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self heating "beds"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
They are not actually beds in that they are flat mats. I've purchased two kinds this winter. The "Purr Pads" are very inexpensive. They are rather rough feeling to me. But my cats like them and use them everyday. One is in an easy chair during the day and at night when I'm not using it. It keeps the cat hair off the chair, too, because it is a favorite spot for some of my cats to nap - at least lately. Three of my cats can be found in it everyday (one at a time). The other Purr Pad I keep on Tonya's bed (human bed) and she does use it. She doesn't use any other kind of bed. She is on it in the picture above by my name (bottom right hand picture).

The other self heating pads are called "Slumber Pet Thermal Cat Mat." I got them from Amazon, but they look just like others I've seen on pet supply sites. However, they were much less at Amazon. They have black wooly fabric on one side, and a gray and black animal print on the other. They are also very popular with my cats.

I like the idea of these mats because they don't use electricity. I do turn on a couple of electric blanket throws for my cats when I am home. But I don't feel it is safe when I am not there. I'd feel the same way about electric beds. My house temperature is down to 66 or 67 degrees during the day when I'm not home and at night when I am sleeping.

I am also wary of rice or buckwheat or whatever pads that get heated in the microwave. I use them myself for sore muscles. But, they don't stay hot all that long, and it is easy to overheat them.

So, I just thought I'd pass on my experience with these self-heating mats. This is the first winter I've tried them and I (more importantly my cats) like them.

post #2 of 10
I've been seeing these at Petco and could never make up my mind about them. They look like normal blankets, what about them increases the warmth from normal blankets? Is it just a really insulating, tight-knit blanket that doesn't allow body heat to pass through, or is there some other way of heating? I am also wary of using an electric blanekt/bed so this may be a good option for me.
post #3 of 10
I think they have a layer of foil inside (well, the "thermal mats" do, I don't know about the Purr Pads) to reflect the body heat. I honestly don't know if they're any warmer than a regular bed, but the cats seem to like them and they don't cost too much.
post #4 of 10
Self heating beds are lined with a heat reflective material inside. They do work.

I know because I make self warming beds for cats. (and have made a few for dogs too ) I use "space blanket" material, this:

here are some of the beds I've made

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes, as Willowy said the thermal mats have a "special thermal reflective core material" inside. They are not like a regular blanket. They are two layers with this stuff inside that sort of crackles when it is moved. The tag says it is 100% polyester, so not foil. These are machine washable (cold) with line dry (no dryer).

The Purr Pads are some kind of recycled polyester, too. They are not like a blanket, being thicker and not so flexible. They are one layer, though, and the material looks like it is spun (not woven). They are not machine washable. But you can spot clean them. But 2 of them are only $13.00.

I'll post some more pictures of my cats using them later. They are pretty constantly being used.

post #6 of 10
Well, it looks like foil when the bed is ripped. . .
post #7 of 10
The polyester part I think refers just to the sleeve itself.

I've used a space blanket to make a makeshift tent before, and they really are great radiant barriers.

I have the amazon one dark bottom w/ the animal print gray top, and while the entire top of my cabinets is lined with blankets, they choose to both lay on the spot where the self-heating bed is now that temps have dropped into the 60s.

Definitely a good product.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well maybe the 100% polyester on the tag only refers to the outer material. It sounds like a space blanket like foil thing inside with the way it crackles. I must have the same thing Ducman69 has. It was about $9.00 there, plus shipping (outside supplier). The same type of product from sites like Drs. Smith and Foster is at least $20.00.

However, Claudio was on a bed napping all afternoon (in Tonya's room where he isn't supposed to be). He chose to lie on the Purr Pad, for several hours, with the electric blanket turned on right next to him, which he ignored. Now the Purr Pad is just polyester. It is spun, as I described, with nothing in it and no layers. The only detail is that the edges are overcast with thread. But, still, these Purr Pads are very popular with my felines.

Your self-heating beds are very attractive, otto.

Claudio on Purr Pads today:

Ariel on Slumber Pet Thermal Cat Mat today:

And Lily on same:

post #9 of 10


Really like your cat beds, I want to make them for our local animal shelter. Can you give me any tips?  Are they expensive to make?

post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Cindy Munoz View Post

Really like your cat beds, I want to make them for our local animal shelter. Can you give me any tips?  Are they expensive to make?

Thank you!

I use cheap fleece blankets, wash them first. I do double them on each side. Cut to size and sew them, leaving one side open. Cut the space blanket fabric to size. My beds are self-warming on both sides so I use double space blanket fabric. However you can make one side self warming and the other not if you want.

When making it warming on both sides, double the space blanket material, then cut a slit in the fold, for ventilation.

I put the doubled piece of space blanket material inside the bed shell (silver side out), then stitch it in several places to the inside layer of blanket. Kind of a quilting effect. This keeps it from bunching up as time goes on or when being washed. 3 or 4 stitches across, 3 or 4 rows, depending on the size of the bed. Long threads, because the stitch goes from one side to the other leaving space in between for the stuffing. Again, you could stitch on either side, but this way works best for me.

My beds are all hand sewn. I had toyed with the idea of sewing the space blanket material in with the fleece, making it all a piece. But....(aside from being very difficult for arthritic hands) I think that would change the nature of the bed, and my cats (and other cats) do seem to like the beds the way I make them, they are pouffier because the space blanket liner is sort of loose/quilted inside, rather than stitched into the seams of the cover. If you are making quantities, and using a sewing machine, you could try sewing the lining to the other seams, but the bed wouldn't be as...pouffy. It wouldn't have the give that mine do.

After stitching the warming liner in place I stuff the bed with stuffing, inside the warming liner, though the stuffing will pouff out the sides and corners. When I first started making these beds I used old pillows, but those have long since been used up, I just use your basic polyester stuffing. I stuff it well, but not TOO full. The fleece I use has a stretch in one direction, so eventually the bed will flatten out a bit over time.

I use a tight blanket stitch on the final closing seam, including both edges of the space blanket liner in that seam, for the purpose of holding it all together inside even better.

I include washing instructions that state wash in gentle cycle, cold only. Short wash and rinse, mild detergent, NO fabric softener. Hang by the outside stitching to dry in a warm dry place. NO DRYER, and it may take couple days to dry because of the reflective fabric inside.

They are not difficult to do. One bed from cutting the material to finish, hand sewn, takes me two to three hours total, depending on how strong my fingers feel at the time. smile.gif

The fleece blankets I use are cheap, about $3-$4 each, and I can get one small and two larger beds from two blankets (since I double the fabric)

The space blanket material which I now get here:


are large, and even using doubled material I think I get five or maybe even 6 beds from one blanket. But since I don't stitch the liner into the seam, I use less liner.

The stuffing seems to go up in price every time I buy it. laughing02.gif

Others in this thread mentioned the crunching sound the self warming beds make, my cats really seem to like that aspect! smile.gif
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