Interesting Facts

Is it Safe for Cats and Kittens to Use Heating Pads?

My cat is sleeping on the heating pad
Written by Clair Chesterman

Cats are attracted to things that emit heat like heating pads, which will make you wonder if using heating pads are safe for cats.

Cats generally prefer warm environments. If you observe your cat’s favorite spots in the house, these are most likely sunny locations. The primary reason for this behavior is due to your pet’s lineage. Cats developed from wildcats that live in desert environments.

Cats also have 102 degrees Fahrenheit internal body temperature, which is higher than humans. Therefore, they must adapt to greater heat loss.

What Are Heating Pads and Are They Safe to Use?

A cat heating pad is a small cushioned device that maintains your pet cat warm as it rests. These pads are appropriate for cats of all ages and at any time of year. Most cats will appreciate them more when the weather becomes cold.

Heating pads are fairly safe for cats and kittens when set to a mild or warm temperature. If your cat is utilizing a heating pad or similar heat source, it is ideal for you to supervise.

You shouldn’t let your cat lay directly on the heating pad or leave him in the heat for too long. Setting the heating pad for around 20 to 30 minutes is great. You can also place a thick blanket or piece of fabric on top of a warm heating pad.

When Should Heating Pads be Used on Cats and Kittens?

There are a few occasions when having a heating pad or other hot item ready for cats and kittens is a smart idea.

Cats Suffering From Arthritis

Heat therapy can help arthritis-affected cats minimize discomfort, stiffness, and muscular spasms. You can place a heating pad on your cat’s bed. Set it on the lowest setting for 20 to 30 minutes and cover it with a thin blanket for your cat to rest on.

Orphaned Kittens 

If you are caring for orphaned kittens, it is critical that you supply them with a heat source in addition to their mother’s body heat.

Create a kitten-proof area with a heating pad set on low and a nice blanket covering it. Check up on the kittens frequently and monitor them while using the heating pad.

Winter Season

It is also preferable to use heating pads during the winter season. Cats seek warmth as the weather gets colder. 

You can also provide a refuge for feral cats in your area. Put a heating pad in a warm covered box. Cut a small hole at the box’s end, insert a waterproof outdoor electrical cord, and sandwich a heating pad between a carpet square and a blanket.

Set it to a low setting and set a timer to turn it on at dark and off the next morning. Make sure it’s in a dry, covered area, such as a porch, covered patio, or storage shed.

Sick Cats

Heating pads are beneficial to sick cats because they supply the required warmth to the cat’s body, allowing him to be more comfortable. During the winter season, your cat will be more prone to disease.

However, if your pet is given a heating pad to lie on while indoors, he will get adequate rest and it will also boost his immune system.

Human Heating Pad VS Pet Heating Pad

The heated cat pad provides mild heat that is comparable to the body temperature of a dog or cat. For a pet’s skin, a regular human heating pad will be far too hot, making the animal afraid of the heat source.

Heating pads created specifically for pets can be used safely by cats. This is so that they can heat up to a cat’s body temperature, not above it. This minimizes the chance of your cat being overheated while keeping them warm and cozy.

Potential Risks of Heating Pads

Heating pads are relatively safe for cats, but you should be aware of the following potential risks:


Cats should spend no more than 15 to 20 minutes on a heating pad. If he spends more time sleeping or reclining on top of the heating pad, he may get his skin burned and suffer from internal organ damage. 


While dogs are more likely to chew on things, a curious cat may regard the heating pad’s cable as a pleasant treat or toy. Thus, the heating pad can be an electrocution hazard for both you and your cat.

Instead of purchasing an electric heating pad, you might want to look at other solutions. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep a tight eye on your cat and monitor the heating pad frequently for signs of damage, particularly along the cords.


Strangulation is another concern related to electric heating pads for cats. These devices are generally equipped with extensive cords that constitute a strangling risk. Your cat may play with the cord and perhaps strangle himself if it becomes twisted around him.

Intestinal Blockage

Your cats can tear and chew the fabric covering the wires and heating materials of the pad. If they eat these parts, it can cause a choking hazard and intestinal blockage as it can go through your cat’s digestive system.

Bottom Line

Consider your cat’s typical behavior, particularly around electrical cables, before purchasing a heating pad. You should also periodically check the heating pad’s temperature to avoid overheating. 

Using heating pads is safe and beneficial for cats. Just ensure to monitor your feline pals while using the heating pads to prevent any accidents. To avoid any issues, make sure to check our list of cat heating blankets and pads.

About the author

Clair Chesterman

Clair is a professional cat breeder having her own cageless CFA and CCA Registered cattery & fostering company FluffyMeowPaws in Eugene, Oregon. Clair knows everything about multiple cat breeds and how to use the latest technologies to make the cat's life better.

1 Comment

  • I feed 2 Feral cats and have an outdoor cat house for them, along with an electric outdoor waterproof heating pad for the house, it has 6 heat Levels, temps ranging from 86 degrees to 131 degrees. Level 3 is 104 degrees F – my question is: if the air temperature is in the single digits, will this heat Level be OK or should I raise it to Level 4, which is 114 degrees? I don’t want them to be cold, but I don’t want them to be harmed by laying on a heating pad all day that is too warm.

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