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Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:58 pm
by Abbeydale
Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about ways to heat up my cat's sleeping place. It's a wicker basket next to the radiator, lined with 2 wool jumpers and a t-shirt plus some foam stuff. During the day when I'm in the radiator does the job, but at night and on days when I work at the office, I think she gets chilly. Rather than leave the heating on all day, I want to add heating to her bed.

My first idea is to put a hot water bottle, not very full, under the woolens before I leave the house or go to bed. But is that safe? Could she somehow claw through all the layers and a hot water bottle cover, burst it and burn herself? I guess I could put it inside something really tough like an old leather handbag.

I know pet heat pads exist, but I'd prefer the hot water bottle option if possible because it's cheaper and simpler. Just looking for assurance that it's not risking her in any way.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:42 pm
by Lilith
Hi there (and very glad Abbey's back with you! :D )

I don't think a cat could pierce a good-quality hotwater bottle, but you do need to wrap the bottle up well, and it won't keep its heat all day or night.

Would it break the bank to turn off the other radiators but keep on the one Abbey sleeps next to? (I appreciate the cost's awful these days :( )

There's an alternative to heated pads, and that's a thermal blanket. I tried to post a link but my pc wouldn't let me copy. I went on to Amazon/pet supplies and searched for self-heating/thermal blankets and found one for £6.65, free p&p; there's quite a choice. These are basically a fleece pillowcase containing a silver thermal pad and respond to the cat's body heat. They're very good.

When you think of how some cats can survive, roosting all night under cars on a cold street, a basket in even an unheated room is luxurious by comparison but yes, I'd feel the same as you, I like to know they've got a cosy bed to keep warm in in winter. Even if they don't always bother to use it :)

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:20 pm
by alanc
Maybe try getting a stone hot water bottle? I think they can be bought for about £10.00-£12.00. I defy any cat to scratch they way through one of those!

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:49 pm
by Ruth B
You can get the equivalent of a hot water bottle that you heat up in a microwave. I'm not sure what it contains but it isn't water, so might be safer.

Personally I am a big fan of a hot water bottle, for myself, not intentionally for the cats. Its filled at night, and put in its furry little cover under the duvet at the foot of the bed (i have feet that can radiate cold). By morning it is still remarkably warm. During the day, even with a duvet, a fleece and a fur bed throw between them and it the cats still seem to want to curl up against it, and even when it is taken out to be refilled it is still above ambient. So yes, well wrapped up it can stay warm for 24 hours. I very much doubt that a cat could claw it enough to leak, even if they did the water would most likely just ooze out and cool quickly as it did so. Also if you are only leaving it for 12 hours say, then you could start off with the water a lot cooler so even if it did leak it couldn't hurt them you would just have a lot of cat bedding to get dry.

If you have a spare hot water bottle and cover, why not try it with just hand hot tap water and see how long it stays warm for.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:01 pm
by Crewella
I use the Snugglesafe heat pads (heat in the microwave) for the outdoor cats on cold nights. They do hold their heat all night and are very good. ... e-heat-pad

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:57 pm
by Alice
Ruth is thinking of wheat bags - strong cotton fabric bags filled with wheat, and suitable for heating for 2 or 3 minutes in the microwave. I once bought one for £1 at a craft fair, which I sometimes heat and use to relieve a painful knee, and since then I've made dozens of them to sell for charity. They were very popular with older people who were uneasy about the risk of a rubber hot water bottle leaking or bursting. Until a year ago I could buy the loose wheat for 60p a kilo (ample for one bag) at a small local pet shop which has now closed, and I had plenty of suitable fabric. Care is needed not to leave the bag in the microwave too long - fire risk or of burning yourself in handling it.

I've not checked recently, but there were people selling them on the internet, but if you can find somewhere to buy the wheat and make one it's very much cheaper and you can make any shape/size you like. Pets at Home don't sell the wheat - a small shop is more likely to have it. I think it's sold for animal food - not sure for which animals. If you can get it, but have no suitable fabric I could send you a piece (unused).

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:01 pm
by bobbys girl
Would your cat use an igloo bed? She should be very cosy in one of those. My lot have a choice of 'beds' depending on the time of day and the weather. Purdy and Willow have been known to sneak into the airing cupboard. Nice and toasty for them - extra washing for me! :roll:

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:16 pm
by Ruth B
Glad to see someone can recognise what I was waffling about from my vague description.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:35 pm
by Abbeydale
You're all so helpful, thank you! I have a hot water bottle of my own. (My feet are icy as well.) So I'll let her 'borrow' that for a day or so and see how it goes. Mine stays warm-ish til morning too. The stone ones sound intriguing. I'll check those out and the heat pads too.

Alice, that's a really kind offer, thank you. I'll explore some options and may take you up on it. :)

I should admit to a slight ulterior motive which is keeping her from sleeping on the sofa or my bedding, because I'm a bit allergic. She tends to take my spot on the sofa when I go to bed because I've warmed it up for her.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:09 am
by Janey
I have a Snugglesafe for mine, they are very good and stay warm for hours.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:21 am
by MarkB
Re the heat reflective pads - you can get cheap ones in places like B&M, for about £8, but I found that some cats don't like them as they 'crinkle' - they do the job though. The original branded Flectabeds are the best though. They are nicely padded and seemingly indestructible. I bought ours about 9 years ago and they have been washed countless times, but still like new. Some places sell them with a fluffy 'sheepskin' cover, but the 'suedette' type cover seems to be the best. Size 1 is a bit on the small side, but size 2 (26 x 20") is perfect for most cats to stretch out. Not cheap @ around £30, but money well spent. Worth shopping around as prices vary.

