by Jennifer Kvamme
Health Benefits of Orthopedic Cat Beds
Everyone deserves a good night’s rest, even your cat. Being able to rest comfortably is particularly important for cats that are getting up there in years, or for those that are recovering from surgery, illness or injury. As cats become older their bodies tend to lose muscle tone, circulation to the extremities is diminished, and healing slows down. At this point in his life, providing your cat with a soft, warm, cushioned place to lie down when the mood strikes is very important to his well-being.
Why Your Cat Needs a Special Bed
Older cats can develop problems with their joints, which makes getting up and down much more difficult as they age. Overweight/obese animals have more stress on their joints, and this can lead to arthritis developing even earlier in life.
Painful joints (no matter what the cause) can benefit from extra padding and warmth as provided by specially-made cat beds. By having a comfortable place to rest his bones, your older cat will gain a better quality of life.
What is an Orthopedic Cat Bed?
Depending on the brand, orthopedic cat beds will typically be made with a thick padding that conforms to the cat’s body. The denser the foam or padding is, the better the ability of the bed to cushion the joints and eliminate pressure points. This is particularly important in animals that are unable to get up on their own, to prevent bed sores from developing.
Some varieties of orthopedic beds are even made like a mattress, with coil inner springs covered by a padded surface. The thicker the bed the easier it will be for the cat to get on and off without having to actually crouch down toward the floor. Being elevated off the floor will also help prevent cold surfaces (such as concrete) from coming into contact with the cat’s body.
Other Features Available with Cat Beds
Specialized coverings are typically made of waterproof material that resists saturation if a senior animal has issues with incontinence. Coverings should be removable so that they can be washed when necessary.
For those who wish to give their senior cat even more comfort, some orthopedic cat beds can be outfitted with a heat source. The added heat gives cats with arthritis even more comfort by increasing circulation, which will reduce stiffness and pain and encourage healing.
And because it is well known that cats like small, cozy spaces, many cat beds are also created with a hood-like covering to give the cat a better feeling of security and privacy while resting.
When possible, look for beds that are free of chemicals and have a dense, durable interior. The better the quality of the cat bed, the longer it will last. Your cat will reap the benefits of the time you put into researching just the right bed to help him through his senior years.