Friday, November 11, 2011

technology upgrades

Over the past few weeks, I have installed a bit of technology in the outdoor kitty village. I grew concerned about mold, something we have a lot of in the Pacific Northwest. Whenever a kitty was occupying it's kitty house and the temperature was cold outside, I noticed a lot of condensation on the window of it's house. And since I have heard that straw can mold easily, I grew concerned about the humidity level inside the kitty house.

I have also been wondering just how warm the kitties are actually staying in their houses. In order to address these concerns, I did the logical thing and bought a bunch of wireless temperature and humidity sensors. I went with a La Crosse Technology WS-9023U Wireless Weather Station, two combination temperature/humidity sensors and one temperature sensor.

Now from the comfort of my house, I can know exactly how warm the outside kitties are inside their cozy homes. What I have found is that the insulation in the kitty houses does a decent job of holding some of the cat's body heat, which keeps the inside temperature around 5 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. This means when it's cold outside, it's still cold inside too.

This reality didn't sit well with me. I'm sure this won't come as a huge surprise, I broke down and bought an outdoor heating pad for BK. After some research, I really like the Kane Manufacturing Poly Pet Heat Mats, but I couldn't swing the higher cost. So, I settled for the K&H 3093 Extreme Weather Kitty Pad with Fleece Cover.

To call this a pad is a bit of a stretch, it is more of a heated rigid plastic board with a fleece cover. It's suppose to be thermostatically controlled to warm to the cat's normal body temperature and when no cat is present, it heats the space to 12-15 degrees above ambient air temperature.

Of course the inside kitties had to try it out first.
This'll keep my paws as warm as my ears

Does this heating pad make my butt look big?

BK's now heated outside home.

The air temperature inside the kitty house hasn't dropped below 50°F (10°C) since installing the heating pad. I sleep better now knowing BK is staying toasty warm. I still don't have any data yet on the humidity levels inside an occupied kitty house because I installed the humidity sensor in the smaller kitty house, as that's were BK was sleeping at the time. But as soon as I installed the sensors, he moved over to the bigger house!

Now, if I really wanted to spoil my outdoor kitty, I would pony up the big bucks and buy this super-deluxe unit from CozyWinters for $579! It comes with both heat and air conditioning!

I haven't given up on someday trying to convert BK into an inside kitty, but for now, while he remains living outside, he'll be warm, dry, and well fed. Oh, and he'll be well loved too!

11/8/11 12:44pm

11/8/11 12:54pm


  1. You are such a good guy! BK and the other outdoor cats are very lucky to have a friend like you.

  2. BK is a very lucky cat, even if he lives his days outside on your property. He's got a fantastic "chalet!"

  3. BK is lucky to have landed in your backyard. And mom laughed at the deluxe model..... :)

  4. BK is like our Henry...spoiled rotten on his OWN terms! The things we do for these critters.

  5. My father built heated houses for the strays that took up residence. He used a lightbulb with a thermostat to heat them. They were sold at the auction after my father died. I've often wished we'd kept one of them.

  6. we love you and commend your efforts - great research - we would have you in our team! Good luck with the ongoing work to care for the kits that need you! Love Helen, Darcy and Helen

  7. The prefab model for about $600 with tax is impressive. Probably no cat would go inside!!!!! Trial and error is the best way. When you get your cat houses perfected, you can go into business building and selling them yourself. (PS I am losing the "Robot" wars.)

  8. It is awesome that BK has you looking out for him.

  9. Oh, this is so wonderful. I hope too that BK becomes an indoor kitty, but until then, he sure has nice digs. You're good! I love the pics of him in your lap.

  10. I just found you on Mr. Puddy's blog. Love how your cats all want to test out the new heating pad. LOL! (I could use that here today!) What beautiful kitties!

  11. You are so great to BK! :) I hope that you can make him an indoor kitty someday, too, but until then, I am so so glad that you take such great care of him while he's outdoors! The world needs more wonderful people like you in it :)


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