This summer in Chicago has been pretty darn hot! And I don't know about you folks, but some of these old apartment buildings don't have very good air conditioning available. At best they might have a window unit. When it is 95 F outside it just doesn't keep up.
Now I know our feline friends come from the dessert historically, but that doesn't mean that they absolutely love hot humid weather. So when AC isn't an option a nice cat cooling mat can help your kitty stave off the summer heat!
Now you'll quickly see that most of these mats are marketed for dogs, but the mats work just as well for our feline friends too. So let's dig into it below and look at some of the best mats out there!
The Best Cat cooling pads Quick Guide
The Green Pet Shop stands above and beyond other players in this market with their cooling mat. It has been around for years and it has been cool as a cucumber the entire time. Yes that’s a picture of a dog, no it doesn’t matter. It works for cats too!
Not only do they provide a great product to keep your cat cool, but it is safe and sound for your fluff ball as well!
Key features of this mat include:
- A patented pressure activated gel technology that once activated will provide a cooling sensation for up to 4 hours.
- When your pets steps off the mat it will refresh itself in 20-30 minutes on average.
- There is absolutely no water or electricity required for this pad, it comes ready to go out of the box.
- It folds up easily to stow away when the temperature goes down or if you want to move it to a better spot.
- It comes in 5 different sizes, though a single cat would likely only require the small or medium.
- The gel is non toxic, but clearly you shouldn’t let your cat eat it or chew on the mat.
- A nice touch for cats that may be arthritic or suffering from joint pain on hot days.
Aluminium alloy stays cooler than other objects around it, just like a tile floor. This is why Riogoo decided to change it up a bit and go with an aluminum allow option instead of a gel related option like many other pet companies.
On top of this Riogoo has an option that has zero chance of being ingested by your kitty cat and their claws can’t really do much to it either. This means you’ve got another option worth considering if you don’t like the idea of a gel based cooling mat.
Key features worth noting:
- It starts to absorb heat instantly upon contact, it doesn’t take a few moments to activate like gel based options.
- It is completely solid and very resistant to wear, there’s no chance of a cat claw puncturing it.
- You can easily hose it down or throw it in the fridge/freezer to quickly cool it down again for another use.
- It is super easy to clean and maintain because it is made of aluminum.
This mat is provided by the American Kennel Society so you know it is a trustworthy product! They are known for only endorsing the highest quality and safety products for pets.
This is another gel based cooling mat that will help keep your kitty cool on those hot summer days. Key features of this model:
- Super easy to fold up and move around to different locations, extremely lightweight.
- It can be used both indoors and outdoors, so if you have a cat that likes to roam it is a great option!
- It is water resistant so it won’t get soaked easily if it gets rained on or sprayed off to clean it.
- There are a bunch of different pattern/color options to choose from.
- It comes in 3 different sizes, the small should accommodate most cats.
You’ll of course want to keep a close eye on your cat if they are prone to chewing, but this mat will provide a great level of cooling comfort on those hot summer days.
Key features of this model include:
- Once activated the gel will keep your kitty cool for several hours straight.
- The foldable design makes it easy to pack up and store when it isn’t in use.
- There’s zero need to freeze or cool it down yourself, it will reset itself after use.
- Some quotes from other Amazon reviewers with cats:
- “My cat immediately loved it and laid on it.” -KAC
- “She appears to love it.” – Keelut
The Arf Pets Cooling Pad has been around for a good long time and they’ve made a high quality product for years. Not only will it keep your cat nice and cool, but it won’t be damaged easily either.
Some of the major features worth noting on this model:
- It is pressure activated, so it will cool down when your kitty lays on it
- Like all gel models it will provide relief for several hours and recharge in 20-30 minutes
- The gel inside is non-toxic and the entire product is completely latex-free so it is 100% safe for cats.
- If it gets filthy you can easily wipes it clean with a damp cloth.
