A good cat bed will offer a soft spot to land when your kitty needs downtime. The trouble many cat owners run into is that their cats tend to ignore the special (often expensive) items we buy them in favor of the box they came in. So, how do you choose a bed your cat will actually like?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are certain features and characteristics you should look for in a cat bed. The right bed will not only provide your cat with a comfortable surface for sleep, but it can also become a place for them to call their own. Some beds will even offer orthopedic support and promote healthy joints.
We look at 13 top cat beds, followed by an overview of the different bed types—and which cats they suit best.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cat Beds
- Raised sides offer security
- Long shag fur is soft and warm
- Nylon bottom is water- and dirt-resistant
Why Trust Cats.com
Our review process begins with careful research. Before making our product selections, we learned what makes a bed appealing to certain types of cats. In part, this goes back to our cats’ favorite sleep positions.
We also read up on the benefits of particular bed types, like orthopedic beds, elevated beds, calming beds, and covered beds. Finally, we studied hundreds of consumer reviews to get a sense of how some of the most popular pet beds worked for other cat parents.
To account for the variations in feline sleep preferences, we tried to showcase a range of bed types. We prioritized cat beds that were durable, thoughtfully designed, and easy to wash. With our cats’ comfort always top of mind, we also considered beds with self-warming materials, plush interiors, and soft surfaces.
Top Picks Explained:
While we’ve since updated some of our recommendations in this article, we still love the beds and brands Mallory highlights in this video.
The Top 13 Best Cat Beds on the Market
Our rankings are determined by a variety of factors. Each cat will have different needs and preferences, so while the Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bolster Bed is our top choice, it may not be ideal for your unique cat. To help you choose the right bed for your cat, we’ve broken down our recommendations by bed design, sleep preferences, and other key considerations.
What To Consider When Shopping for a Cat Bed
To find a bed your cat will actually use, it’s helpful to focus on a few points. With your cat’s personality and sleep habits in mind, consider the following features while searching for the perfect bed.
Some beds are generously stuffed with plush batting; others feature sturdier foam slabs. You’ll also find beds with long shag fur or fleece covers that offer comfort and warmth. Try to prioritize beds with adequate padding that can accommodate various sleeping positions.
In addition, the material should be as natural as possible. The last thing you want is for your cat to spend hours in close contact with a material that triggers an adverse reaction. Unnatural fibers are more likely to have gone through a chemical cleaning process which can potentially affect your cat in one way or another.
The bed’s design also comes into play. There are flat sleeping mats that allow cats to stretch out. These are great for cats who overheat easily or need a low-profile bed. On the other hand, rounded nest-style beds help retain body heat and are great for cats who like to curl up when they sleep.
Elevated beds give cats a lookout post, and covered cave-style beds offer privacy and security. Consider your cat’s personality and favorite sleep positions to choose a design that works for them.
If you have an older or arthritic cat, they may benefit from the firm support of an orthopedic bed. Bear in mind that the term “orthopedic” is not regulated, and sometimes it’s used as marketing language. For true orthopedic support, look for beds with memory foam, which offers the most effective support for weary joints and limbs.
As a general rule, your cat’s bed should be large enough for your cat to lie down and turn around in. To get an idea what size cat bed you need, measure your cat from head to the base of its tail. You may want to add a few inches to that measurement to give your cat some leeway.
Equally important to consider is the bed’s height and the size of its entry point. For example, think about the size of the opening for a covered cat bed or the size of the bolsters on a supportive nest-style cat bed.
A bed that’s easy to wash will simplify your life. When shopping for a cat bed, check for a removable cover. In many cases, these covers are water-resistant and machine-washable.
Even if a cat bed says it’s machine washable, you should still follow the instructions carefully to avoid having the bed turn out crumpled or grossly misshapen after washing. Most cat beds do best when left to air dry, though some can be put in the dryer on the lowest heat setting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do cats need cat beds?
Not necessarily. Chances are your cat has already found a few comfortable places to sleep, but that doesn’t mean he won’t appreciate having his own bed. Though they may not be necessary, cat beds give your pet a dedicated place of their own. They can also provide warmth, support, and comfort.
Where should I put my cat’s bed?
If your cat already has a favorite sleeping spot, you can try putting the cat bed there. Otherwise, choose an area that is a little bit out of the way where your cat can feel secure. For cats who like sleeping up high, try placing the bed on an end table or another piece of furniture.
How can I get my cat to use a cat bed?
Don’t be worried if your cat doesn’t take to the bed right away—they may just need some time to get used to it. You can try sprinkling a little catnip into the bed as incentive or place one of your cat’s favorite toys in it, so it smells familiar.