Tips for Heating an Outdoor Cat Enclosure
An outdoor cat enclosure is an inexpensive way of keeping your pet safe. The cat enclosure can be easily built using some basic, household tools and spares from the garage. The cat enclosure also protects the animal from the external, weather conditions. It serves as a shelter from rain, sunlight and strong winds. However, during winters, the outdoor cat enclosure needs careful handling. This is when the outdoor temperatures can seriously dip. You need to heat an outdoor cat enclosure in a safe and efficient manner. Some handy tips for heating an outdoor cat enclosure have been listed below:
Tip 1 - Ensure Appropriate Temperature Maintenance
It should be understood that even slightly higher-than-normal temperatures can cause extreme harm to the cat, as cats don’t have sweat glands. Ideally, your outdoor cat enclosure should be heated to a minimum temperature of 35 degrees F. The temperature can be raised depending upon the severity of the winter. However, as soon as you notice even minimal signs of panting in the animal when seated within the enclosure, reduce the temperature. The maximum temperature range should be set at 100-to-104 degrees F.
Use a Sunroof to Capture Heat
One of the easiest ways for keeping the cat enclosure is using a sunroof made from plexiglass. This kind of roof allows the sun’s rays to enter the enclosure but doesn’t allow the solar heat to escape. The roof is a safe option in terms of structural strength and has a very long shelf-life. This kind of roof is often referred to as a sunroof. You can also use the sunroof as an additional or supplementary way of heating the enclosure along with a heating pad.
Tip 3 - Take Care of Heating Safety Issues
Cats have the tendency to chew upon electrical cords and this can prove fatal. If you are using an electric heating pad, ensure that the connecting wires are located outside the cat enclosure and are insulated. Even wires embedded within the floor of the enclosure or the surrounding soil aren’t safe from being dug-up by a cat. Even if the wiring is internally located, use an outdoor extension cord to ensure that the wires are stretched beyond the cat’s range. In this regard, choosing a safe, under-floor heating system needs particular attention. Many of the manufacturers tend the leave the wires hanging just beneath the artificial surface. This is a safety hazard since the vinyl surfacing is vulnerable to being torn apart by an aggressive cat.
Tip 4 - Use Heating Pad with Basic Precautions
Don’t overuse heating pads even if you are housing two cats within the same enclosure. Ideally, only one heating pad should be installed for every 17-to-20 inches of floor area. Always use a thick piece of cloth to cover the heating pad. This ensures safety against any voltage fluctuations that can cause an electrical shock. It is better to invest in a water-proof electric pad. This ensures safety against electrical shock due to spillage. The pad should cover only half of the enclosure’s floor. This is vital since the cat might need to use the uncovered floor when it needs to vent-out the excess heat.
Tip 5 - Establish Protection for Bulb-based Heating
If you are using an incandescent light bulb for heating the enclosure, ensure that the light fixture is covered with a metal shield. This helps to neutralize the glare and obstructs the cat's access to the lighting source.