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On average, cats sleep 12 to 16 hours per day. It’s not just to spite us or because they’re lazy. Their wild ancestors evolved to sleep that much in order to conserve their energy to hunt for their next meal. Even though our pets no longer need to search for their dinner, our domesticated feline friends retain that need for deep, prolonged rest. Since they spend so much of their lives in repose, it makes sense that pet parents would want them to be cozy and comfortable.
The cat bed aisle at the pet store might be so full that you have a difficult time choosing the right bed for your kitty. But your cat gives you hints and clues about what they might prefer. If they lay next to (or on top of) the heating vents, then a heated bed or pad might be a fit. If they often choose a sunny spot, then a window bed may do the trick. Some more nervous cats may prefer the cover of an enclosed cave bed or cat condo. You’ll also want to consider what materials the bed is made from and whether you can pop it in the washing machine or must hand wash.
Below are the best cat bed's for your kitty's daily naps.
Best Overall: Earthtone Solutions Cat Cave
Dimensions: 19 x 18 x 11 inches | Material: Hand felted wool | Machine Washable: No
Gorgeous handmade designs
Sustainable wool material
Must hand wash
Too small for larger cats
Perhaps the most beautiful artisanal design on the market, Earthtone Solutions Cat Cave Beds are hand crafted by women artisans in Nepal and imported to the U.S. by a family-owned business.
These hand felted wool cave beds come in a variety of elegant and eclectic designs that will bring charm to your home décor. The cave shape and wool give your cat a cozy covered and durable resting space that also doubles as a hide and seek play space. Felted wool will breathe, allowing for cozy winter warmth, or comfortable summer coolness. Wool is also considered more sustainable than cotton and warmer and safer than synthetic fabrics.
Depending on where you buy it, this bed often comes with a bonus supply of catnip. If your cat doesn’t end up loving a cave design, the bed can be flattened into a cup shape for more a more open resting place.
Best Budget: Rabbitgoo Soft Plush Donut Cuddler Cushion Pet Bed
Dimensions: 20 x 4.7 inches (medium), 23.6 x 5.7 inches (large) | Material: Polyester outer stuffed with poly cotton blend | Machine Washable: Yes, on gentle cycle
Very fluffy and soft
Easy to wash
A lot of synthetic fibers
Cat beds can be expensive and you risk losing a lot of cash if your cat won’t sleep in it. The Rabbitgoo Soft Plush Donut Cuddler Cushion Pet Bed is a safe bet for most cats. Cats love to bury themselves in the fluffy plush outer cover in a cozy donut shape. The cushy poly cotton filling, usually 65 percent cotton and 35 percent polyester, will have your cat snoozing soundly in luxury but at an affordable price.
The non-skid bottom will keep it from traveling around the room. It is available in five solid colors and two sizes. Medium is great for small cats (up to 13 pounds) and kittens while the large size works well for two smaller cats or one larger cat (up to 18 pounds).
Your cat might enjoy burrowing into the deep creases in this bed and the high sides add a sense of security. The bed is usually shipped in a vacuum pack and will expand significantly after it’s been unboxed. It’s so soft you might want to lay on it too.
Best Heated: K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Heated Cat Bed
Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 6 inches (small), 20 x 20 x 6 inches (large) | Material: Microfiber fleece cover, foam base, polyfill cushion | Machine Washable: Yes, after removal of heating unit
Removable heating pad for warm months and easy laundering
Cord isn’t very long
Some cats can’t seem to get enough heat in the cooler months of the year. You’ll find them sleeping on the floor vent, behind the stove, or in front of the fireplace. If that’s your kitty, then they might like the K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Bed. The Spruce Pet's home tester found that her short-haired cat was more drawn to this bed than her long-haired cats, but all the cats used it at at some point.
From a distance, this bed looks like a standard plush cat bed with raised sides. But tucked inside is a 4-watt warming pad that keeps your cat warm without overheating. It’s thermostatically controlled to maintain a steady 102 degrees, a cat’s normal body temperature. The pad is removable when it’s not needed during warmer months of the year and so the rest of the bed can be gently laundered.
