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Cat Proof Boiler – Is This Possible?

If you have noticed that your cat is messing with your boiler you may be looking for reasons why and ways to stop it from happening…

Why are cats attracted to a boiler?

Cats find boilers attractive for several reasons. First and foremost, they’re warm, and cats love a nice, warm spot. Secondly, they are isolated, so a cat can make their new ‘spot’ next to the boiler and this is normal. Lastly, they like to play with the insulation material.

Cats are predators and predators change their sleeping spots regularly!

Regarding the insulation material, sometimes boilers are partially wrapped in it, which is fun to pull and claw if you are a kitty. Take all of these reasons and combine them and you have a pretty good argument from the cat’s point of view that the boiler area is worth their while.

What can cats do to a boiler?

Brown steel boiler hanging on a white wall.

Brown steel boiler hanging on a white wall.

90% of the time, a cat will be just fine around a boiler, but they could potentially scratch and ruin insulation if it is present or they might urinate on the boiler and the heat could spread the smell very quickly.

They could also hurt themselves if they accidentally touch a hot pipe or if their tail happens to brush the pilot flame, and this should also be considered. Ultimately, your cat really shouldn’t be here, so it’s best to strategize a solution to keep them out.

Is a boiler the same thing as a furnace?

Yes, a boiler is the same thing as a furnace, which is the same thing as a heater. ‘Boiler’ is the more common term in U.K. English, but it is still quite established in the American variety. At this point, it’s officially a synonym!

How do I cat proof my boiler?

There are a few things that you can do to keep your kitty out of the boiler room. The first and easiest option, if it’s feasible, is to simply close the door. Barring that, you can get them to be averse to the area by placing some double-sided tape on the floor around the boiler and close to it.

Cats hate the sticky feel on their paws!

You can also use citrus spray in the area, which smells good to us but is quite unpleasant if you are a cat. This option is non-toxic and with the heavenly citrus smell, it’s also quite the attractive one to consider. If this doesn’t work, however, then there are 3 ‘nuclear option’ methods you can also try that might just work!

Cover it in tin foil

You might not know it, but cats HATE scratching tin foil. This means that you can use tin foil on the boiler to protect insulated areas and once the cat feels the unpleasant ‘metal tear’ sensation, they are likely to leave it alone altogether.

Use wire mesh to block access

It takes a bit of work, but you can create an actual barrier using wire mesh and it will definitely keep the cat out. Just keep in mind that these can gather dust quickly and this is not necessarily the most attractive of options unless you put a lot of work into it!

Use plastic folding doors

‘Baby barrier’ gates are not effective with cats on their own, but if you put a little double-sided tape on the other side so that jumping in means an unpleasant, sticky surprise for your kitty, then those doors will have new and enhanced levels of security where your cat is concerned.

Give it a try – this one works quite nicely and you can use it in just about any room of the house to good effect.

Could a cat hurt itself in a boiler?

While it’s highly unlikely, yes, your cat could hurt themselves if they are close to a boiler. It would require accidentally brushing against a hot pipe or even a tail-flick touching the pilot light, but this is most likely not going to happen.

That said, it’s still a good idea to keep your cat away from the boiler. They are quite likely to play with any insulation which is there and might even spray the area if they like the extra warmth!

Why do cats like radiators?

Black and white cat lying on top a radiator.

Black and white cat lying on top of a radiator.

Your cat has an average temperature at any given time of about 102 degrees. As such, the radiator gives out just the perfect amount of heat to keep a feline happy and quite toasty. As humans run at around 98.6 degrees, touching the radiator is simply not a pleasant experience for us.

If you are a cat, though, then it’s just about perfect!

Can cats feel the heat?

Yes, they do, but it’s a little different for cats. As they were originally desert animals, they have a higher natural body temperature than we do – at roughly 102 degrees at any given time. They will feel the heat from a radiator, for instance, but they plop down on them and quickly adjust.

It will rarely be hot enough to harm them. That said, if it normally runs very hot, then your cat could conceivably burn itself in an accident, just like a human might.

So, if you think that there is a possibility of this then it’s best to cordon off the area or at least give it a good citrus spraying to keep your kitty safely away from the radiator or the boiler.

Is it bad for my roommate to keep the litter near the furnace?

Yes, this is not a great place for putting the litter box. The first problem is the heat in the area. This is going to excite the scent molecules coming from the box and the area will get stinky very fast.

Plus, the furnace is designed to spread heated air around the house, so you could end up adding an odor EVERYWHERE! Thus, it’s in everyone’s best interests to find a better location for placing your kitty’s litter box.

Are water heaters more dangerous for cats?

Yes, the water heater is much more dangerous for your kitty than the furnace. The way they are designed, they are low to the ground, and they can get quite hot to the touch. This definitely raises the chances of your kitty accidentally brushing against it and getting a minor burn for their troubles.

There is also a small, but certainly possible chance that someone could manage to touch the pilot light, whether by batting the inside or flicking their tail the wrong way, and that could burn them much more seriously. Kitty-proofing the area is a very good idea where water heaters are concerned.

Lindsey Browlingdon