I have always had the regular cat beds for my kitties and they love them. I put fuzzy warm blankets in there in the winter. I usually get fleece baby blankets for this. They love them and it keeps them warm and cozy.
However, I started a site about four years ago specializing in cat beds (www.findheatedcatbedsandmore.com, please take a peek at it!) and learned a lot about both electric heated cat beds and self heating cat beds.
To be honest, I think the electric heated cat beds are great for cats that may be suffering from arthritis or recuperating from an operation, but not so necessary for everyday use. Heat is wonderful therapy and so comforting. How many of us have used a heating pad for our many discomforts? So for special circumstances they are terrific for your cat.
The surprising thing I found though is that most of my cats prefer the self heating beds. They put some kind of material in the bed that radiates your pets warmth back to them. No need to plug it in, so you can put it anywhere and not worry about an outlet being close. Saves money…no electricity needed and also no need to worry about turning it off when you are not at home (something I highly recommend you do).
Here are some examples of these beds and yes, they are affiliate links, meaning if you click on them and buy one, I make a small commission on it. If you do, thanks in advance.
For some reason they keep showing dogs in here, even though I looked up cat beds…haha…but trust me, they are for cats too! Just click on any picture to take you to the Amazon page to read all about them!
Another great find was the self heating pads. That way you can add these to your existing bed for winter and not have to buy an entire new bed. I also have them for my feral cats that are outdoors in their screened in houses. Here are some of those. Again, just click on the pic to find out all the details!
Most of the cats sleep with me on the bed at night, but during the day they head for their own beds. The funny thing is they use the self heating beds even in the summer. With the air conditioner running, I guess they are cool enough to still enjoy the warmth!