These beds are also independently tested and certified by MET Labs to exceed U.S. and Canadian electrical safety standards. So you can be sure your cat and your home are safe from the pad overheating.
"When it’s plugged in and your cat isn’t lying in the bed, it will be about 15 degrees above the temperature in the room around it. But when your cat lies on it, and it senses the extra weight, it will warm to about 102 degrees—the natural body temperature of a cat."—Lindsay Boyers, The Spruce Pets Tester
Best Window Bed: Kitty Cot Cat Perch
Dimensions: 25.5 x 14 x 2 inches | Material: Black nylon fabric, PVC pipe frame, suction cups, wire supports | Machine Washable: No
Can be hosed off or submersed for easy hand washing
No tools required for installation
Sturdy enough for heavy cats
Occasionally falls off
High heat can deform frame
Can’t close the blinds around it
If your kitty spends a lot of time in the windows or loves to sleep in the sun, they’ll probably love the Kitty Cot Original World’s Best Cat Perch. The black weather- and water-resistant nylon fabric warms naturally in sunlight and is spread over a PVC pipe frame that is mounted onto your window glass with sturdy suction cups. Metal wire provides extra strength support.
Cats love being elevated and can sleep in the sun or relax while watching all the bird and squirrel action outside. The Kitty Cot is available in three sizes and will hold up to 25 pounds so it’s suitable for two medium cats or one larger cat.
"It was sturdier than I anticipated, and the added weight of the cat actually seemed to increase the hold the suction cups had on the windows."—Lindsay Boyers, The Spruce Pets Tester
Best Cat Cave: Smiling Paws Pets Cat House & Cat Condo
Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 13 inches | Material: Organic cotton denim and plush polyester fleece | Machine Washable: Yes, on delicate
All machine washable
Cozy faux sherpa lining and pillow
One color option
Cat caves are a popular design because cats feel more relaxed when they know nothing can sneak up on them while they sleep. If you’re not sure if your cat will like a cave bed, then the Smiling Paws 2-in-1 Cat House and Condo may be the purrfect choice. This smartly designed cat bed is convertible. In cube form it is a cozy cave with one opening. Or remove the fluffy cushion and squash the cube flat to form it into a standard bed with raised sides. The non-skid bottom prevents sliding and it includes a side pocket for toy storage.
Best Tropical: Pawhut Natural Braided Banana Leaf Elevated Cat Bed Basket with Cushion
Dimensions: 16.5 x 17 x 24 inches | Material: Woven banana leaf, iron wire, cotton cushion | Machine Washable: Cushion only
Beautiful, hand woven design
Made from sustainable banana leaf
May be small for larger cats
Cats may scratch it
There are a number of reasons cats prefer an elevated bed. Perching higher gives them an added sense of security because they are above the action with a better vantage point. In the winter, heat rises, so even being an extra foot off the floor can help them avoid drafts and cold tile floors. In hot weather, a breeze flowing under them can be cooling. In multiple cat homes, an elevated bed may also be a way to declare and maintain a higher social status.
If your cat doesn't like to sleep on the floor, they might like the Pawhut Braided Banana Leaf Elevated Cat Condo. Hand woven over iron wire, this simple yet beautiful bed is equipped with a machine-washable cotton cushion. It comes as two pieces: a small base and a round enclosed ball with a moderate sized opening. The top can be positioned any way your cat likes, opening at the top or to the side. The cave-like design of the top means your cat will feel protected while still being able to see out.
The woven style will bring a tropical feel to your home. Banana leaves are a byproduct of other processes so you can feel good knowing this is made of natural fibers that are sustainable and naturally biodegradable. This bed is available in several earth tone colors, some using water hyacinth instead of banana leaves as well as a taller rattan wicker design. Be sure to check dimensions as they vary slightly depending on where you buy it.