There are also these Scruffs beds, which have a heat reflector in the base. ... 10TA4?th=1

Alice on her Flectabed, years ago - but the same pad is much used by the others still. I bought a 2nd one.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:39 pm
by Lilith
Aww lovely Alice! Just feel I could stretch out my hand and stroke that belly (though whether she'd allow it ...) :D

Hi, Abbeydale, these are stone hot water bottles -
stone age hotties.jpg
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I remember being given a stone hotwater bottle as a child, as you can imagine they're capable of staying VERY hot, and they're very stable; they have a flattened back so they can't roll. I was lucky to pick up these for a couple of quid each in charity shops over the years but as Alan says they'll be dearer these days. I've never actually used mine but they'd come in handy in a power cut; I'm glad to have them. They'd need to be well wrapped though.

We have a dispute at present; because I washed the throw on Molly's favourite chair, Molly doesn't like it any more and has nicked Emily's basket next to the radiator; luckily I've got one of those radiator hammocks on order but today Emmy's nicked her basket back so Molly's taken to roosting on top of the cupboard in the (unheated) bathroom.
molly in the bog.jpg
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She doesn't look too cross about it though :)

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:36 pm
by MarkB
She did used to allow it, but sadly we lost her almost 3 years ago now :cry: - She was a lovely cat.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:50 pm
by Abbeydale
"molly in the bog" - love it :D

I think my grandparents had one of those stone HWBs. Were they known as 'pigs'?

Alice is a gorgeous colour. Reminds me of Pushine, a cat my mum had when I was little, and also a tortoiseshell but shorthaired.

Update from the basket: Abby wasn't noticeably impressed with her hot waterbed, but she didn't pop it with her claws either, so I'll continue putting it in under her bedding.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:39 am
by Baggypants
I've got one of these heated beds for Elsie as she feels the cold. It's a bit pricey but she really loves it - it doesn't feel 'hot' to touch but once she gets on it you can feel it's really toastie. When it's very cold I leave it on all the time for her but at the moment I turn it off during the day otherwise she'd be on it all day, every day!! ... ed+cat+bed

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:03 pm
by Lilith
This thread's got me thinking about what I WOULD do if there was a lengthy power cut. Luckily I have a gas cooker; I could heat water and leave the oven on low as a radiator (I did last winter after my central heating broke down) although there's a vent at the back of cookers that sometimes needs updating for it to be safe to leave a cooker on for a long time; mine, as my gasman told me, wasn't, but it is now.

Of the two stone hotwater bottles, Shahi the royal python would have first dibs; well-wrapped up, one of these would heat his vivarium, then Emily who likes to sleep downstairs would have the other in her basket. Mouse kips on the duck feather duvet and Molly too sometimes; Molly likes to get UNDER the duvet - before 'Molly in the bog' there was the time she got under a fringed chair throw and posed with it round her shoulders for 'Molly in the shawl'. :lol:

But paws crossed nobody has any bad power outages this winter. :)

Edit - Baggypants, that looks like the Rolls-Royce of heated pads - and it's on offer too, £33 off, very tempting if money permits, nice cat pressie from Santa Claws :) I used to have a very basic one and they are brilliant, as you say, no heat until you put a hand or a cat on it and then you feel the warmth stealing to run too I imagine.

Hey Abbeydale I've never heard the stone hot water bottles being called 'pigs' but it's a perfect name for them :D

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:22 pm
by meriad
Lilith, if I have a lengthy power cut I'd more or less be up the creek without a paddle :D - EVERYTHING in my house runs off electricity. My only option would be to use the gas BBQ outside to heat up water and a tin of baked beans :D so at least I'd have that

Re the heated bed debate, I have two heat pads and one infrared heated bed. One of the headpads is in use in the lounge at the moment and the cats all love it and take turns lying on it. We're apparently in for a cold winter (sure I've heard that before!) so may get the other two out at some point as well. And I have two additional heat pads in hutch in the greenhouse that I use for underweight hedgehogs so could use them if there are no hogs in situ.

For me I have an electric blanket and when I switch that on before I go to bed, it doesn't take long and you'll usually find one or two cats on the bed.

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 11:29 am
by josephdenker
I think if you bought a good quality bottle, there would be no risk. She won't claw through all the layers and a hot water bottle cover. If you like to know about some durable water bottle, then go to

Re: Hot water bottle?

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 4:29 pm
by Catotum
For elderly, sick or just plain luxury loving cats, I go for the electric cat underblanket*. At £20-£30 these are not that expensive & so low voltage they cost little to run. I think it would be worth searching eBay. They go under another blanket & have a reinforced absolutely claw-proof cover for the cable in the vicinity of the bed.

If using any sort of hot water bottle, follow general advice for humans - DON'T use water hot enough to scald & do have it in its own cover - yes, for a cat it would need to be claw-impermeable. Otherwise, there are many suggestions already so I won't repeat them.

* No, I don't mean that do I? Not an electric cat, a cat electric underblanket ...

I too, have kept cats very cosy in a well made igloo. When I draped a little thermal blanket over the entrance it trapped all the cat heat inside & stayed warm. You'd need to be careful to buy one which was thick & big enough for the cat to curl up in. They are very variable. Also, a lot of the cheap ones have foam padding which just won't wash properly, buckling & never being the same again. Better ones will machine wash & tumble dry.