So, you are looking for a new bed for your favorite furry friend…
Well, you’ve come to the right place! We are going to break down what exactly makes the top rated cat beds so special. We will touch on some of the science behind things, but also keep in mind that cats, much like their owners, very much have their own personalities. And this also has a unique effect on the needs of your particular four legged guy or gal pal. No two cats are the same, so choosing the best bed for your cat is a combination of science, attention to your cat’s personality and some luck.
First and foremost, security is the number one priority in your cat’s life behind securing food and nutrition. Think back a few millenia, before humans were the dominant species on the planet. Wild animals continue live in a world where they are either the hunter or the prey. All animals (with few exceptions) must rest at some point. As many of you know, napping is probably one of your cat’s favorite things to do. In the wild, when an animal is sleeping, its guard is down. In that state, they are the most vulnerable to attack from hunters. In order to make themselves less vulnerable, a cat must find shelter or a well hidden but easily escapable “cat cave,” if you will. Something they can get in, keep an eye on things outside and have an avenue for escape, but still remain mostly hidden or secure inside. This is the component that usually separates a good cat bed from a great one. The donut style beds that hug a cat’s body or the fully enclosed beds (without being too cramped) are able to satisfy an ancient biological need within their psyche.
Does your cat ever want to cuddle up to you? Ever notice that when they do this, it seems like your cat could also be your own little personal furnace? This reasoning for both why your cat is curling up on you and why they seem so toasty boils down to a few things and it is about to get real sciency now. Ready? Here goes… A cat’s natural body temperature is much higher than a human’s. A human’s natural body temperature hovers around 98 degrees. Your cat’s body temperature is normally around 102. That may not seem like much of a difference, but it can mean a lot. It has to do with scale and one of the laws of thermodynamics. Think about this: an average adult human male weighs in the range of 150 to 170 pounds. An average adult American shorthair cat weighs in the range of 9 to 12 pounds. Humans have a lot more body mass to compensate for temperature differences. This is why cats have their coats of fur to insulate them. But there is another thing at play here: the second law of thermodynamics, which, in a nutshell states: hot things will always cool, unless you do something to stop that process. And in general, objects with a larger mass cool slower than objects with a smaller mass. Now this can get into a whole different topic of biology and the physiological processes within mammals, but the simple fact remains: cats cannot make up for the reality that they simply do not have the mass that a human has, and thus they are more susceptible to temperature differences. So how do they compensate for this? Many different ways. They find their favorite spot of sunshine. They curl up on a blanket. They hop on your lap. They try to lay on your laptop while you are on a Zoom call. Or…they find a nice cozy bed!
Being comfortable is something our cat Socks places a high value on. He is a connoisseur of comfy spots. He loves a good cushy spot. But it can’t be too hard. It also can’t be too soft where he feels trapped. Our couch is a good example of this…he loves to lay on top of the cushions where it’s a bit more plush, but not on the seating area…the seating area is too hard for his little beans. That is the key, to find a happy medium where their bed is firm, but not too firm. Similarly, he loves napping on our pillow top mattress with the comforter on it. But he will never curl up on an actual pillow. This one is really going to be dependent on you cat here, but most of the top rated cat beds will have the happy medium between softness and firmness already dialed in.
The final piece of the puzzle for a cat bed to make into the top ranks is their accessibility. If the bed is an enclosed style, the entrance opening and overall size of the interior have to be adequate for your cat to fit through and inside. I know this seems likes a silly detail, but it can be easily overlooked. A chonk is not going to be able to fit into a bed designed for a smol boi. And if they do fit, they’re not going to feel too comfortable or secure. The other aspect of accessibility is the placement of the bed itself. If their bed is in an unfamiliar area, somewhere too hot or too cold, it is not going to be likely your feline friend will be exploring the new bed you so graciously provided for them. That being said, this is also another grey area for each cat’s personality. Some cats are more adventurous than others and don’t mind where their bed is or how to get inside it, let alone if they can even fit. They’re just satisfied trying.
What Does This All Mean?
To recap, all the top rated cat beds have some degree of the four principles above. They may be incredibly comfy with great access but lacking a bit in the warth or security department, but your cat digs it anyways. Maybe your cat just wants a little fort to hide out in and observe their surroundings, but doesn’t really care about the comfiness level. What we are trying to say is that your cat’s personality is the overall deciding factor. Sometimes you can nail all four principles above and your kitty won’t go near the new bed. We’ve spent all kinds of money on fancy toys for Socks only to find him carrying a milk jug ring around the house every night when he wants to play a game of fetch. That is part of the fun of being a cat owner, they are the ultimate decider and they certainly know it. Spend some time with your little buddy and get to know their favorite spots, what the like laying on and where and you’ll start picking up on their particular tastes. Happy cat bed hunting and we’re glad you’re here!