Best Modern Design: MyZoo Spaceship Gamma Cat Bed
Dimensions: 15.7 x 18.7 inches | Material: MDF plywood, acrylic, oak or walnut veneer | Machine Washable: No
Available in white, oak, or walnut veneer
Cats can see out
Some cats won’t use wallmount
Doesn’t come with a cushion
If standard foam cat beds feel frumpy to you, you might appreciate the sleek design of the Myzoo Spaceship Gamma Cat Bed that will fit nicely in a modern home. This bed can be used standing on the floor or wall mounted. Cats like the protection of an enclosed space while also being able to see out. The large entry hole and four air holes allow air circulation to pass through to keep the temperature balance just right and reduce the echo of an enclosed space.
Manufactured in white, oak, or walnut veneer, you can choose the finish that matches your home best, although not all distributers carry all of the colors. Can mount the box at any height that suits your home and cat. Some cats love to get as high up as possible while others prefer an additional step from furniture or a shelf for entry so think about what your cat prefers before choosing your location.
Have multiple cats? No worries. This bed can hold up to 33 pounds when properly wall mounted. You might also like the Spaceship Alpha design that is not mounted but has two acrylic bubbles and more space for multiple cats (view on Chewy).
Best Indoor/Outdoor: Furhaven Deluxe Mattress Indoor/Outdoor Bed
Dimensions: 20 x 15 x 3 inches (small) | Material: Poly-coated canvas cover, medical grade polyurethane memory foam pillow | Machine Washable: No
Replacement covers, foam and liners available
Durable coated canvas
Removable zip cover
Direct sun fades cover color in less than a year
Must hand wash
If you're looking to put a cat bed in a spot that can stand up to the elements, this is a great pick. The weather-proof cover is made from an outdoor durable water resistant coated poly-canvas. If you order from the manufacturer, you have a choice of five different core filling options: convolute orthopedic, solid orthopedic, memory foam top, cooling gel top, or fiber-filled pillow. The height of the bed is also a low, easy, step-on mat design for older and disabled pets.
If left in direct sun all day every day the cover color will fade over time. But Furhaven conveniently sells the replacement cover separately as well as the mattress liner and foam.
"Some cats love to be outside for most of the day, often sprawled out in the sun for an afternoon nap. My cat is definitely one of them. I own three Furhaven Indoor/Outdoor Oxford Deluxe Pet Beds. The cover is zippered and removable for easy hand or hose washing."—Lorraine Wilde, The Spruce Pets Writer
Best Splurge: Enchanted Home Pet Sofa
Dimensions: 26.5 x 16 x 12 inches | Material: Synthetic plush fabric over wood frame and polyester fill | Machine Washable: Cushion cover only
Looks like a couch
Soft and cozy
Spot cleaning by hand or upholstery cleaner required for most of the couch
May not be big enough for larger cats
If you think of your kitty as a true member of the family, you might consider splurging on an Enchanted Home Pet Sofa. Hand crafted with quality wood furniture construction, this sofa features soft ultra-plush polyester fabric with a removable washable cushion cover. The raised curved back is designed in contoured shape to allow your cat to feel secure and protected while resting. Some cats will appreciate that the sofa is elevated on two-inch legs for a draft-free sleep. The back also has a convenient storage pocket for toys or treats.
It’s available from some vendors in both plush and faux leather in six colors that will blend seamlessly with your existing home décor. This cat sofa also has a number of finer features that pet parents appreciate. A toggle and loop secures the foam cushion in place to keep it from sliding out. Because cats are sensitive to vibration, your cat may sleep more soundly because the legs of this couch are somewhat shock absorbing. You’ll want the next size up if your cat is much beyond ten pounds.
It’s hard to beat the cozy hand-felted wool of the Earthtone Solutions Cat Cave Bed (view at Chewy) that’s also reasonably priced. For added comfort in the garage, carport, or back yard, try the durable, indoor/outdoor Oxford Deluxe Pet Bed from Furhaven (view at Chewy) in four colors of coated canvas.
What to Look for in a Cat Bed
Because our kitties spend such a large proportion of their life span sleeping, we want to be sure the materials that make up the bed are healthy for the cat. When possible, choose natural materials like cotton and wool over synthetic fibers. Synthetic fabrics may degrade over time and can release chemicals, especially when exposed to sunlight for extended periods. The same is true for stuffing and mattress materials.
