Best Cooling Pads for Cats

If you are in a rush and want to skip ahead to our number one choice for the best cooling pad for cats look no further than the Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pet Pad.

Even though modern cats originate from the desert climate, cats do not tolerate heat any better than people

Cat cooling pads are one great way to keep our feline friends invigorated, especially during the summer heat. 

In this article, we’ll first provide an overview of cooling pads and their benefits. Then, we’ll review the following products to help you choose the best one for your cat.

Feel free to skip ahead to our reviews if you already know about cooling pads.

Do Cats Feel Hot?

As we mentioned, despite common belief, and the fact that Cats originate from desert climates, modern cats can also struggle with heat. They just don’t show it as much as humans or dogs do.

photo of a cat in the desert

That’s because cats cool themselves through sweat glands in a few hairless areas, such as paws, lips, and the skin surrounding the anus. 

They also cool down by strategically taking naps during the hottest times of the day and by grooming. Indeed cats are able to cool down their body by licking it. Indeed, while dogs pant and make it very clear when they feel hot, it is more difficult to tell when a cat is feeling hot.

As any cat lover knows, no cat is alike. Indeed a cat’s ability to manage her body temperature depends on factors such as health, body weight, coat thickness, heat, and humidity.

What Are Cat Cooling Pads And How Do They Work?

Cat cooling pads are specially designed multi-layer mats to keep pets cool

How do they do so?

Pet cooling pads work by using a basic principle of thermodynamics, which says that when two surfaces with different temperatures come in contact with each other heat is transferred to the cooler surface.

Too technical? Let me simplify. Cat cooling mats absorb heat from your cat’s body and make it cooler by about 5 to 15 degrees

Different Types of Cat Cooling Pads

Until recently Cat cooling pads were water-based, gel-based or metal. Recently though, we started seeing fabric-crystal cold-sensing pads, a new, promising technology.

Gel-based cooling pads

These cooling pads are the most popular among pet owners. They use special gels that either need to be refrigerated or cool themselves automatically.

Gel cooling mats offer cooling of 5 to 15° depending on the gel and thickness of the cooling layer.

ProsCons
Ideal for indoors or in the shadeCostlier than water-based cooling pads
DurableSquishy gel surface uncomfortable for some pets
Risk of cats chewing on them, causing leakages.

Water-based cooling pads

Think of it as a water bed, but for kitties.

These cooling mats need to be filled up with cool water and provide your cat with a fresh surface to lay on. The downsides are that these mats can become heavy to move around when filled with water and that for optimum cooling you’ll need to fill it with cool water every time.

ProsCons
Can be used indoors and outdoorsProne to leakages
CheapNot effective in providing quick cooling.
Less convenient than Gel

Metal cooling pads

These cat coolers are made of Aluminum layers, a material naturally cooler than most other objects around.

ProsCons
Absorbs heat instantly upon contactSolid non-squishy surface uncomfortable for some cats.
Resistant
No chance of being ingested or leakage

Fabric crystals-based cold sensing cooling pads

These mats are based on the latest Japanese cooling technology. They feature a thin soft nylon/silk surface, crystal fabric in the middle layer, and a meshed base.

 To offer efficient cooling, they add Jade, a naturally cool mineral, in the fabric. This together with a fresh base and silk, can cool your dear cat by 5 -10°.

ProsCons
Fast heat absorption and dissipationMay not work well in very extreme conditions
Lightweight and portable.
Cheaper than gel-based pet cooling pads

Does My Cat Need a Cooling Pad?

If you are reading this, chances are that you don’t live in Alaska, and most likely you live in a hot climate. If that’s right, and you feel that your cat is suffering the heat you may give cooling pads a try.

Even though cats have adapted and evolved in hot weather, extreme heat with limited cooling options can put a cat at risk of heat stroke and other heat-related issues. In short, their precious bodies can be overwhelmed from trying to stay cool and shut down. 

Cat cooling pads can be especially important for long-haired, overweight, and senior felines with weak body temperature management. They also come in handy for kittens who just love the outdoors and need some quick cooling. 

Many cat owners swear by cooling pads’ ability to provide relief for cats inflammatory diseases like arthritis.

You might ask, how do I know if my cat is hot? 

photo of a cat feeling hot and grooming

One obvious indicator is a cat that’s restlessly trying to find a cool spot, such as bathroom tiles or sinks. Other signs include panting, sweaty feet, and excessive grooming.

In extreme situations, there may be rapid breathing, vomiting, staggering, and redness of the tongue and mouth. Don’t hesitate to immediately take your pet friend to the veterinarian in such scenarios. 

Also, remember to always encourage your cat to stay hydrated during the hot days. The video below provides great tips on keeping your cats cool.

How Effective Are Cooling pads for cats?

The effectiveness of a pad surprisingly varies from cat to cat.

Large cats or cats with longer and thicker fur retain heat more, so they’ll tend to suffer summer heat more. This also means that cooling pads will take more time to cool them down.

Most importantly, if your cat finds the mat uncomfortable or offputting, she won’t use it. So comfort is also an important factor to keep in mind.

How Safe are Cat cooling pads?

Cooling pads, especially gel based, raise concerns among some pet owners.

Manufacturers promise that their products are 100% non-toxic and will cause no harm.  However, if ingested, the gel can cause stomach discomfort to some cats.

So it’s best to discourage your feline friend from chewing on the mat. If that’s impossible for your cat, it might be better to go for an Aluminium-based cooling bed (at the time of writing we could not find one on Amazon or Chewy, we’d recommend you check with your local pet store).

