Many cats and dogs just love curling up for a satisfying nap, in the warmest spot they can find. A pet heating pad is the perfect way to guarantee there’s a cozy place for them, whatever the weather. This can be especially useful for older pets, or those with a litter of puppies or kittens.
We reviewed dozens of pet heating pads to identify the best of the best. We looked at features such as the method of heat generation, whether the pad is waterproof, or has removable covers for washing. For electric pads, we also checked if the cables were chew-proof, a very important point if you have a dog who likes to gnaw on things!
Our Top Pick, the K&H Products Thermo-Kitty Heated Mat, stood out as a clear winner thanks to its wide range of features. These include a removable, washable cover. This pad is also thermostatically controlled, meaning it heats up to the body temperature of your cat, but won’t overheat above this. Many happy reviewers on Amazon note that their cats are in love with this pad.
The 5 Top-Rated Pet Heating Pads
|Best Overall||K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Heated Mat||4.4|
|Runner Up||Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad||4.4|
|Best Budget Buy||K&H Pet Products Self-Warming Pad||4.2|
|Best Cat Heating Pad||Purrfect Thermal Cat Mat||4.4|
|Best Dog Heating Pad||K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pad
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Mat
The K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Mat is a comfortable pad combines soft foam with a dual thermostat heater to create the ultimate in warmth and comfort for your pet. This pad is designed to heat up to between 12 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit above the ambient air temperature. Once your pet lies on the mat, it will warm up to 102 Fahrenheit, which is the normal body temperature of both cats and dogs.
The Thermo-Kitty mat comes with a removable cover, which makes it easy to wash. Simply remove the cover from the internal heating pad, before eashing the cover on a gentle cold wash. You can either line dry the cover, or put it through the no-heat cycle of your dryer. As well as being perfectly suited to any cat companions you may have, it’s also suitable for small to medium sized dogs.
If you would like to test your K&H Thermo-Kitty Mat before you set it up for your cat or small dog, simply switch it on, then place a large pillow on top of the pad. After 20 minutes, the pad should feel warm to the touch. Many of us know that cats can be fussy creatures, but the large number of happy cat owners leaving positive reviews about this heating pad certainly suggests it gets the feline seal of approval.
K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Mat Key Features:
- MET listed heater uses only 6 watts
- One year limited warranty
- Available in 2 colors: mocha, and sage
- Measures 12.5 inches x 25 inches
Our Runner Up Pick: Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad
If you like the idea of a pet heating pad, but would rather not leave an electric heating pad plugged in while you’re away from home, then the Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad is a great option. Simply heat up the pad in your microwave, to provide up to 10 hours of warmth. The length of time required to heat the pad will depend on the power of your microwave, but will range between 2.5 and 8 minutes. Be sure to let the pad cool down completely before reheating.
This pad is used and recommended by rescue centers, kennels, and catteries. It is a way to provide reliable comfort and warmth for newborn kittens and puppies, pets recovering from surgery, older pets, and those who live in cold environments. The pad an be placed under your pet’s normal blanket, or a few can be used together to cover a larger area.
Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad Key Features:
- Made in the UK
- Contains Thermapol, a non-toxic ingredient
- Washable and removable fleece cover
- Pad measures 11 inches across
Best Budget Pick: K&H Products Self-Warming Pad
If you’re looking for a budget pet heating pad, then a self-warming pad is a great choice. With no electrical components, heating time, or electricity costs associated with these pads, they’re extremely economical. The K&H Products Self-Warming Pad captures your pet’s body heat and radiates this warmth back to them.
The slit corners of this pad allow it to be easily slotted into a crate if that’s where your dog sleeps at night. This also means that whatever size you select, the pad will fit in a range of different locations. The soft microfleece top of this pad makes be an inviting place for your pet to sleep or rest. Due to the fact that this self-warming pet heating pad has no electrical components, it’s easy to simply throw in the wash for easy cleaning.
K&H Products Self-Warming Pad Key Features:
- No electricity costs
- Available in 3 colors: tan, gray, and mocha
- Machine washable
- Available in 6 sizes
Best Cat Heating Pad Pick: Purrfect Thermal Cat Mat
If you want to leave a cozy spot for your cat while you’re away from home, but don’t like the idea of leaving an electric pet heating pad plugged in, the Purrfect Thermal Cat Mat is a great idea. The lightweight core of this self-warming cat pad uses a lightweight core material, which reflects your cat’s own body heat, helping provide a soothing warm place for a cat nap.
This pad is available in two colors – leopard brown, or gray leopard. Both of these colors feature a reversible black berber fleece side, should you fancy a change. The durable fleece used is designed to be scratch and chew resistant, meaning this pad should last a long time, even with daily use.
Purrfect Thermal Cat Mat Key Features:
- Reversible pad, leopard print one side, and black fleece the other
- Machine washable
- Mat measures 17 inches by 19.5 inches
- No need for electricity
Best Dog Heating Pad Pick: K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pad
If you’re looking for a supportive heating pad for your outdoor dog, then the K&H Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor has all the features you require. This is the first heating pad designed for outdoor use which also combines an orthopedic foam pad. This means it is perfect for elderly dogs who live outdoors, and require both warmth and a supportive bed for their older joints.
The heat is thermostatically controlled, designed to never exceed the natural body temperature of your dog. Made from a soft, waterproof, and durable PVC material, this durable pad also comes with a free, machine-washable fleece cover. The 5.5 foot electricity cable is steel wrapped for extra safety. The low wattage of this heating pad means it’s an economical choice to run overnight to keep your outdoor dog warm and comfortable.
