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Safe to keep heating pad on?

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
Isabelle

Do I smell- treats??
 
 
Purred: Sat Oct 9, '10 6:50pm PST 
Isabelle has a heating pad for her hut (fabric "cave" with a fleece pad in the bottom) and I've turned it on now that it's cooler out. She LOVES it and I'm pretty sure she sleeps in it all day when I'm gone. It was one specifically for pet beds, not a human one. It gets warm (I can feel the warmth on her fur when she comes out) but it's not scorching. Can I keep it on 24-7? thinking I check it every day, but still worry a little about it being on all the time. But then if I turn it off when I'm not home, my little cave-dweller won't be as cozy! confused

What do ya'll think?
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Lacey

Backflips are my- specialty!
 
 
Purred: Sat Oct 9, '10 6:54pm PST 
Hi Isabelle! I know you won't be as cozy but I would never trust to leave any electrical appliance on without anyone home to supervise. You'll be plenty toasty if the house catches on fire from a short or something. You just can't predict something like that happening and if the product is defective in any way, then eek
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Olivia,- Tanner, &- Finn

The Dyna Cats!
 
 
Purred: Sat Oct 9, '10 8:11pm PST 
I agree with Lacey. It's too risky to leave any electrical appliances on when no one is home to make sure that they are working properly. Unless the temperatures are truly frigid - many degrees below zero for example - or your little fur girl is elderly or ill and therefore less able to regulate her body temperature, the heating element is not truly necessary (though I'm sure it is appreciated, as we all know how our little purr babies love to be toasty warm), and the risks, of fire, etc. would not be worth it to me. You could, however, put a comfy perch in a sunny window and cover it with a black or dark-colored cloth to draw the heat, or if you think it's really necessary, you could try those rice-filled cloths that are used as bread warmers. You microwave them and they stay toasty for several hours, but don't get hot enough to burn, and there is no electrical element to pose a risk.
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Isabelle

Do I smell- treats??
 
 
Purred: Sat Oct 9, '10 9:19pm PST 
Well poop. laugh out loud I know you are right, was just hoping I wouldn't have to take away her heating pad.

Hey, so what about those hand warmer packages you put in your gloves/boots in winter? They claim to be non-toxic, all natural, etc. But they're air-activated, so wonder if they'd work under a fleece pad??

Oh my, I really am overthinking this, aren't I? My husband would just die if he knew what I was contemplating right now!! big laugh
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Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
 
 
Purred: Sat Oct 9, '10 9:28pm PST 
This is Delyte. We have two of those heated catbeds, and they are specially designed to be operated constantly and have reinforced wiring that lasts for years. If you get a new one, you would have less worry about them. Our person had unplugged them over the summer, but she put one back on for me last month, and I lay in it about half the day.

We don't have any windows that get much sun in the summer--we have to keep them covered to keep the AC bills low. In the winter we have sun, if there is any outside, but she hates to have people looking inside. The Grays have been shredding the mylar curtains that we use to keep the sunlight out so the place looks like a shack right now. And now we aren't allowed to go in the bedroom, where it is sunny in the afternoon, except me, because the Grays have been tearing clothes out of the closets and have gotten into the jewelry. I don't know what gets into those monsters--I never did anything like that! [I just destroyed the padded furniture! shock ]
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Little Boy- Blue PAWS

The Blue Dude
 
 
Purred: Sun Oct 10, '10 7:55am PST 
This is Blue's mom. I used to have one of those heated cat beds - the kind that has a small transformer between the bed and the plug. One morning, I awakened early to the smell of something overheating: the transformer was hot. So I don't use those kind any more.

What I've been doing for *years* is to buy regular cat beds - foam with removable, washable liners, not pillows - and inserting a regular heating pad underneath, set mostly on Low. The cats love them! I leave them on all winter, checking every so often to make sure they're still in good condition. The hard part these days is finding heating pads that do NOT have an automatic shutoff. How's Blue going to stay warm if the heating pad turns off after just 2 hours? The "old fashioned" kind are harder to find, but worth it. I will NOT buy the auto-shutoff ones.

