How Much Food Should I Give A Cat In The Winter
For a general guideline, you can expect an adult cat to eat about 200 calories a day, give or take 2030 calories. This measures out to around 5.5 ounces of wet food with an additional ounce of dry food a day. Or if you’re only using dry food, then it’s about 46 ounces every day.
Naturally, you should adjust this allotment depending on how many cats you’re feeding and how much is left over after they eat.
Outdoor cats will need ample fresh food and water to make it through harsh winters.
Paint It A Dark Color
Dark colors absorb heat while lighter ones allow heat to bounce off. You can use this advantage in your dogs house. Painting it black, navy blue, or forest green will help reduce heat loss inside. It will also help utilize the sunlight that reaches the dog house.
Just make sure that the paint doesnt have a strong smell. Otherwise, your dog will not want to stay inside. I suggest doing the paint job weeks before the winter starts to give the paint time to cure. please read here how to cure a dog anxiety.
The Best Heated Cat House
Whether you have a feral or semi-feral cat in your life or an indoor kitty who just loves to stay toasty warm, a heated cat house might be the solution you’ve been searching for. Heated cat houses feature integrated heating pads to warm your feline friend no matter what the temperature is outside.
Keep reading to learn more about heated cat houses and how to choose the best one for your cat. Our favorite is the PETYELLA Heated Cat House, a sturdy option perfect for indoor or outdoor use.
Considerations when choosing heated cat houses
Indoor vs. outdoor heated cat houses
Think about whether you’ll be using your heated cat house indoors or outdoors. Indoor cat houses are designed for pet cats who want some extra warmth, whereas outdoor cat houses are mostly used as warm shelters for feral or semi-feral cats that you feed and care for but don’t live in your house. However, pet cats who like to spend lots of time outside might also benefit from outdoor heated cat houses.
Bear in mind that even outdoor cat houses aren’t designed to be used completely out in the elements. While they can withstand some wetness, they should be placed on covered patios, in garages, sheds, porches, and the like. Outdoor cat houses are often safe for indoor use, but not the other way around.
Q. Are heated cat houses safe?
Q. Are there any cats that shouldn’t use heated cat houses?
Heated cat houses we recommend
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How We Made Heated Outdoor Cat Shelters
Years ago we purchased the Feral Villa and it has always been a big hit with the colony cats.
Then we made another wooden, insulated cat shelter, kind of like after the style of a dog house. The cats use it year-round. Since Jim made it, we called it the Jim Villa.
This year there was a lot of new construction in my area. A lot of abandoned homes were torn down, and a new park is being built. The cats used these buildings and land for shelter, and I got worried they would have nowhere to go. So we decided to add another outdoor cat house and include heat in all of them.
I am so thankful for this decision, as this winter is also the year of the Polar Vortex, and I live in Chiberia. The winter has never been this cold since I started caring for and TNRing outdoor cats a decade ago. Weve been having our own problems as the pipes have burst in our basement this year for the first time.
But I digress.
I love this company. I also bought their Thermo Kitty Cafe bowls to use for wet cat food and water. Theyve been a huge hit with the feral cats. The directions say not to leave them plugged in outside, but theyve been outside working ever since I purchased them.
Bouncy Bear loves to eat and drink from all of the heated outdoor bowls.We placed the outdoor heating pads into all three of the wooden cat shelters.
Now on to the Jim Villa.
Before You Plug In A Cat Bed
Because they use no electricity, self-heating cat beds are safe for indoor and outdoor use . If you buy a plug-in heated bed, there are some things to consider before you deploy it. Be sure to read the directions for the bed you choose. Most come with a light plush or fleece cover and manufacturers will caution you not to pile on additional beds and layers that could create a fire hazard. The bed should always be positioned so that your cat has the option to move to a non-heated area. This post from K& H Pet Products, one of the largest manufacturers of heated pet beds, describes more safety precautions you should take.
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Make Compost In Your Greenhouse
Every gardener at one time or another has seen it. We start digging in the compost pile, and that thing is literally smoking hot. A good compost pile will get well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can stay there for a while, particularly if it is regularly turned to add oxygen. In other words, compost will naturally put out heat that can warm the greenhouse. Having paths made from wood mulch and mulching the beds will add to this heating by decomposition.
Kerosene Lamps And Charcoal Jikos
You can use charcoal jikos, kerosene lamps and propane heaters to warm chicken houses. These were the common methods of raising chicken before availability of cheap electricity. On the down side, using fuel is expensive for most chicken farmers especially in countries with expensive costs of petroleum fuel.
