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Updated July 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for best orthopedic cat beds

Just like us, our feline friends develop aches and pains as they get older. While you can't stop the aging process, you can still improve your cat's quality of life by providing them with a comfortable place to rest those weary bones. Orthopedic cat beds are specially designed to alleviate discomfort in older, injured, or obese kitties, helping them enjoy more peaceful and restorative sleep.

The best orthopedic cat beds are generously padded to cushion achy joints and relieve pressure points. Most also have low, wide entry points, making it easier for felines to get in and out without unnecessary strain. What's more, many orthopedic cat beds are enhanced with a heating source for improved comfort and pain relief.

Orthopedic cat beds come in a host of styles. If you need help choosing the best option for your cat, read on. In this guide, we explore different construction materials, compare bolstered beds with open models, and cover other key considerations, such as size and cleaning ease.

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If you have multiple cats that enjoy cuddling together, choose a model large enough to accommodate all your catnapping companions.

Key considerations

Construction materials

Orthopedic cat beds generally consist of a thick foam base topped with soft and comfortable padding. As a rule of thumb, the denser the foam, the better the support.

The two most common types of foams used in orthopedic cat beds are high-density foam and memory foam. Both tend to retain shape well and don't easily compress under pressure. This creates a highly supportive surface that cushions aching joints and relieves pressure points, conditions conducive to a more comfortable rest.

Thickness

Not only does thicker foam provide superior support, but it also elevates the surface of the bed away from the floor, reducing the chances of cold seeping through the bottom. With that in mind, you don't want your orthopedic cat bed to be too thick either, as that can make it more difficult for your cat to climb in and out of.

Size

When it comes to orthopedic cat beds, selecting the right size isn't as straightforward as with regular cat beds. Stiff joints and achy muscles can make it difficult to get comfortable, and your cat may need to switch positions a few times before finding their sweet spot. Larger orthopedic cat beds can make moving around and changing positions that much easier. Models that are approximately double your cat's size are the way to go. To find the best fit for your feline, measure your cat from head to hip and double those numbers.

Bolsters

Some orthopedic cat beds come with bolsters, which give cats a comfortable spot to rest their heads. This can provide a sense of security for nervous kitties or make it more comfortable for those who prefer to snuggle into their beds. Obese cats or felines with breathing problems can also benefit from resting their heads on bolsters, as elevation often assists with keeping airways clear. On the other hand, cats who like to sprawl out may feel boxed in by bolsters. If you're unsure of your cat's preferences, consider a model with removable bolsters.

Cleaning

Old age and illness can make movement painful, which sometimes slows cats down to the point where they may not always reach the litter box in time. Some orthopedic cat beds feature water-resistant linings and removable, washing machine-safe covers. Even if accidents aren't a problem, shedding and general dirt still necessitate regular cleaning, and a removable cover makes the job that much easier.

Before you settle on an orthopedic cat bed, take a moment to make sure your model of choice has a low entry point for easy, strain-free access.

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Features

Heating source

Joint pain, muscle aches, and stiffness are frequently aggravated by cold. Some orthopedic cat beds are enhanced with a heating source to help ease pain and improve comfort. Heating sources typically come in the form of electrical heating elements that work similarly to regular heated blankets, or self heating fabrics that absorb and hold onto your cat's body heat for extra warmth.

Removable covers

As mentioned previously, some orthopedic cat beds come with removable covers for cleaning ease. Removable covers that are machine washable and zip on and off easily are a feature well worth seeking out, regardless of whether your kitty struggles with incontinence.

Hoods

Some cats prefer enclosed beds, while others simply enjoy snuggling up in their own private little space. Cat beds with hoods or an enclosed design can provide a safe and comfortable retreat for kitties who crave peace and quiet.

Color

Orthopedic cat beds are available in a variety of colors. Neutral colors tend to blend well with most decor styles, while darker shades are better able to camouflage dirt and stains.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Orthopedic cat beds can provide welcome relief for injured cats or felines recovering from surgery.
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Accessories

Joint supplements: Nutramax Laboratories Cosequin Tablet for Cats
Joint supplements for cats can boost your cat's quality of life by supporting cartilage production and preventing further deterioration of existing cartilage. This top seller comes in your choice of one or two containers.

Catnip: Holistic Blend Organic Catnip
Some cats may not warm up to their new bed right away. Sprinkling some catnip on your orthopedic cat bed is a surefire way to spark interest and may help win reluctant felines over.

Low-entry litter box: Kitty Go Here Senior Cat Litter Box
Stiff and achy joints can make it difficult for cats to climb in and out of high-walled litter boxes. A low-entry model like this one provides easy access that can help reduce strain and prevent accidents.

Orthopedic cat bed prices

Inexpensive: Simple, open orthopedic cat beds consisting of a foam block and a cover typically start out at around $15 to $20, depending on size and thickness.

Mid-range: Heated orthopedic cat beds (both electric and self-heating), models with bolsters or hoods, and those with thicker foam bases generally cost anywhere from $20 to $30.

Expensive: Larger orthopedic cat beds and premium memory foam models are usually priced at from $30 to $40 (or higher), depending on size and features.

If you have hard floors, place a blanket or mat underneath your orthopedic cat bed to keep cold from creeping in through the floor.

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Tips

  • Sprinkle on some catnip. If your cat is reluctant to use their new bed, sprinkling a little catnip on the surface might entice Fluffy to try it out.
  • Rest in peace. Getting quality shuteye can be difficult for cats suffering with aches and pains. Help your feline rest more peacefully by placing their bed in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home.
  • Cat in a blanket. Placing a soft blanket in your cat's orthopedic bed gives them something to snuggle up with. Blankets also can provide a barrier between your cat and the surface of the bed, helping it stay cleaner for longer.
  • Potty protection. If your orthopedic cat bed doesn't come with a waterproof lining and you're concerned about accidents, try placing a puppy training pad between the foam and the cover. This way, urine is less likely to soak through into the foam, and you can simply remove and wash the cover.
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With age, muscle mass dwindles, bones and joints weaken, circulation decreases, and healing takes longer than it used to. If your cat is seven years or older and displays common signs of aging, such as limited mobility and weight loss, it might be time to invest in an orthopedic cat bed.

FAQ

Q. Can young or healthy cats benefit from an orthopedic cat bed?

A. Absolutely! It's never too early to start taking better care of your cat's joints, bones, and muscles. Providing your cat with a supportive bed earlier in life may even help delay the onset of age-related aches and pains.

Q. How often should I replace my orthopedic cat bed?

A. This depends on a number of factors, including the foam density, thickness, and your cat's weight. As a rule of thumb, orthopedic cat beds should be replaced when they begin to lose shape or show signs of becoming compressed. Wear and tear, heavy soiling, and pest infestation may also necessitate replacement.

Q. How can I clean cat urine that's seeped into the foam of an orthopedic cat bed?

A. While prevention (in the form of waterproof linings) is always better than cure, you can still salvage your orthopedic cat bed if urine or other bodily fluids end up soaking into the foam. Enzymatic cleaners use a combination of natural enzymes and good bacteria to consume organic waste, such as urine and vomit, effectively eliminating odors and stains. To clean your orthopedic cat bed, apply a generous amount of enzymatic cleaner and allow the bed to dry. For more severe messes, you may need to repeat the process several times before odors and stains have been eliminated.

 

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