Look for products made in the U.S. or Europe since they have the highest safety standards for pet products. Evaluate the craftsmanship as well. Some low-end pet beds are mass produced and therefore stitching can unravel quickly, shortening the life of your bed.
Shape and Size
Both shape and size of a pet bed depend highly on the preferences of your cat. Some cats prefer the added security of a cave-style bed while others are afraid to enter. Similarly, some cats like raised sides while others, especially older and disabled pets might prefer to sprawl on a mat-style bed with no sides.
Watch your cat’s normal behavior for clues. Do they crawl under the bed or sleep in the window sill? Do they sleep on a high up perch? Do they curl into a tiny ball under the covers with you at night or sprawl in the middle of the living room floor? These habits will give you hints on how to choose a style that your cat is more likely to use.
The size of the bed also relates to whether they like to curl up or sleep outstretched. Cats who sleep in a ball might like a smaller bed or a donut style that they can feel all around them. Those that sleep stretched out might like a mat style or extra large size.
If you choose a cave-style bed, make sure the opening is wider than your cat’s whiskers. Their whiskers are highly sensitive (perhaps even more powerful than their sight or smell) and they generally don’t like them unnecessarily stimulated.
It’s possible that you might need to try more than one shape or size to figure out what your cat prefers.
Many cats prefer to perch in high places where they can see their surroundings and feel like they are above the fray. Some pet beds come with or include a pedestal to add elevation. Window beds and wall-mounted options can be hung relatively high, just be sure your cat can safely reach them.
Some beds are elevated only a couple of inches. Those beds allow air flow underneath for better heating and cooling. In the case of aging or injured pets, an elevated bed can also relieve pressure on joints, acting more like a hammock.
Heat and Sun Exposure
Because a cat’s normal body temperature is around 100 to 102 degrees, they tend to prefer warmth while they sleep. Especially if your home is drafty or you keep it cool, your cat might enjoy a heated bed or pad or a window bed that gets some sun exposure. In some cases a window bed might get too much sun. So think about the temperature range where you place a cat’s bed.
When buying a heated bed, choose one that is certified by an independent group or government agency to ensure that it is thermostatically controlled and cannot over heat.
Synthetic fibers tend to retain more heat than natural fibers that are generally more breathable. So a synthetic donut bed with deep crevices will be warmer than a cotton bed with an open style. Think about how the bed traps heat, or doesn’t and whether your cat prefers to bury themselves or sleep out in the open.
How can I encourage my cat to sleep in their bed?
Step one is to choose the right bed for your cat, as discussed above. Cats that like cover might prefer a cave style bed. A heated bed may be like a magnet to your cat. Those that love the sun might like a window bed.
Once you’ve chosen a bed that might be a fit for their tastes, step two is choosing the best location. That might be an elevated or sunny location. Usually cats prefer to sleep in quiet, low traffic areas, away from rambunctious dogs or children.
You can make the bed more interesting by sprinkling it with catnip or a few cat treats. You can also tilt the scales a little by making other areas less desirable, by closing doors and/or placing books or double-sided sticky tape in the areas you don’t want them to sleep.
Where should I put the cat bed?
In general, choose a location that is well away from the busy, noisy parts of your home. Some cats will prefer the added security of elevation. You can put a cat bed on top of a cat tree or book shelf. Some even prefer the top of the refrigerator. Others prefer a warm or sunny spot behind a wood stove or on a chair in a front or back porch.
If you’re not sure, pay attention for a few days to where you see your cat sleep and then try different locations around your home until you find the one the cat consistently chooses.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This piece was written by Lorraine Wilde who has had at least two cat companions in her home for the past 35 years including some special needs kitties. Two of her cats lived happily and healthily into their early 20s.
When researching each product and brand, Lorraine evaluated the type and quality of each product, customer reviews, the company’s research and development and their business ethics. The Spruce Pets also tests top products at home, so see how real cats feel about them.
Lorraine also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in environmental science. She is a firm believer that consumers can make informed and environmentally-conscious choices to protect their pets and our planet.