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How To Heat A Greenhouse Without Electricity
There are two main concepts concerning heating a greenhouse without electricity.
The first is by collecting the suns warmth as sunlight hits upon a dense material called thermal mass, such as rock and water. Thermal mass will absorb a lot of heat throughout the day and release that heat when temperatures drop at night. Utilizing thermal mass in a greenhouse is easy since it already receives much sunlight.
The second concept is with composting, since compost piles produce heat as the microorganisms within them break down the organic materials into compost.
Fix Any Holes In The Dog House
If you already have a dog house, youll want to make sure that there are no holes in it. This will ensure that no wind or moisture is able to get inside. It is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to keep your dog warm without using electricity. Dog houses break down over time like regular homes, so you need to keep this in mind.
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Place A Plastic Gallon Filled With Water
Believe it or not but water can save on the greenhouse heating costs! How? Water has the highest specific heat capacity of all the liquids.
Specific heat is an amount of heat absorbed or lost by one gram of the substance to change the temperature by one degree Celsius.
So, water absorbs the excess heat in the summer to keep the temperature down. Alternatively, in winter it will hold onto the heat to keep the greenhouse warmer.
Use large barrels or gallons of water. Moreover, you can use it to reflect the sunlight into a greenhouse. You will need to organize single or multiple ponds or a water holding trench.
Place it at such an angle inside the greenhouse that sunlight reflects off of it and into the structure. This reflected light can potentially add more warmth into the greenhouse.
K& h Pet Products Pet Bed Warmer Place Inside Most Any Pet Bed
Really just want an indoor bed warmer for cats and arent fussed about it being water or weather proof because your cat hasnt had an accident thats liquid-related in a bed or any other sleeping spot before? Or planning on using a waterproof pet cover like the PetAmi Dog Blanket on top of the cat bed anyway, so that washing is easy in case there is any spillage? You might want to grab one of these pet bed warmers instead.
K& H notes you can place them inside virtually any pet bed just open them up, place this inside, and plug into the wall. I daresay the price is much more inexpensive than I wouldve imagined for these, so if youre lucky with accidents or have another way around leaky messes, theyre a great buy, I think.
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K& h Extreme Weather Kitty Pad And Fleece Cover
This may look like the less expensive Lectro-Soft , but whats inside is a much larger, tougher heating pad. The pad is made of hard ABS plastic and cant be ripped or bent. Ive used one of these in a shelter for the neighborhood cat for more than 10 years and, yep, its durable! Newer models, like this one, have steel-wrapped cords. Ideal for putting in a sheltered area to protect an outdoor cat from serious cold weather.
Consider Buying A Thermal Dog House
If your dogs house is already old and worn out, its best to purchase an insulated dog house just in time for winter. Unlike typical dog houses, this one is fully insulated with special foam. The door and windows are also enclosed with flaps.
Insulated dog houses are designed for the harshest winter, but it comes at a rather higher price.
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K& h Pet Products Kitty Sleephouse
This gorgeous indoor cat house is heated with electricity . Its got what looks like the warmest little nook for your cats to sleep in on the bottom, as well as a cushioned portion at the top excellent for multi-cat households, as Im sure the top bit would be warm enough to please a second cat that doesnt get along quite-so-well with the first.
Open The Curtains And Let The Sun In
During the day when the sun is out, open the shades and let the sun warm the room up. The sun coming through the window will have the extra benefit of the window magnifying it, and helping add some warmth to your home. In the same respect, close the drapes at night so that the cold night Air does not amplify through the Windows.
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Use A Mini Greenhouse Inside The Greenhouse
Yes, it might sound crazy but if you want to save on the energy costs you can grow the tender plants inside a mini greenhouse.
You can grow the cold loving plants that tolerate temperature of -15°F inside the big greenhouse. It is important that these plants are not exposed to other conditions like water logging.
Extreme Consumer Products Indoor/outdoor Cat House With Heated Cat Bed
Here we have another heated cat house product from Extreme Consumer Products company. This is a highly rated heated cat house with a very stand out red color. This is perfect for all sizes of cat even some really small dog breeds can fit inside the house as well. This is made for indoor and outdoor use with 102 degrees of heat.
20 Watt headed Pad
This heating pad will use 20 watts of electricity, which will heat the pad up to 102 degrees. This is an exceptional amount of heat. You cat, weather it lives outside or is even a stray cat, will get an amazing amount of warmth. This will keep your cat warm even in the coldest temperatures. You can even use the house without the heating element, just unplug the cord and use it during the summer months.