K&H Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pad Key Features:
- Available in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large
- Includes free fleece cover
- MET safety tested
- Uses only 40 watts
Who Should Buy a Pet Heating Pad
There are many applications for a pet heating pad, and any dog or cat owner will be bound to find them useful. If you have a female dog with a litter of puppies, a heating pad can be a great way to help them all feel safe and secure. When it comes time to wean the pups, heating pads can offer warmth, comfort, and reassurance as puppies adjust to life without their mother, and litter mates.
Dogs and cats who sleep outside during cold winter months can definitely benefit from the additional warmth that a heating pad can offer. The same is true for older cats and dogs, who may be suffering from arthritic and stiff joints.
If you work away from home for long hours, and would love to offer your beloved pet a comfortable spot to snooze while you’re away, then providing them with a heating pad could be the perfect choice. Those of us with cats know they love to find the warmest spot in the house, whether that’s a patch of sunshine on the floor, or a heating pad. If you have a small, thin-skinned dog, they can sometimes feel the cold. Popping a heating pad into their bed can make a big difference to their comfort levels. If you’re looking for a bed for your pet, check out our reviews of the best small dog beds and the best large dog beds.
Important Features to Consider
A pet heating pad should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a pet heating pad for your dog or cat:
- Heat source. Pet heating pads generate heat in a variety of ways. The types of pad we reviewed in this article include electric pads, microwaveable pads, and self-warming pads. Electric pads are excellent for generating a consistent level of heat over a long period of time. They also come in a wide range of sizes, to suit pets from kittens to Great Danes. Microwaveable pads will be smaller, and generate heat for less time before they need to be refreshed. Self-warming pads reflect the body heat of your pet to provide warmth.
- Size of pad. If you have a small cat and a large electric heating pad, then a lot of the heat generated will be wasted. Consider the size of your pet, and invest in an appropriately sized pad.
- Location of pad. Consider when you want to keep your pet’s heating pad. If you have dogs or cats which sleep outside, you may want to invest in a heating pad to keep them warm over the winter. If you decide to select an electric heating pad, be sure to choose one which is designed for outdoor use. These will come with reinforced cables.
- Safety tested. If you select an electrical heating pad, check that it’s been safety tested and certified. Many products from the US and Canada will be certified by MET laboratories. If you’re buying a heating pad from another country, make sure it’s been tested and certified by a nationally recognized electrical testing laboratory.
- Additional features. If your dog is prone to chewing items around their bed, consider selecting a self-heating pad which does not contain any electrical components. Some electric heating pads do offer cables with additional protection to prevent the interior from becoming damaged. Equally, if you intend to use a heating pad for your female dog and her puppies, selecting a waterproof pad could be a good idea, to prevent it becoming damaged if your puppies soil their bed. Some heating pads also come with removable covers, which makes them easier to keep clean and smelling fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pet heating pad and how does it work?
There are a number of different types of heating pads for pets, and the choice you make will depend on where and how you want to use a heating pad.
Electric pet heating pads are plugged into a power socket, and use electricity to generate heat, much like an electric throw blanket that you might use on your own bed in winter. These are a great choice, but if your dog is prone to chewing then the cable can present a danger. If you decide to select an electric heating pad, it’s best to choose one with a chew-proof cable, and a waterproof membrane to protect the electrical components in case your pet has an accident on the pad.
Another option is a microwaveable heating pad. These are easy and quick to use, and of course use less electricity as they only need a few minutes in the microwave to come up to temperature. These are a cheaper option to purchase than an electric heating pad, but will also usually be smaller. So if you have a larger pet, these may not provide enough heat to keep them warm overnight.
The last option is a self-warming pad. Also known as a thermal warming pad, they don’t require the use of any electricity at all. Instead they use a thermal filling, which helps to reflect your dog or cat’s body heat back into the bed, which helps to keep them warm and snug. Some pads have a removable cover which can be machine washed, others require hand washing.
Are heating pads safe for cats?
Heating pads which are specifically designed for pets are safe for cats. This is because they have been designed to heat up to a cat’s body temperature, and not above. This means that your cat will feel warm and snug, without the risk of overheating. Many are also designed with an auto-off feature, meaning you can safely leave it switched on to keep your cat warm when you’re out of the house.
Can you put a heating pad on a dog?
If your dog has had an injury, or surgery which requires rehabilitation, heat therapy can help. Dr Becker from Healthy Pets suggests that applying heat to the injured area can lower blood pressure, increase nerve conduction, increase blood vessel dilation, and improve the elasticity of fibrous tissue.
Before using a heating pad as a therapeutic device, be sure to speak to your veterinarian.
Apply the heating pad to your dog’s injured area for 10 – 15 minutes, frequently checking that the area is not becoming too hot. Place a towel or other piece of fabric between the pad and your dog’s skin. Don’t use a heating pad on your dog if they have had stitches, or have an open wound.
Does a heating pad help a dog’s arthritis?
Given that cold weather can aggravate conditions such as arthritis, then investing in a heating pad could definitely help to reduce your dog’s symptoms. The heat given off by a heating pad can help to increase blood flow, reduce stiffness, and relieve pain. A heated pad with a good level of padding, or placed within your dog’s normal bed, can also help reduce pressure on your dog’s joints.