I still haven’t come up with one quite yet. I’ve been using cardboard to line the bottom of the pet houses I have, and honestly it works alright until there’s quite a lot of heavy rain, and the cats have brought back a lot of it inside their houses. I like using cardboard boxes so I can slot in and out wet ones for dry ones, but sometimes the pouring rain happens overnight, or I’m not home to help out in cases like these.
Part of the reason I’ve done up an article on this topic in the first place is so that I could look up potentially better solutions since mine don’t seem to be working out so well. I’ve found what I would consider to be some extremely viable options, but without experience with each one, I’m at a loss for guessing which is the most ideal. If you have any experience with a solution for an outdoor pet bed, especially with regards to rain and overall wetness, please do let me know your thoughts in the comments – even if it’s just to say something didn’t work for you. It’s really nice to be able to rule out some possibilities or to know that certain options are great in very specific cases only, and fail when other weather issues – for instance – crop up.
Needless to say, I’ve done my best to describe when I think the options below would be viable and which I think are more or less ideal solutions. But please do correct me in the comments if you think I’m wrong, or add your take if you have absolutely anything on this topic to say.
Outdoor Cat Beds: Waterproof, Weatherproof, & Heated
In terms of pet beds that are comfortable, but can dry out quickly in case of rain, I’d say these types of elevated pet beds are likely to be your best bet. If where you live gets incredibly hot, these also seem to work ridiculously well as cooling pads, as they allow your cat to sit with any type of breeze passing beneath them to help them stay cool in the summer.
I imagine these elevated cat beds wouldn’t be particularly ideal in environments that get incredibly cold. I’d definitely switch out one of these in the winter-time if your area gets snow, as then you shouldn’t need as much precipitation protection. But in warmer environments that get a lot of rain and not a lot of snow, I’d say this option is likely to be the best bet.
I definitely want to grab one of these to test out myself. I don’t think I’d use it exclusively, I’d probably have one of these in a cat house, as well as a cardboard box in a cat house, just so the cats have options. This one is better in case it’s a wet day, but if it’s a dry day, I imagine cardboard would be cozier, more comfortable, and much, much warmer.
If you’re looking for heated outdoor cat houses that don’t really need cat beds because they have their own insulated pads beneath them, this is an incredibly good option. You can easily tear out the faux fur lining on the bottom that looks to me like an incredibly cozy cat bed, wash it in a washing machine, and throw it back in nice and clean. Super easy, and probably the best option if you live in a region that gets sub-zero temperature while also having cats that go outside in that kind of temperature to look after.
If you really just want an option that’s fully waterproof insofar as water physically cannot damage the cat bed you grab no matter how long the bed stays wet, I’d advise against grabbing a pet bed altogether and instead advise going for a fully plastic cat house, as these make for excellent waterproof shelters. It’s not the perfect solution, but if you’re concerned about cats staying warm when they’re not wet, you can line the bottom with a cut-to-size piece of cardboard as I have in one of the plastic cat houses I have, or place a cardboard box in, as I have with a second plastic cat house I bought.
I definitely think having one house with cardboard and one house with one of those elevated outdoor cat beds from #1 is probably the best solution, as if the cardboard is wet, the cat can use the quick-drying elevated bed in the plastic cat house to stay dry, and otherwise, use cardboard to keep warm. Let me know if you can think of a better solution, as I’d love to know!
Prefer a heated cat bed you can place in a cat house you’ve already got, or within a shed on a covered patio, or even in a solarium? This is definitely a viable option, and there are a lot of heated mats that would suit your needs perfectly, whether you need something small for a single cat, or larger to keep multiple cats warm.
Really want a highly comfy, super padded, traditional style pet bed that’s appropriate for outdoor use? I think Pet Craft makes an excellent option. These are made to be used by dogs as well as cats, so they’re chew resistant, and quite tough, as well as being machine washable in case they get dirty or wet. They’re not waterproof, but they come with a water-resistant finish that supposedly wicks away water, which means they might do the job you need them to do in locations that don’t get too much precipitation.
If you like the idea of having an outdoor cat bed that can be transformed into a transportation system if/when you need to go to the vet, look no further. I love hybrid solutions like these, as there’s nothing better than having a cat already used to a particular carrier before you head off to a vet. Yes, your cat may still hate car rides, but chances are you’ll have a much easier time in the vehicle when your cat’s used to regularly snuggling up in the crate you’re transporting.
Like the idea of a water-resistant pet bed that’s machine washable, but have a cat that prefers the feel of pillows to traditional pet beds? Pet Craft makes one of these as well. It’s water resistant, so again, high volumes of precipitation might be an issue, but if you know of a great, typically dry spot and you don’t get a lot of heavy rain in your area, this may work out.
This particular outdoor-appropriate cat pillow looks quite easy to move from one spot to another, which could come in handy if you have a feline who gets bored of sleeping in the same spot day in, day out.
If you like the idea of a pet bed that’s more along the lines of a self-heating thermal mat that’s easy to line the bottom of cat house with, I definitely think this is one of the better options. I don’t think this would fare well at all in heavy rain or with a drenched kitty sitting on top of it, but I do think it would be a good option, as with a lot of these, for those who don’t get a lot of heavy precipitation. Really easy to take this one out and throw it in the washing machine if it gets dirty or wet, though, so if you have a few of these and are around to slot new ones in and out, it might work.
Super perfect for adding winter insulation, in my opinion. I think this would definitely be one of the warmer heating beds that don’t use electricity.
Yet another outdoor-appropriate option in case you’re looking for something a little different to the cat beds I presented earlier, but that’s also good for places that get little precipitation in the form of heavy rain. Looks very easy to clean, and quite comfortable. If you have a weatherproof crate to keep outside under a patio, it’d be perfect for lining the bottom if you ask me.
Now, I don’t know if this would work out for certain, as I’ve never tried it before, but it occurred to me that stuffing a waterproof pillow case of some sort with absolutely anything from extra fabric you have lying around the house, to pillow stuffing, to the extra paper packaging they give you whenever you have a box too big for what’s inside – could make for a comfy spot for a kitty that doesn’t get too drenched or wet when precipitation gets really bad. I 100% have not tried out this cat bed technique and don’t know if it will work as a result, but if you have an idea or have tried something like this, do let me know what the result was! Or if you have any other idea for alternate solutions for wet days, please do share!
I’ve thought about trying one of these coir outdoor doormats to line the bottom of cat houses as well, but haven’t actually snagged one yet to give it a shot. I’d imagine they’d be incredibly well-loved by cats as they usually like to knead in them, they’d be comfy and nice for insulation, and I imagine they’d also be quick-drying once heavy-precipitation has passed as well, but I feel like there’s something I haven’t thought about – maybe it wouldn’t dry out quick enough in a cat house for instance? – that may make this option not the most viable? Not quite sure! Again, do let me know what you think in the comments and whether you believe this might be a good solution for those of us looking for cat beds in regions that get heavy rain.
Your Thoughts on Outdoor Cat Beds?
Have you ever bought or appropriated something not intended to be an outdoor cat bed to use to keep cats who sleep outside warm, dry, and comfortable in all sorts of weather?
Do you have any tips or advice for those of us who are trying to do the same? Any stories or experiences to share about what has and hasn’t worked in your case?
What do you think are some of the best options to solve this pretty tricky dilemma? Have you come up with any ideas you haven’t necessarily tried yet, but think might be viable?
Would really love to hear your opinion! Please do take a moment to lave it in the comments down below.