It is time to prepare cat beds for winter for our outside cats. I spent some time yesterday getting things ready and documented my activities in a video.
How Do We Prepare Cat Beds For Winter?
Why Do We Need To Do Anything?
For the outside cats, the summer has been endless days of lazing in sunshine or shade. With the first frosts in our part of Italy firmly on the horizon, the nights are getting cold. Some of the days aren’t too warm either! To help the cats cope with the temperature we like to prepare cat beds for winter and get the cat garden prepared for whatever the weather throws at us.
The Cat Garden
I talked about my cat garden in a previous blog. It was mentioned several times in relation to Scrappy and the kittens. For people who don’t know the story, Scrappy is an outside cat who had five kittens and then got very sick. She had to have major surgery (being spayed at the same time) and I helped her look after her kittens until she was well enough to do it herself. There is a video playlist on YouTube that tells the story (and you get to see some really cute kittens as well). It is hard to believe the kittens are now six months old and about to be spayed and neutered themselves! Where did those months go?
The cat garden is not a place where the outside cats are shut in. We live in beautiful countryside surrounded by olive groves and woodland so the cats have lots of places to roam. However, there are hunting dogs during the hunting season and we have had problems with a pack of stray dogs wandering the mountainside. We lost several cats to dogs (without going into details). So we made a safe place, a fenced area with extra high fencing, leaving just cat sized holes for them to get through. We call it the cat garden.
The Cat Sleeping Area
We have provided the cats with a room all to themselves at the back of the house – it has an armchair, cat beds, etc and radiator pipes run through it which take the chill off. It has a window that they use to go in and out. But while a couple of the cats do sleep there, the majority want to sleep in the cat garden, under the outside stairs. Scrappy’s kittens were born there so I guess it makes sense. It is also near where they get fed!
How To Prepare Cat Beds For Winter
We collect bedding for the cat beds all year. Clothes that are not longer wanted but are not good enough to go to charity get stored for re-use as cat bedding. The same with old, long past their best, hand towels and any other material items that will work in a cat bed. The dogs help with this of course. They occasionally wreck something that I can re-use with the cats – like the two bath mats you can see me use in the video.
Thermal Reflecting Pads
An artist friend sent me a link to Ancol Self Heating Pet Pads that I bought from Amazon. But they are widely available and there are other makes available. These are great as they reflect the body heat of the animal back towards the body instead of letting it disperse so the animal stays warm. These are a great addition to the outside cat beds and we also use them in the dog beds indoors.
Thoughts On Choosing Outside Cat Beds
I talk about this in the video, it is important to have outdoor cat beds/houses with removal lids for cleaning, bedding change and dealing with emergencies.
The following video shows how I prepare cat beds for winter – yes, I sound breathless, I have had one or two problems with my lungs, all under control.
And what do the cats think? Well this morning I went down to check the cat garden and from the beds there was a very loud sound – purring!
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