Winter is here, which means it’s time to break out the warmer clothes and turn up the heat in your home. As a cat owner, it is also important to make sure your kitty is comfortable throughout the colder months.
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, you need to carefully groom him, and keep him feeling comfortable.
The following are some general tips for tending to your cat’s coat during the winter season:
Brush it frequently
When fall hits, your cat begins shedding so that he can grow a thick winter coat. Since your cat isn’t used to this much hair, his coat will become matted and he won’t be able to clean it as easily. Do him a favor and brush it as much as possible so that he stays hygienic and comfortable.
You can use a wide-toothed comb or a special cat brush to groom small areas at a time. This will make sure your cat doesn’t experience any discomfort while you’re brushing. If your cat is reluctant to grooming, you can bribe him with some of his favorite treats to keep him still.
Take care of matted areas
If your cat’s coat is already a giant matted mess, you have two options. You can either take him to the groomer, or deal with the knots and tangles yourself. Don’t try to comb them out (instead, gently trim them using scissors.)
Ridding the coat of knots, along with combing the hair regularly, is going to reduce the amount of shedding that occurs. It will also strengthen your bond with your cat and cut down on the hairballs he coughs up.
Look for signs of dandruff
The heat is blasting in your home because it’s freezing outside. While you may feel fine, this can cause your cat to experience mild dandruff because his skin is dehydrated. To prevent this from happening, you can either buy a humidifier that will add some moisture back into the air in your home, or feed him omega-3 fatty acids. If the dandruff doesn’t go away or becomes more prominent, you’ll need to ask your vet for advice and guidance.
Avoid static shock
Since cats have more fur in the winter, they may be susceptible to getting shocked by static electricity. This can occur when they hang out around the house or when you go to pet them. You can sidestep this by placing humidifiers around the home. It also may help to use a moisturizing shampoo that will keep his skin hydrated when you bathe him.
Help your indoor/outdoor cat adapt
If you have a cat that lives both indoors and outdoors, don’t prevent him from going outside just because it has gotten a bit chilly. Allowing him to go outside regularly will encourage him to grow a thicker coat and it will help him get used to the weather. Keep in mind, your cat needs to adjust to the drop in temperature gradually and not all at once.
During the first few cold days of the season, be sure to monitor your kitty. Make sure you’re providing a warm and safe space for him to go into outside, just in case his coat isn’t enough to keep him warm.
Feed your cat a healthy diet
You should be feeding your kitty high quality food that contains the right amount of essential vitamins, protein, fatty acids, and nutrients all year round. You may also want to give him supplements of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Some beneficial additives to his food include fish oils, butter, canola oil, soybean oil, and safflower oil. When you give your cat healthy food you not only prolong his life, you also guarantee that he will have a thick, shiny coat in the winter that will keep him cozy.
Winter can be challenging for pet owners in a number of ways. You may have to pay more attention to your cat’s coat and habits, but in the end, he’ll feel safe and warm throughout winter.