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Ferral Warming Mat..Who Remembers?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I saw a post here last winter in regard to something you could put in the ferrals sleep area that they could lie on to help them retain body heat. And I remember looking at the website that someone had posted a link to but lost the information. It was a silver mat type thing and I remember the cost was very minimal. I want to get some of these for this winter....can someone help?
post #2 of 19
Yes...I remember that post. The mat/blanket is called a mylar blanket...it reflects warmth back to the animal (or person) rather than absorb the heat.

Have bought quite a few for my feral colony & lined their "dog" house with it outside.

Will look for an old bill & post the web site/link. OR -- do a quick search on mylar blankets...a bunch of sites will come up. They are fairly inexpensive...ranging from $3.95 to $6.95.
post #3 of 19
Just found the site where I bought my mylar blankets from:

http://www.healthyharvest.com/index.php?main_page=index
post #4 of 19
Heres what i found

Solar heating

What a stroke of genius! Debbie Peterson of the Chicagoland Stray Cat Coalition uses solar pool covers/blankets to keep her ferals warm during winter. Solar pool covers are used to attract and retain heat from the sun, to keep water in swimming pools warm. Debbie saw them as a way to upgrade her feral cat houses to solar energy! On a 10°F night the temperature inside could easily reach 70°F! Torn but usable solar pool covers can be found curbside on suburban garbage pick-up days. Purchased new, prices vary based on construction and thickness. A 15 mil premium-grade 12' round blanket costs $32. Cut them with standard household scissors. Drape one over your feral cat house silver-side down, and the purring will start. Aim for full exposure to the south. Check the temperature until you know how much heat is generated; it may become too warm inside on milder days! Consider setting up a solar feeding station a distance from the sleeping area. FAQs

Fast & Functional
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! Last winter these cats had to find their own shelter. Mostly they went under our house or my mother in laws house (her house was built with a little space under the flooring and they can crawl through there into her car shed. Its an old country home. I think they liked going there because she has this huge furnance that sits on the floor in the center of her home and its probably warm under that floor board.

This summer my husband and I fixed up this old doghouse he had built years ago for his daughters dogs. Its not really high but long. We lined it with this pink insulation mentioned on one of the cat sites and have hay in there too. I thought if I could just get some of those mats, that would really help. Thanks for investigating for me!

The thermal pool covers sounds like a really neat idea. Not many people out here in the hills have pools though and to tell you the truth I dont know any stores around here who even sell pool stuff...but im going to keep it in mind and keep my eyes open.

You guys are great!
post #6 of 19
The mylar blankets are also called "space blankets". You can usually find them in the camping supplies at any Wal-mart as they're a staple of survival and emergency kits.
post #7 of 19
I found them at Meijers Camping Section too. They are often sold as Emergency Blankets too, or Camping Blanket. I have seen them at Walmart too, and in both stores, they run less than $3 each. They are quite big, and I use them in boxes that I make as kitty shelters for our local Feral Kitty Colony at the grainmill at the edge of our town. I use VERY heavy black vinyl (found at Home Depot in their paint dept. with the disposeable drop cloths) Also, duct tape, styrofoam sheets (also found at Home Depot in the insulation aisle) and then heavy cardboard boxes. I cut the styrofoam sheets to the size of the "floor" of the box. Then put some newspaper sections (they can be removed easily, if needed, and I check the boxes daily, but if you can't check the boxes daily, don't use newspaper!) and I put the Mylar, also cut to size, in between the top newspaper layers. I went to Salvation Army Thrift store, and asked for woolen rags, or pure woolen clothing, I could "piece up" into woolen rags. They gave me a HUGE bag of them! I put them in on top of the newspaper and I also check them daily, but pure wool, wicks moisture away. You can also attach the Mylar on the "walls" of your box on the inside to help reflect heat. I then close the box and cut a hole in the front, for a door, then use duct tape to keep it all in place, like how I want it. Then, I cover the entire outside with the heavy weight black vinyl and and use duct tape to keep it all together. I used these all last winter, and they are in a protected place at the grainmill, with 3 walls and a roof. They are still VERY useable this year, and I just took all the woolen rags out, and replaced them this past weekend, and added a few new shelter boxes.
Here's a pic of it, and my little KatyKitty is "testing" it out!
post #8 of 19
I also saw them listed on Ebay. They sell them several to a "Lot" and they are often very reasonable this way!
I bought some over the summer, when I started making the kitty shelter boxes for this year (see my above posting answer, for using just a good heavy cardboard box for a shelter! )
post #9 of 19
I am ordering the mylar blankets.Thanks for wonderful ideas. I don't have much time on here but I really needed to thank you. I have racked my brain thinking of things to put on the cats houses. I have a 2 year old that hates me on the computer.
post #10 of 19
Someone mentioned that they do not have pool stores in their area. I've found that the cheapest place to get a solar blanket typically used for pools, is on ebay. Just do a search for "solar blanket or "solar cover"

I have a question about the mylar blankets. I bought one of the heavy duty ones. It has a red vinyl-type side, and then the silver reflective side. which side should be facing the cats? I just don't see how this thing could actually work to warm them up, if the sun is not directly hitting it.