- Quick quotes from product owners:
- “I laid it out and my two cats came up, sniffed it, and immediately laid down.” -Redstagredd
- “I added this mat to my bed spread to see if it will help my cat cool. So far she enjoys it” -Jen
Another great option available to keep your kitty chilled on a hot day comes from Veken. This mat is quite a bit larger than most of the options I’ve listed so far so you’ll probably only want this if you have multiple kitties or an extra large cat! I’m looking at you Maine Coon owners!
The key features on this mat worth noting are:
- This mat will stay nice and cool for about 2 hours once a cat lays down on it.
- It will recharge itself and be ready to go again in about 15-20 minutes of non-use.
- This one is 100% waterproof so it is great for both indoor and outdoor use. If it gets left in the rain for a bit, no big deal, just wipe it off with a towel and you’re ready to go!
- The outer layer of the mat is made sturdy nylon fabric which stands up well to wear and tear.
- The inner gel mixture completely non toxic to both pets and family members alike. Clearly nobody should attempt to consume it, but nice to know you have an additional layer of safety!
This mat from lesotc is another great option, especially given the size. It is just about the right size for a cat to relax on at 15″ x 11″. If desired you can also string them together into a much larger mat using the Velcro attachments they include in every box.
While this mat is gel based lesotc also calls out that you can easily soak the mat down with ice cold water to quickly reset it or to get it down to a lower core temperature before letting your cat use it. ote you should not freeze it.
Key features worth noting here:
- Comes in on the economical side at just under 20 dollars.
- It provides about 3 hours of cooling time and should be back to normal in 15-20 minutes post use.
- Like the rest of the mats you shouldn’t place it in direct sunlight, it needs a shady spot to be most effective.
- The gel is of course 100% non-toxic so no safety worries if it gets punctured or leaks.
The beauty of this type of cooling pad is no amount of chewing or clawing can ever puncture it or cause it to leak. It is made of a solid metal that stays cooler than the surrounding environment and encourages your cat to relax on it.
Key features of this model worth noting:
- You can fold it up easily so it can be stored or moved in seconds.
- It is super easy to clean with a damp cloth, just wet it down and wipe it off.
- You can also cool it down again quickly with a quick rinse or by throwing it in the freezer for a few minutes.
- There is no battery and no electricity required, it is safe and economical even when you’re not home.
- An owner with an extra picky cat describes his experience like this “My cat, who typically ignores anything I buy for her (and she doesn’t even like cardboard boxes or paper bags! She is not normal, but she is very cute) is already laying on it. ” -Amazon Reviwer MEH
With a product name like Chillz with a z on the end you know you’re getting a ‘cool’ product, and not just a mat that will keep the temperature down. This model is for the hippest and coolest cats out there. And if your cat isn’t cool, it’ll make them cool.
This product has a nice soft puncture outer layer which makes it a great spot for cats to relax on very hot days. It’ll help them not only get some sleep, but de-stress and help make all their worries melt away.
- This is another in the school of pressure activated gels that absorbs body heat when a cat lays on it.
- This is a great option for both indoor and outdoor use.
- It requires no electricity and there’s no need for batteries either, it will cool itself off when not in use.
- You can cool it off by placing it in the fridge or spraying it down with cold water to get it usable again more quickly.
- It features a pet safe gel on the interior that is non toxic to cats and humans alike.
You can also check out this video review of the product if you’re interested:
The key differentiator for this model is that it is both for cooling and heating purposes. If you’ve got a cat that likes to cool off in the summer and stay nice and warm in the winter than this might be the best choice.
Similar to other models it uses a gel compound inside that can be heated or cooled, note this model will not cool itself or heat itself. You have to prep it for use by either microwaving it or throwing it in the fridge.
Key features worth noting:
- This one works both ways, you can heat it up or cool it down.
- It is about 12 inches in diameter and is the only round model in the list.
- It comes with a fleece cover for extra comfort, the cover is machine washable for simplicity.
- The gel is pet safe so your cat should be safe and sound even if a leak springs.
Most of the above products are gel based cooling pads. You might be wondering to yourself “Why does my air conditioner need to be plugged in to cool my house but this thing doesn’t?” It’s a fair question.
