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10 Typical Types of Cat Beds (With Pictures)

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on May 2, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

Male marble cat lying in cat bed

10 Typical Types of Cat Beds (With Pictures)

Cat owners will know that cats all have their own resting and sleeping preferences, and some cats can be rather picky about only sleeping on certain types of beds. While it’s fine to have cats rest on your furniture, cat beds can help reduce the amount of hair you’ll find on your furniture and clothes. They’re also specially designed to bring more comfort to your cats. So, having a cat bed (or two!) can really benefit both you and your cat.

Here are some of the most typical types of cat beds you’ll find. Each one has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to know your options to find a bed that’s perfect for your cat.

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The 10 Typical Types of Cat Beds

1. Bolster Bed

Orange ginger cat sleeps in cat bed
Image Credit: Alena Ozerova, Shutterstock

Bolster beds are one of the most common cat beds you’ll find in pet stores. It has a plush cushion base and raised sides for back support. The shape of bolster beds helps cradle cats and also retains warmth. So, they’re often a popular option for cat breeds with short or very little hair, like Sphynxes.

While bolster beds feel like being wrapped in a warm hug, they can also become too hot for some cats. Cats also won’t be able to sprawl or lay on their sides in a bolster bed, so they can feel cramped.

Pros
  • Provides back support
  • Creates warmth
  • Comfortable, soft and plush
Cons

2. Cat Mat

Cat on a mat
Image Credit By: tovsla, Shutterstock

Cat mats are the preferred choice for cats that like to lay on their sides. They don’t have much back support, but this usually isn’t a problem if your cat likes to sprawl out when it sleeps.

Cat mats don’t trap as much heat, so it’s an ideal bed for the summer season when the days are hot. Also, as long as you don’t get a fancy mat with a thick memory foam cushion, cat mats are usually very affordable and reasonably priced.

You can also quickly roll them up or slide them under furniture if you want to clear up your space when guests visit your home.

Pros
  • Ideal for sprawling
  • Doesn’t overheat
  • Affordable option
  • Easy to store away
Cons
  • No back supports
  • Not plush

3. Bowl Bed

hairless-sphynx-cat-in-hepper-nest-bed

Bowl pet beds have become increasingly popular over the years. These beds help cats feel safe by surrounding them with high sides. They retain a lot of warmth and are usually made with soft yet sturdy material.

When you’re shopping for a bowl bed, make sure to find a bed that uses high-quality materials. Cheaper models use polyfill, which means they’ll quickly lose their shape.

Pros
  • Helps cats feel safe
  • Retains warmth
  • Soft
  • Portable
Cons
  • Can lose shape if you don’t choose a high-quality bed

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4. Cave Bed

Timid or shy cats will enjoy having a cave bed around the house. These types of beds are usually dome-shaped and have a small hole for an entrance. It provides a dim atmosphere where cats can feel safe and sleep undisturbed.

While cave beds come in various sizes, it can be difficult to find one large enough for bigger cat breeds, like Maine Coons. If you do manage to find one that’s big enough, it usually ends up looking very bulky and takes up a lot of space.

Pros
  • Hideaway for shy cats
  • Many fun designs
Cons
  • Difficult to find size for big cats
  • Can be bulky

5. Ball Bed

A ball bed is a fun and interactive cat bed, so it’s a great option for playful cats. These beds roll around and have two exits so that your cat can quickly jump in and out of them. They do lack cushioning, but because they’re usually made with thin and flexible material, they’re very easy to wash. They’re often machine washable and can also go into the dryer.

Pros
  • Two exits
  • Interactive
  • Easy to wash
Cons
  • Lacks cushioning

6. Box Bed

Box Bed

Box beds are another excellent hideaway for shy or reserved cats. They also have a very sturdy and solid base, so you could also place them on platforms and shelves if you think your cat would enjoy a space with a higher vantage point.

Box beds are a nice alternative to cave beds and ball beds because they also have sturdy sides that can support your cat’s back. You can also find cheaper box beds made with recycled cardboard, so they’re a great choice if you want to shop consciously.

It can be difficult to clean up large messes in box beds because they won’t fit in your washing machine. However, if you end up using an affordable cardboard box bed, it’s easily replaceable.

Pros
  • Provides back support
  • Hideaway for shy cats
  • Safe to put on platforms
Cons
  • Lacks cushioning
  • Difficult to clean thoroughly

7. Orthopedic Bed

Orthopedic Bed

Senior cats can start to develop joint issues and arthritis, so many will appreciate the comforts of an orthopedic bed. While these beds can be the most expensive types of cat beds, they’re very durable and last a long time.

High-quality orthopedic beds can help cats experience some alleviation from joint pain. Since they’re so comfortable, they also help promote better sleep.

Pros
  • Can help alleviate some joint pain
  • Comfortable for senior cats
  • Durable and long-lasting
Cons
  • Relatively expensive

8. Window Perch Bed

How to Make a Window Perch for Your Cat
Image Credit By: marthastewart

If you have a cat that follows the sunlight around your house and basks in it, it may enjoy having a window perch bed. These beds do require some assembly to ensure that they can safely hold your cat’s weight and not damage your window frames. However, they’re perfect spots for cats to sit and watch the outside world and sprawl and lay down comfortably if they want to rest.

Most window perches aren’t sold with cushions. So, if your cat likes lying on soft things, you’ll have to purchase a separate pillow or bedding.

Pros
  • Ideal for sprawling
  • Ideal for sunbathing cats
  • Lets cats observe outside
Cons
  • Assembly required
  • Lacks cushioning

9. Cat Tree

DIY Cat Tree for Not Much Money at All
Image Credit By: Autodesk Instructables

Cat trees can act as both beds for your cats and interior decoration. They’re a great option if you have multiple cats in your home because you can stack several different beds in one area. While they’re more expensive than other kinds of beds, you can usually find cat trees that have multiple kinds of beds, like hammocks, perches, and box beds.

Cat trees also usually come with a scratching post, and they encourage cats to climb and get some exercise. So, it really doesn’t hurt to have a cat tree in the home, and you can usually find one that matches your living space colors.

Pros
  • Encourages cats to climb
  • Usually comes with a scratching post
  • Ideal for multi-cat homes
Cons
  • Relatively expensive

10. Hammock Bed

Cat Hammock
Image Credit: matayamade

Hammock beds are relatively affordable and are a great option for cats who like to curl up but get overheated easily. They help cats feel safe by cradling them, and you can also store them away easily.

When shopping for hammock beds, it’s usually a good idea to spend a little more on a high-quality one because poorly made hammocks are made with cheap fabric that will easily stretch out and lose their shape.

Pros
  • Helps cats feel safe
  • Can store away easily
  • Relatively affordable
Cons
  • Can stretch and lose shape quickly

Conclusion

Different cat beds serve different functions, so it doesn’t hurt to have a small variety of beds in your home. Cat beds can significantly improve your cat’s quality of life, and they can also be fun elements to add to the interior design of your living spaces. So, take some time to explore your options and discover what kinds of beds your cats will appreciate and enjoy.


Featured Image Credit: Iva Vagnerova, Shutterstock

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