Thanks!
post #11 of 19
This is from Neighborhood Cats:

Extreme Cold
Claudia Hickling of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, lines the interior walls of her styrofoam shelters with a Mylar reflective blanket, which can be bought at survival stores as thermal safety blankets for people (in case your car gets stuck in the cold.) The Mylar reflects the cat's body heat back onto him and can make the difference in extreme temperatures, particularly in the more northern states and Canada.

Caretakers have reported the Mylar blankets are also effective when laid on the floor of the shelter. They don't absorb and take away body heat like ordinary blankets when a cat lies on top because the Mylar reflects the heat back.

Here's one (untried) source - The Country Store - for ordering large Mylar blankets at very low cost ($1.50 to $1.95 each):
http://www.healthyharvest.com/produc...roducts_id=690

Another blanket-type product reported to do a good job of warming cats in shelters is the "Flexi-Mat Mysterious Purr Pad" available at Petco. Made of polyester fibers, it absorbs then holds body heat. To order online from Petco (a pack of two sells for approximately $10):
http://www.petco.com/product_info.as...5&dept_id=%2D2

http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/info/wintershelter.htm
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
This is from Neighborhood Cats:

Extreme Cold
Claudia Hickling of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, lines the interior walls of her styrofoam shelters with a Mylar reflective blanket, which can be bought at survival stores as thermal safety blankets for people (in case your car gets stuck in the cold.) The Mylar reflects the cat's body heat back onto him and can make the difference in extreme temperatures, particularly in the more northern states and Canada.

Caretakers have reported the Mylar blankets are also effective when laid on the floor of the shelter. They don't absorb and take away body heat like ordinary blankets when a cat lies on top because the Mylar reflects the heat back.

Here's one (untried) source - The Country Store - for ordering large Mylar blankets at very low cost ($1.50 to $1.95 each):
http://www.healthyharvest.com/produc...roducts_id=690

Another blanket-type product reported to do a good job of warming cats in shelters is the "Flexi-Mat Mysterious Purr Pad" available at Petco. Made of polyester fibers, it absorbs then holds body heat. To order online from Petco (a pack of two sells for approximately $10):
http://www.petco.com/product_info.as...5&dept_id=%2D2

http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/info/wintershelter.htm
i bought one of the "heavy duty" mylar blankets from www.healthyharvest.com. it has a plastic-y red side, and then the silver shiny side. which side should be facing the cats?
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by philad_dr
i bought one of the "heavy duty" mylar blankets from www.healthyharvest.com. it has a plastic-y red side, and then the silver shiny side. which side should be facing the cats?

I believe the mylar is the shiny side...which is the side you should have facing the cats.

Katie
post #14 of 19
We used to use those big throwaway styrofoam ice chests. We would cut holes in them, line the inside with straw, stack them on several pallets nailed together with plywood over the top to form the base, then anchor them down on the pallet. The cats would go in there when the snow hit and we always placed the beds in a sheltered area outside so the snow wouldn't get to it. I placed straw all the way around the pallets as well to keep their feet warm and dry.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
I believe the mylar is the shiny side...which is the side you should have facing the cats.

Katie
that makes sense! i just realized, the cheap, non-heavy duty mylar blankets are just silver on both sides. i almost think the cheaper ones would work better than the one i bought
post #16 of 19
I have a question about the mylar. I have been making little beds to put in the feral cat's houses and my indoor cats are trying to eat the stuff. So I am wondering if the cats outside eat it,will it hurt them? I had surgery on one of my cats a few years ago, because she ate Easter grass from the kids baskets. The vet told me she would have died if we had not found the problem in time. Sorry if this is a stupid question.
post #17 of 19
Hi Darla. I don't know how harmful it'd be if the cats ate the mylar. However, I bought the "heavy duty mylar blanket" for that country store website, and it's very think and definitely not something they can rip and eat. Here's the link:
http://www.healthyharvest.com/index....oducts_id=3156


Quote:
Originally Posted by Darla S
I have a question about the mylar. I have been making little beds to put in the feral cat's houses and my indoor cats are trying to eat the stuff. So I am wondering if the cats outside eat it,will it hurt them? I had surgery on one of my cats a few years ago, because she ate Easter grass from the kids baskets. The vet told me she would have died if we had not found the problem in time. Sorry if this is a stupid question.
post #18 of 19
Thanks I can't imagine them eating it, but Sissy was chewing on the edges while I was making the feral beds. But she is pretty much in some kind of trouble all the time. She digs through the cabinets and opens food. Not cat food but cookies and crackers. Stuff like that. She is diabetic so I think she craves different things. I will try to get some of the thicker mylar blankets, but I have already spent so much on them. Oh well here we go again. I appreciate you helping!!!!
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesali
Yes...I remember that post. The mat/blanket is called a mylar blanket...it reflects warmth back to the animal (or person) rather than absorb the heat.

Have bought quite a few for my feral colony & lined their "dog" house with it outside.

Will look for an old bill & post the web site/link. OR -- do a quick search on mylar blankets...a bunch of sites will come up. They are fairly inexpensive...ranging from $3.95 to $6.95.

I used something from the hardware store - the stuff you wrap your
hot water heater in - basically bubble wrap with a foil reflective surface.
You can get it at home depot, Lowes or hardware stores. Costs about 3
dollars a yard.

Insulates AND reflects heat back. Line a box or shelter on all sides with that
stuff - it REALLY works.
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