How to care for your cat in cold weather: not all cats need to increase their food ration!

Ferenczi Deborah, 2023. February 21 - Source: Photos by Getty Images Hungary

Many people think that cats don't need seasonal grooming. Well, in fact, it's during the winter that the importance of a grooming routine should be emphasised. The reason for this is that certain skin problems occur specifically in the cold.

This post is also available in: Magyar

Below, we’ve put together some of the most important changes to your grooming routine that you should be aware of if you want to give your kitty the most professional care possible.

Winter coat care

Healthy cats replace their summer coat in autumn with a warmer, winter version. However, your cat may not be able to keep its new coat under control, so extra help is needed to keep it well groomed. To ensure this, it is highly recommended that you brush your pet at least twice, but preferably three times a week with a suitable brush or comb during the winter. This is essential to prevent tangles and to remove excess hair without the cat shedding it in the house. However, it is important to know that long-haired cats need daily grooming to keep their fur in good condition. It is also important that if you bathe your cat, you dry its fur thoroughly, as it can easily catch cold.

Proper care of paws

As the weather gets wetter, the more likely it is that your outdoor cat’s paws will get muddy. Therefore, if your pet is outdoors, make sure you wipe its paws regularly, as mud is full of dirt that can be dangerous for the animal when cleaning, for example. It is also always a good idea to check the paws thoroughly, as it is easy for pebbles and stones to get caught in the pads, which can cause pain with every step.

From now on, one of the biggest winter dangers for cats’ paws is road salt, which can easily animal’s feet and cause painful wounds. So when the roads are salted by snowfall, it may be worth locking your pet indoors.

Dry skin and dandruff in winter

One of the most common problems cats have in winter is due to dry air caused by heating. In cats, it can be particularly difficult to detect dry skin as they are covered in a thick layer of fur. However, if the fur starts to flake, it is a clear sign that the cat’s skin is very dry. In this case, it may be useful to buy a humidifier, as this will help to keep the air more humid. It is also worth increasing the amount of omega-3 in the diet.

Increase food ration

When the colder weather arrives, it may be worth increasing your pet’s food intake, as it burns more calories in the cold than on hot summer days. However, this is particularly relevant for cats that spend a lot of time outdoors, as similar food rations are sufficient for indoor cats as in other seasons, with heating.

Avoiding arthritis and the importance of indoor exercise

It is worth being aware that cats are more prone to arthritis in cold weather. So care should be taken to ensure that there are no signs that the animal is suffering from such a problem, such as a matted coat, which may indicate that it is in pain, has problems grooming, or is making slow, lumpy movements or limping. If you suspect your cat is suffering, see a vet immediately.

It’s also essential to make sure that your cat is properly exercised, even in cold, cuddly weather. It may be worth playing interactive games with your pet that are both physically and mentally exhausting.

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