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8 Types of Cat Beds: Which One To Choose (With Pictures)

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

A Cat Resting on its Bed

If given the chance, your cat will likely snooze anywhere they can find space. However, if you want to upgrade their accommodations, you may decide it’s time to shop for a cat bed. In this article, you’ll learn about eight types of cat beds and which cats will appreciate them the most. We’ll also give you some pointers to help you decide which bed style to choose for your cat.

The 8 Types of Cat Beds

1. Cat Cave

Assembly required?: Not usually
Best for: all ages, cats that like to burrow and hide

Cat caves or cave beds come in many different, often adorable styles, all of which feature a padded sleeping area. Some look like cat sleeping bags, while others look like small structures with a single opening. They are a good option for cats that are shy or that like to burrow into bedding or laundry baskets for a nap. If you opt for a cave bed, double-check how easy it is to clean. Cat caves are less versatile than other bed types because they take up more space.


2. Heated Bed

Assembly required?: Not usually
Best for: Outdoor cats, senior cats, cats in cold climates

Heated beds come in either self-warming or electric varieties. Self-warming beds are usually made with a layer of reflective material that redistributes the cat’s body heat for warmth. Battery-powered or plug-in heated beds function like a human electric blanket, with a built-in heating element that can be switched on and off. For plug-in beds, look for safety features like an automatic shut-off to help avoid accidental burns. Heated beds are a good option for outdoor or barn cats and older cats that have trouble maintaining their temperature.


3. Orthopedic Bed

Assembly required?: Not usually
Best for: Senior cats, cats with back pain or arthritis

Orthopedic beds are specially designed to provide comfortable sleeping space for cats dealing with chronic pain, such as spinal or joint discomfort. The beds are usually in a pad style for easy access. They may contain orthopedic foam or a similar product to support the cat’s body during sleep. The foam interior may be difficult to clean, so consider adding a protective layer of potty pads if your older cat also suffers from incontinence or has trouble staying clean.


4. Window Perch


Assembly required?: Often
Best for: Adult cats, active cats

Window perches or hanging beds generally attach to a wall or window, providing the cat with a sleeping spot and a view. They can serve not only as nap locations but also as environmental enrichment for indoor cats, allowing them to watch birds and human activity outside. For safety, follow all directions for assembling and attaching these beds so your cat doesn’t take a tumble mid-snooze. Window perches work best for active, adult cats that can jump into them easily.


5. Cat Condo


Assembly required?: Usually
Best for: All ages, cats who like to scratch, climb, and hide

Cat condos are a type of simple cat furniture which typically consist of a solid frame and one or more separate sleep hideaways. They are often covered in carpet or sisal rope and double as scratching posts. These beds are generally higher-priced and take up the most room of any of the designs on our list. Some cat owners dislike having a large piece of cat furniture in plain sight, although modern kitty condos can be quite stylish. All sizes and ages of cats can usually use a cat condo, and they are excellent for multi-cat households.


6. Bolster Bed

Assembly required?: No
Best for: All ages

Bolster beds are sleeping pads that feature a raised edge around the outside. The classic round bolster bed is one of the first types that many people picture, but this style is also available in other shapes. Cats that like to cushion their heads on something while sleeping will appreciate the bolster bed. Depending on what type of filling they contain, the beds may be machine-washable or only have a removable cover.


7. Sleeping Pad

Assembly required?: No
Best for: All ages, giant cat breeds

The sleeping pad is versatile and can be used in a carrier, furniture, or cat shelf. It is simply a flat, padded surface made with a variety of fillings and covers. They are usually available in various sizes, making them a good option for giant cat breeds like Maine Coons that may not fit in more enclosed beds. Ease of cleaning is vital for these beds, especially with heavy shedding cats or kittens.


8. Elevated Bed

Assembly required?: Usually
Best for: All ages, mobile cats

Elevated cat beds are sometimes called pet cots. They usually consist of a simple frame with a breathable, sturdy fabric stretched across it. The cots allow airflow underneath, helping keep cats cool in hot weather. They also keep them off the cold floor in freezing temperatures. Some cats may not mind sleeping on the elevated bed frame, while others may prefer you add a layer of padding. Cats with mobility issues may have difficulty climbing into these beds, although they are usually only a few inches off the ground.

Choosing The Right Bed For Your Cat

As you can see, cat beds come in many forms. So how do you know which is the right choice for your cat?

Well, your cat’s preferred sleeping style will play a significant role in your decision. Does your cat like to curl up in a ball, stretch out, or burrow underneath the covers? Do you find them with their head on the pillow or snoozing on the cool floor? Pick a bed that allows them to sleep in a comfortable position.

The age and size of your cat will also impact your choice. Cats with mobility issues, either because they are overweight or older, will need a bed that’s easy to enter and exit. They may not be able to climb into the top level of a cat condo or jump up on a window perch.

How much space do you have for the cat bed, and where will you place it? Some styles of beds provide more flexibility than others. Practically speaking, you want a bed that’s easy to clean, but it’s more important for some cats than others. Kittens are pretty messy, as are older cats.

Finally, you want a bed you won’t mind having around the house. If you want something that matches your home decor, you’ll likely be able to find it, thanks to increasingly hip pet parents who don’t mind spending extra money on their kitty gear.

Conclusion

Your cat spends most of the day sleeping, meaning whatever bed you choose will get plenty of use! However, if you’re ever concerned that your cat seems to be sleeping more than usual, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian about it. It could just be that your cat loves the new bed you’ve bought, but it’s also essential to rule out any medical conditions.


Featured Image Credit: Arina Krasnikova, Pexels

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