What Are the Dangers of Electric Warming Pads for Cats?

by Amy Brantley, Demand Media
    Sleeping on a warming pad can be dangerous for your pet.

    Sleeping on a warming pad can be dangerous for your pet.

    Your kitty might love the feeling of jumping into a warm bed, but electric warming pads aren't always the best option. Meant to keep your feline friend comfortable in cold weather and soothe any aching joints, a warming pad can be a dangerous addition to your nighttime routine.

    Electrocution

    Cats and electricity don't mix, especially when you have a kitty who thinks the electrical cord look as tasty as a mouse tail. If your cat chews through the cord or the warming pad itself, he can be electrocuted. He probably would not survive the jolt. Opt for warming options that don't rely on electricity, such as a hot water bottle or blankets that absorb and redistribute the cat's heat. If you do want to use an electric warming pad, use one that has a steel-wrapped cord that your pet can't chew through.

    Burns

    Just like with humans, if your cat falls asleep on the warming pad, it could result in internal damage. The area touching the warming pad can get very hot when the heating pad is left in place for too long. If you must use a warming pad, only do so under supervision and never allow your pet to lay on the pad for long periods of time. Limit heat to 15 to 20 minute intervals.

    Strangulation

    Warming pads usually have long cords, and a rambunctious cat may get herself tangled in the cord, resulting in strangulation. The cat may even hang herself while playing. If you have other cats in the home, the cats may be playing and accidentally hurt each other. If you're not quick to react, your cat could lose her life.

    Intestinal Blockage

    If for some reason your cat likes to eat weird objects, he may decide that the warming pad would make a good snack. Because warming pads can have fabric along with wires and plastic, this could lead to intestinal blockage. If you notice that your cat has eaten part of the warming pad, take her to the vet immediately. The vet will be able to X-ray the cat's stomach to determine if there are any problems. If there is intestinal blockage, your cat will need surgery that could be expensive and risky. Without treatment, your cat could die. Never take any chances when your pet has eaten strange objects. Get her to the vet immediately.

    About the Author

    Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images