The good news is that cat cooling pads don’t require any plugging in to a power supply. You don’t have to worry about cords lying around that your cat might chew on. 

Now that we have a basic understanding of how cat cooling pad works, we can go ahead and review our favorites!

The best cooling pads for cats

The Green Pet Shop Dog and Cat Cooling Mat 

A gel-based cooling pad made of a thin nylon surface and a vinyl cooling pad shell.

This pad uses a patented pressure activated technology that provides cooling for up to 4 hours (as stated by the manufacturer). 

The Green Pet Shop also promises that the gel is non-toxic. But clearly you shouldn’t let your cat chew on the mat. 

The mat can cool about 5 to 15 degrees and automatically refreshes itself in 20 to 30 minutes after your pet friend steps off. How efficient!

This cooling pad comes in 5 different sizes, so you can be sure to find a size that matches your cat. The smallest mat has a dimension of 11.8 x 15.7’’ and the largest 27.5 x 43’’. 

Did someone say awards? 

The cooling mat has won not one but two prestigious awards – Pet Product News International Editor’s Choice Award and The Family Choice Award. Impressive, huh!

ProsCons
Automatically refreshes itselfCostlier than other gel-based products
Supercharge coolingHardens/shrinks if not frequently used.
No water or electricity neededNot ideal for outdoors
Easy to fold and store away
Lightweight
Available in five sizes.



K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cat Cooling Bed

A water-based cooling mat for cats with a tough nylon/vinyl exterior and a non-slip bottom. 

This third-generation product uses a water technology to absorb heat and keep Kitty fresh and invigorated. You simply need to add water to activate the Cool Bed III. The more water the more the cushioning and cooling capabilities. 

This cat cooling mat is available in 3 sizes and two color combinations – blue and gray. 

K&H says that the best part about is you can use it both indoors and outdoors for temperatures less than 95°. Always remember to keep it away from direct sunlight for increased durability.

ProsCons 
Improved cooling coreDifficult to move the cooling pad when filled
Easy to use water valveProlonged use without an anti-bacterial cause bacteria buildup and odor 
✔️ 2-year warrantyNot suitable for aggressive scratchers and clawers
Ideal for both indoors and outdoorsPriced similar to gel-based mats
Can be stored full or empty



Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pet Pad

A gel-based cooling pad that’s all about comfort.

Coleman is an authority when it comes to long-lasting outdoor and cooling products. So you know you can trust them.

This non-toxic gel mat is designed to keep your pet friend cool without getting too chilly. According to Coleman, it stays 5-10° cooler than the room temperature. What’s even better is that the product is priced very competitively, in the same price range of other gel-based mats.

The mat is available in only one size with 24 x 30’’ dimensions and three color combinations- silver, green, and red. Coleman comfort cooling pad has multiple uses. You can use it as a standalone, in a pet bed, in the car, or even in a pet carrier

I however recommend never leaving kitty in a car on a hot day. The temperatures can be unbearable even with a cooling pad in use.

Pros Cons 
VersatileNot suitable for scratchers and clawers
Extremely lightweight and portable
Easy to store away
✔️ Trusted brand
✔️ Competitive price



Pet Fit for Life Snuggle Soft Cooling Gel Pad

Gel-based cooling pad with a super-soft cover and a non-toxic gel secured with velcro lining. 

The gel pack is designed to comfortably fit inside the fleece cover. This cooling mat has a diameter of 12’’ and easily fits in most pet beds and carrying crates. 

Did someone say versatility? Not only can you use it as a cooling pad in the summer but also as a heating pack in the winter. Place the gel pad in the microwave for 30 seconds to heat and 10-20 minutes in the refrigerator to cool. 

The pad retains its temperature effect for 1-2 hours before needing to be recharged. The fleece cover is easy to clean. Simply toss it in the washing machine and you are good to go.

Pros Cons 
Easy to cleanHeating requires a microwave and cooling requires the refrigerator
Comes with a soft fleece cover for added comfortOnly one size available
Versatile. Both warms and cools Fleece cover does not seem indicated for cooling purposes
Flexible pack
Compact and lightweight
Can be used by humans



NACOCO Pet Cooling Cat mat

Here to represent the Fabric crystals-based world! Introducing the NACOCO pet cooling mat (the only brand that provided a cat photo).

This cooling bed is made from durable and comfortable nylon fabric and a meshed bottom for breathability. It adopts the Japanese new cold-sensing technology to keep kitty cool and refreshed. 

NACOCO advertises its product as an excellent cooler, reducing the cat’s temperature by about 5-10°. The cooling mat is available in 3 sizes- S (18.9’’ x 15.3’’), M (27.5’’ x 18.1’’) and L (37.0’’ x 26.4’’). You can also choose from its vibrant blue, yellow, and pink color combinations.

Pros Cons 
Uses the latest Japanese Cold-sensing technologyMay not work well for extreme conditions
Cheaper than gel cooling pads
Meshed base for ventilation
Machine washable



Conclusion

Cat cooling pads to the rescue! 

Summer no longer has to be an uncomfortable time for our beloved cats. All options above have pros and cons. In the end, the choice is yours and most importantly your cat’s.

My favorite pick? Well, hands down the Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pet Pad. The reputation and reliability of the Coleman brand surely plays a role here. Add to that its ease of use, quality, and competitive price and you get the recipe for a perfect product. Definitely a cats’ favorite.

STAY COOL, STAY FRESH!

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