Rescue Cat Warmers

imageI follow one of our local cat rescues, Keller’s Kats,  on FB. Last winter, they rescued so many cats and kittens who were nearly frozen. They did a fabulous job bringing each baby back to health.

I thought it would be nice, and hopefully helpful, to have kitty warmers; a way of gently bringing the cats’ body temperatures back up to where they need to be. After some pondering over my favorite rice bags, I came up with a pillow bed that heated rice bags could go inside.

I did two different versions. The darker green one with the raw edges hidden that took 2 machine seams and 3 hand seams. The lighter green is a quicker, mostly machine, method that has the raw edges tucked inside the pocket where the rice goes.

Each heatable pillow bed is made of a width of 100% cotton fabric cut 10″ to 14″ wide. I do want to make some slightly larger ones too.

For the quicker method, with the right side down, fold the ends in lengthwise.

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The selvages need to overlap. (I leave the selvages on.)

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Fold the folded ends back so the selvage ends are on the outside.

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This creates an M in the fabric, with layers that look like this:

imageI sewed along the raw edges with a straight stitch and zig-zagged the raw edges. This created  two pockets on each side. Each pocket was filled with batting. I played with the fullness trying to get the right loft I thought would be good for a cat that didn’t feel well.

Then, I closed the opening with a whip stitch. (this is where that selvage edge is neater.)

For the darker green ones, that I actually did first, I folded the long ends in right sides together. I machine stitched along the sides. Then turned them right side out for the pockets. Like above, I filled the pockets and whip stitched along the opening.

imageThis pillow bed was then folded in half. I whip stitched along the sewn sides to make the pillow. I did do a button-less button stitch in the middle to give the kitty a comfier place to sleep. I’ll see if this helps.

imageRobo Kitty shows how a cat can sit on top. You can see the pocket where the rice bags slide inside. I suppose, you could fit a cat inside in case of an emergency as well.

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The pillow beds are washable. This was a must so they could be cleaned and used. I debated about the batting. At first, I was thinking wool, my go-to. Quilt batting wool would give the advantage of being able to be sewn into the pillow bed all at once. (poly quilt batting could too. But, I didn’t have any.) Then I realized wool could have two issues – fleas might like it and it could lump during multiple washings.

Rice Bags
The rice bags are not washable. These are simply rice in a muslin bag. Each one is 4″x4″ or 4″x5″. The fabric and thread must be 100% cotton. I filled them so they would lay flat inside the pillow bed. Each has shy of a half pound of rice.
They are microwaved for a minute or two for use.
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I’ll share any feedback I get from the rescue about how they work or could be better.

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to “Don’t Paint the Cat”

Cat Painting 1For years now, I’ve kept a history focused blog full of research, projects, interpretive tips and events. Now, it is time to add something a little different….

This blog will include the non-historical fiber crafts I enjoy, as well as other fun, crafty things I happen to do.

What will you see?

Well, I’ll be deciding that as I go. You’ll be seeing some fabric crafty projects, some holiday projects, occasionally some how-tos. You’ll also see some things around the house like my fondness for shelf building. (This will likely include some laughs as I am newer to power tools.) Chances are there will be some refinishing as space allows. You may even occasionally see attempts at food.