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Top 5 Cat Cooling Pads to Beat the Summer Heat

By Debbie Short     Last Updated October 26, 2019

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Summertime and warmer weather can wreak havoc on your cat both indoors and outdoors, and you want a way to keep them cool and refreshed as they go about their day. A cat cooling mat can help you accomplish this task, and they're relatively easy to use and keep clean as well.

However, it's easy to get overwhelmed very fast when you first start shopping for your mat because there are dozens of brands available. This is why we've rounded up the best choices for you, but we invite you to take a look at our buyer's guide first to understand why they're so important.

Our Top Picks for the Best Cooling Pads

How Does a Cooling Pad Work?

Most cooling pads for your cat come filled with a material called polymer, and this substance changes its chemical makeup when you apply pressure to trigger a cooling sensation. It doesn't actually cool, but it starts to pull heat from your cat's body to help cool their core body temperature.

Once your cat gets up and removes the pressure, the polymer's chemical makeup reverts back to normal, and it stops trying to wick heat away. It takes between 15 to 30 minutes to return to normal before it's ready for your cat to lay back on it, and most last for around three hours.

Why Use a Cooling Pad for Your Cat?

Cat relaxing at the beach

There are many reasons why you'd want to purchase one of these cooling pads for your cat to lounge around on. One of the biggest reasons is to help them avoid getting overheated and falling victim to heatstroke because it can be deadly.

Your cat's comfort level is another important reason to invest in one because your cat has fur that traps in the heat. This means that they can feel much warmer than you can in warmer weather, and it can lead to overheating unless they have a way to cool down.

Are Cooling Pads for Cats Safe?

Since most manufacturers aim their product especially toward animals, they are safe for your animal to lay on and use, and they also make the gel layer safe. However, you don't want your cat to ingest any parts of it because it's not meant to be eaten.

If you have a cat that loves to chew and eat things they're not supposed to, you may want to try an aluminum version of the traditional cooling pad instead of the gel and vinyl version. If your cat does manage to eat any of the gel layer, you do want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Line at (888) 426-4435 and follow their advice just to be on the safe side.

Cooling Pad Buying Considerations

When you first start to shop for your new cooling pad for your cat, you can start to quickly narrow down your choices by keeping these buying considerations in mind. The most important ones are:

Size

You want a cooling pad that your cat can stretch out on and move around a little big so they can get the full cooling effects. If you have room, you may want to go a size bigger instead of smaller because this can help to ensure that your cat won't outgrow it and force you to buy another one.

Material

You can choose from an aluminum cooling pad or a gel cooling pad, and both types do work very well for cats of all ages. However, the more durable aluminum is usually better if you have a cat that likes to chew or eat things they're not supposed to. If your cat doesn't like to chew and needs more support, the gel would most likely be the better option.

Cooling Method

We mentioned that polymer cools by itself with no additional input from you, but other cooling pads require you to fill them with water, ice, or pop them into the freezer between uses. Again, all of these options work very well, but some are more labor intensive than other choices.

Cooling Time

A lot of the cooling mats we featured had a cooling time that stretched up to three hours long before it had to be recharged, and other mats only lasted around an hour or so. Ideally, your cat should be able to get the most use out of it as they can when they're really hot.

Recharging Time

Eventually, your cooling pad will have to recharge and get ready for your cat to use it again. Look for a cooling pad that requires a shorter recharge time, and this amounts to between 20 and 30 minutes for more reputable mats. Some take a little longer, and some are slightly shorter.

Ease of Cleaning

How much time do you want to dedicate to cleaning your cat's cooling pad? Look for a cooling mat that allows you to quickly and easily wipe it off with a damp rag between uses. Aluminum and vinyl are both relatively easy to keep clean.

Our Top Five Picks for the Best Cat Cooling Mats

1. Hugs Pet Products Chillz Pressure Activated Pet Cooling Gel Pad

Hugs Pet Products Chillz Cooling Gel Pad for Cats

This cooling mat comes in three different sizes including small, medium, and large to suit different sized cats. The mat triggers cooling technology when your cat lays on it, and it works to draw body heat away from your cat to keep them cool.

It comes made out of a durable and lightweight material that is resistant to punctures, scratches, and ripping, and this is important with your cat's nails. The air will cool and recharge the mat when your cat gets up after being on it, and you don't have to freeze it to get it cold in the first place.

The non-toxic gel is safe for your cat to lay on, and it folds up very flat for storage and transport purposes. It has a slightly padded layer that helps to absorb your cat's body weight and distribute it evenly for superior comfort.

People who purchased this mat for their cats liked that they didn't have to freeze it to get it cold, and they liked that it recharged with the air. People who purchased this mat did mention that it does tend to warm up if your cat lays on it for hours at a time.