Four Step Assembly
The assembly of this cat house is very easy and straightforward. There are only four easy steps when it comes to assembling this product. Follow the easy instructions when you get the product.
- Can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
- Can be folded down compactly when not in use for easy storage.
- Budget-friendly price point.
- The heating pad can heat up to 102 degrees.
- The doors come with a convenient flap to help close in the heat generated from the heating pad.
- Its a smaller space than some of the other
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Put Clothes On Your Dog
There are lots of cute doggy clothes you can buy to keep your canine companion from getting chilly in its house at night. You can buy everything from shirts to thick sweaters. The internet is a great resource to use when you are researching these options.
While some dogs are more receptive than others to being clothed, this is an option that you should at least consider. There are even winter jackets that are made just for dogs, so you need to shop around to see what is available. This is a great way to prevent hypothermia and discomfort with your dog while it is outside, especially in the coldest months.
What Is The Best Heated Cat House
When your cat cant find an empty lap or a sunbeam, a heated cat house is an excellent option for a nap. Heated cat houses come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have a feline-friendly structure and a source of heat. Depending on the design, they can be great for your indoor pet or helpful to outdoor cats in your neighborhood.
Some look like actual houses, including one excellent option from Petyella, which features a cottage design, complete with shutters and a flower box, but most have a more subtle design.
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Riogoo Pet Heating Pad Large Dog Cat Electric Heating Pad Indoor Waterproof Adjustable Warming Mat With Chew Resistant Steel Cord
If youre looking for a heating pad but are worried about the cable because one or more of your pets likes to chew on power cords, you may want to opt for a more heavy-duty option like this one. Its not completely chew-proof, but its got a chew resistant steel cord, and if you were hoping for an option thats also water proof, this one happens to be moisture and waterproof as well.
If your cat has no history of chewing cords, Id personally opt for one of the more popular pet bed warmers on this list, as a lot of pet parents seem to have trouble with the less popular ones ceasing to work after some time, but if you really need an option thats chew resistant, this looks like a good bet. Although maybe not strong enough for some dogs, I think itd fare alright at deterring and living up to the chewing of many cats.
Add A Furnace For Fido
You have a furnace to heat your house why not one for your beloved hound? Heaters designed for doghouses have safety features to protect your dog from burns and have chew-proof cord covers to keep him safe. These mini-furnaces have various temperature settings, mount on the wall or ceiling, and warm the doghouse to a specified temperature.
Shop now: ClimateRight Electric Heater for Dog Houses, $100
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Set Up Heaters Or Warming Pads
Depending on your budget, another great way to help keep outdoor cats warm is by having one of those enclosed oil-filled radiator heaters in your cat “closet.” Since they’re fully enclosed, you don’t run any risk of fires, and the cats enjoy the extra heat. They usually have a couple of buttons so that you can regulate the amount of heat generated. The units are normally set up to turn on and off when a particular set temperature is reached. They usually cost under $100 and last for many years. Most home improvement stores carry them.
Another similar idea you can go with is setting up some microwaveable heating pads in your shelters or carport. They only last for a handful of hours before they need to be reheatedusually a maximum of about 10 hours, depending on the brand and temperature outside. But they can be a cheaper option for those still looking to provide some additional heat to their cat shelters.
Heated pads are a great way to help keep cats warmeven if they’re indoor cats!
Your Thoughts On Bed Warmers For Cats
Have you ever bought or thought of buying a bed warmer for your cat? Which type were you thinking about grabbing an electric one or a self-warming type?
Were you looking for one for an indoor cat or an outdoor cat? And would you opt for a bed warmer thats waterproof, or do you think this is an unnecessary feature?
Have you ever DIYd, improvised, or grabbed a cat bed warmer before? What did you think of it? Did your cats love it or ignore it?
Love to hear your thoughts on the topic in the comments down below!
Dig KittyClysm? Check out all the other blogs I pen & photograph.
Elises Favourite Tip
One of the most frustrating problems Ive had to deal with as a pet parent is staying on top of my cats desire to play. While this is typically hard to do, toys like these that allow cats to play by themselves make the job one heck of a lot easier.
The hits in my household are ridiculously affordable: cat springs, ball track toys, & kick sticks. I have a slew scattered around the house, so when my cats get bored, even if Im busy or not even home, my furries are able to actively play.
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