Most cats are happy to sleep in a blanket-lined box or on chairs or beds if allowed. If you want to buy your elderly cat its own cat bed or basket choose one which is large enough that the cat does not have to curl up tightly; older cats are less supple and less able to fit themselves into small cat beds. Most elderly cats find beanbag beds comfortable as the polystyrene beans keep in the warmth and provide support for a rickety body or stiff limbs.
Make sure your cat’s bed is situated away from draughts. No cat likes to sleep in a draught, but this is particularly important with older cats as they cannot withstand extremes of temperature as easily as youngsters. They have less insulating fat than young cats and need a cozy, draught-free bed. Most will automatically seek out the warmest spot in the house.
Placing your cat’s bed beside a warm radiator at night ensures that Puss stays warm, especially in winter. A covered hot-water bottle or a heated pad, designed especially for pets and available from larger pet shops, is useful if your cat feels the cold or is recovering from illness.
Many cats like to sleep through cold spells and an older cat will usually snooze through the colder times of the year. Shake out the cat’s bedding frequently to keep it fresh and vacuum it or dust it with flea powder to kill parasites. The bed or blanket should be laundered from time to time to freshen it up. Make sure it is completely dry before allowing the cat to sleep on it again as sleeping on damp bedding is unhealthy.
Some older cats call out at night when the house is quiet and they feel lonely or in need of reassurance. Placing the cat bed in your own bedroom may solve this. Many people allow their cat to sleep on the bed and as long as both you and the cat are healthy this is safe. Other cats become more settled and call less; you’ll quickly discover if your cat is a night-time caller. Cats are naturally most active at dusk and dawn and this is when most of the crying out is likely to occur. They simply want to know that all is well and a little reassurance when you are out of sight.