Now, there is another option: there are self-heating pads that have no electric; they're made with some sort of reflective material inside that reflects the cat's body heat back to the cat. They're a real option for you.

And another thought I had but haven't experimented with yet: I read that those "memory foam" articles - mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows - actually hold body heat. (Which is why I won't buy a mattress topper with it.) You might buy a pillow, which isn't too expensive, and see if that's acceptable. Besides being soft, it should be warm. I believe there are even pet beds made with it - although they might be prohibitively expensive.

There are some choices for you. My family likes the heating pads, but in the end, you have to what you feel safe with. (Ever leave a slow-cooker on?)

Edited by author Sun Oct 10, '10 7:59am PST

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Olivia,- Tanner, &- Finn

The Dyna Cats!
 
 
Purred: Sun Oct 10, '10 11:31am PST 
I definitely wouldn't use those hand or boot warmers that you activate by agitating them. Heaven forbid the cat would decide to chew on them - who knows what is really in there, but I can't imagine it would be safe to ingest.
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Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
 
 
Purred: Sun Oct 10, '10 11:53am PST 
This is Delyte. It is definitely NOT safer to use a human heating pad for a cat than the ones designed for cat beds. The human ones get much hotter, even at the lowest setting, and if they do not have a shut-off they are much more dangerous. That is why the newer ones have the automatic shut-off, because people would go to bed with them on and burn themselves. Just because one cat bed had problems does not mean they are not safe.

If you want to be even more careful, you can buy one of the heating pads designed to be used outdoors. They have superinsulated everything, in case they get wet, and are designed to be put outside for ferals or to be used in wildlife rehab scenarios. They are also super tough so they cannot be torn apart--well, not very easily. Those chemical warmers that you shake would be very dangerous for a kitty because of the chemicals inside, and they do not last long.

I do love my heated cat beds, even though I had a very unfortunate accident with another kind of heating pad. After I had my surgery in 2005, the vet's staff put some kind of heating device in my bed to help me warm up after the anesthetic, because you get terrible shivers from it. Somehow I ended up with a 3rd degree burn on my tummy, right near the surgical scar. This was very painful and took longer to heal than the scar itself. When it did finally heal, it left a tuft of white fur on my all black body, a sign that damage had been done to the skin. The vet refuses to admit that they did it, but another vet that I saw in an emergency vet site found the burn. Our person had been told not to let me lay on my heated cat bed or a heating pad because it would interfere with the healing of the scar, so they were all turned off.
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Lacey

Backflips are my- specialty!
 
 
Purred: Sun Oct 10, '10 1:40pm PST 
I just don't trust anything to be safe enough to leave it on like that. I really don't. Every single day there is something being recalled in the news because of child safety! I wonder how many things that have been or should have been recalled in the past for animal safety that we were never even informed about?! Nope, my kitties are my children and I wouldn't leave something like that on for a human child so I won't do it for them either. Plus if my house burns down, my elderly parents will never make it out in time. I perish the thought of something like that happening.eek
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Little Boy- Blue PAWS

The Blue Dude
 
 
Purred: Sun Oct 10, '10 4:52pm PST 
Delyte, I'm not arguing with you, but it's not merely *one* heating pad that Mom has been using. There are four, and all have, during the winter, stayed on. We do not lie directly on the pad! The pad is in the cover that comes with it, and it's put beneath the cover of the bed, so there are two layers of fabric between the pad and our bodies. And not only has this been done in this house, but also in our cabin in the mountains; there are three of them there. We have never, ever had a burn. The ones designed for pets - they have those little transformers, and that's what started to overheat one night; had Mom not awoken and smelled it, it might have caught fire. That scared her plenty! shock That's why she won't use that kind any more. I guess it's a matter of what works for each of us.way to go
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