The gel in a cooling pad what is called a polymer. All a polymer is is a special chemical structure. Basically it means it was designed just for this purpose! But essentially what happens is when pressure is placed on the polymer it activates a chemical change that absorbs heat.
This is based on the idea of endothermology. All that means is a chemical change that is accompanied by an absorption of heat. In simple terms, when you place pressure on the mat it triggers a chemical change that absorbs heat.
When there’s no longer any pressure on the mat the chemical change stops and the heat is no longer absorb. The pad will heat back up to room temperature in about 20 to 30 minutes depending upon the environment. Then it’ll be ready to go again!
The manufacturers of these products ensure that the gels inside of these mats are 100% Non-Toxic and will not hurt your cat if they happen to consume it. That being said, you should still err on the side of safety and do your best to stop them from consuming it.
So if you’ve got a curious cat that chews and scratches at things definitely go for an aluminium version instead of a gel based version. They are definitely safe for your feline friend.
If you’re curious about what the gel is made of you can check out this awesome post on Instructibles where some great members researched the most likely solutions behind the gel based mats. It’ll give you an idea of the contents.
If your cat does happen to consume any of the gel it is recommended you call the ASPCA Poison Control Line (888) 426-4435 or get your cat to the veterinarian immediately for a check up. Note if you call the ASPCA they may charge you a consultation fee.
Getting your cat to use a new bed or anything new is often a bit complicated. While cats are typically quite curious, they are also cautious when it comes to new things being introduced to their environment.
The easiest way to get your cat interested is to put something they like on top of or next to the bed. In particular a t-shirt or a piece of bedding with their scent or your scent on it can help get your cat comfortable with the new bed.
Be sure not to use anything too thick though and be sure not to cover the whole cooling surface up. If you do this it’ll be that much longer before your cat recognize that it is a cool area to sleep and they might not start to use it as quickly.
For the aluminum options you may also want to consider a thin pad or a thin piece of fleece just to add a bit more comfort. My cats both love laying on my wood floor and a bunch of other rock hard places so they don’t have any problem with this, but other cats may want something more comfy.
The beauty of these products is they don’t require any consistent power supply, they work completely energy free! This means you can put them wherever you want in the house and it’ll help keep your feline friend nice and cool on those hot summer days.
Another huge bonus of not having the plug the cooling pad in is that you don’t have to worry about another cord lying around that your cat might start to chew on. We all know that some cats love to chew on cords that aren’t covered up or completely protected. These cooling mats are totally free of this risk!
There are a few signs you can look for in your cat to determine if you should be considering a cooling mat. Some of us may simply buy this to spoil our kitty and give them a nice cool place to snooze, but some cats may actually need it depending on their environment.
If cats overheat they can experience Heat Stroke just like humans. Basically, the body simply gets overworked trying to stay cool and shuts down. The key reasons this might happen are a very high temperature and a lack of access to water.
Another option worth exploring is a cat drinking fountain that will provide a constant supply of fresh water. Many cats don’t drink enough water because they prefer water from a moving supply. If you’re unsure if your cat is too hot then here are some key signs you should look out for:
- Restless behavior as your cat tries to find a cool spot
- Panting, sweaty feet, drooling, excessive grooming in an effort to cool off
If things progress further and your cat can’t find a place to cool off he or she may start to show these types of behavior:
- Rapid breathing
- Redness of the tongue and mouth
- Vomiting or excessive lethargy
- Staggering or stumbling when walking
If you notice any of this you should get your cat to the veterinarian immediately.
As you can see there are a lot of different options out there when it comes to keeping your cat cool on those hot summer days. But the cooling pads mostly break down into two broad categories: gel based, aluminium based.
Both options work great and they both have pros and cons. If you have cats that like to chew and scratch everything in site then you’d probably want to lean toward the latter. If you have chill cats that just tend to zonk out anywhere comfy then gel based is probably a great option.
Whichever option you choose definitely leave a note in the comments below to tell us how it worked out for you!
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