Things We Liked
  • Folds flat for transport and storage
  • Recharges and gets cold with the air
  • Made out of a nontoxic gel material
Things We Didn't Like
  • Can get warm after a few hours
  • Takes a while to cool back down
  • May not be thick enough

2. The Green Pet Shop Cat Cooling Mat

Green Pet Shop Cat Cooling Mat

This cooling mat comes in five sizes that allows you to tailor your order to your cat's size and weight, and it provides a cooling sensation for up to an entire three hours. Once your cat gets up, the pad starts to cool back down by itself without any freezing or water.

This pad will fully recharge by using the air in as little as 15 to 20 minutes, and this is excellent news for really hot days when your cat returns to it again and again. You can lay it flat on the ground, or it's versatile enough to easily lay over your cat's bed or pillow and still provide a cooling sensation.

You'll get a thinner design with this cat cooling pad that makes it easy to pick it up and change location or carry around with you. It also features a durable and rugged design that will withstand cuts, scratches, holes, and punctures that your cat can accidentally inflict.

People who purchased this pad to keep their cats cool liked that it came made out of a very durable material that could withstand a few years of use without a problem. They did point out that there is very little cushion on this mat, and this could present a problem for older cats.

Things We Liked
  • Recharges in 15 to 20 minutes
  • Very easy to store and move around
  • Made out of a very durable material
Things We Didn't Like
  • Very thin pad
  • Slightly more expensive option
  • May not stay cool for three hours

3. K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III

K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III

This pad works to wick the heat right out of our cat and disperse it into the surrounding environment to cool them down. It's designed to stay at least 20 degrees lower than the surrounding temperature, and this can help to pull your cat's temperature down.

You can pick from three different sizes with this cooling mat, and it comes made out of very durable vinyl and nylon exterior that withstands wear and tear. There is a slightly more plush design to this pad that makes it comfortable to lay it directly on the floor for your cat.

You simply fill this pad with cool water to start the process, and the more water you put into this pad, the plusher it gets. You can fill this bed use it year round for your cat, and you do have to clean it out to prevent bacteria growth and keep it ready to use.

Cat parents who purchased this item for their cat liked that they could fill it with varying amounts of water to make it more plush. Cat parents didn't like that this bed could be slightly difficult to clean once they filled it with water.

Things We Liked
  • Has a vinyl and nylon outer material
  • Fill it with water to keep your cat cool
  • Comes in several different sizes
Things We Didn't Like
  • Can be difficult to clean
  • Gets heavy when you put water in
  • Should not go in direct sunlight

4. Arf Pets Pet Self Cooling Mat Pad

Arf Pets Cat Self Cooling Mat

This cooling pad recharges with the air, and it gives your cat cooling relief for up to three hours in a row. It can work to help prevent your cat from overheating and deyhdrating when they lay on it, and this is great for hotter weather.

The 100% latex-free material is durable enough to withstand a lot of use without tearing or puncturing, and this makes sure you can use it for a few years. The flexible mat has sections that make it very easy to fold up and store or transport with you when you go.

The liquid gel combined with the slick outer layer makes it easy to clean, and all you have to do is get a rag and wipe it clean between uses. This mat recharges with the air when your cat gets up, and this can make sure that your cat has a cool place to lay whenever they need it.

People who purchased this pad for their cats to lay on liked that it had a construction that made it very easy to keep clean and maintain. Cat parents did point out that this pad was slightly harder than other choices.

Things We Liked
  • Stays cool for up to three hours
  • Automatically recharges by itself
  • Very easy to clean
Things We Didn't Like
  • Doesn't offer a lot of support
  • Edges aren't reinforced
  • Only comes in two sizes

5. Coleman Comfort Cooling Gel Pet Pad

Coleman Pressure Activated Cooling Gel Pad for Pets

This this cooling mat by Coleman works to stay between 5 and 10 degrees lower than the outside temperature. The material gets activated when it meets the outside air, and you don't have to freeze it or add water for it to work.

You can choose from four different sizes that help you tailor it to suit your cat's size, and you can get a larger pad if you have more than one cats. The thinner design means that you can lay it over your cat's bed, a pillow, or a mat to add additional padding.

The non-toxic gel surrounded by a protective layer makes it very easy to clean and maintain by simply wiping it off with a damp rag. Finally, it lays and folds flat for storage and transport purposes, and you can also fold it into your cat's crate.

Cat parents who bought this cooling pad for their cat liked that it stayed several degrees colder than the surrounding air without freezing it. Cat parents didn't like that this pad doesn't work well in direct sunlight.

Things We Liked
  • Comes in a few different sizes
  • Automatically cools on contact without water or freezing
  • Easy to store and transport
Things We Didn't Like
  • Might not work well in direct sunlight
  • Very thin
  • May not be durable enough for some cats

What's the Best Cooling Pads?

Our pick for the best cat cooling pad is Hugs Pet Products Chillz Pressure Activated Pet Cooling Gel Pad because it comes in a few different sizes to accommodate different cat sizes. Pressure on the mat triggers cooling technology that helps to draw heat away from your cat's body to cool them down.

We also chose it because it comes in a very lightweight and durable material that can withstand minor wear and tear very well. Finally, this pad comes with a non-toxic gel that is safe for your cat to be around.