Winter Care for Cats

Don’t you love settling in with a hot drink, a good book or movie, and your purring cat on cold winter nights? Kitties make wonderful lap warmers when it’s chilly out! Providing your furball with warm, cozy beds to nap in will help keep her comfortable, but there are a few other things you may need to do to keep Fluffy warm, safe, and healthy this winter. A Coon Rapids, MN veterinarian discusses winter care for cats in this article.

Grooming
Regular brushing will remove dander and dead fur from Fluffy’s coat, which will help increase the insulating qualities of that pretty fur, and keep your furball warmer. It will also reduce hairballs. (Bonus: since you’re trapping that extra fur in a brush, you won’t find as much of it on your clothes and belongings.)

Diet
Fluffy may need bigger serving sizes in winter, especially if she is a kitten, a senior, or goes outside, as she’ll burn extra calories just to stay warm. If your pet suffers from a specific medical condition, particularly a bone/joint problem such as arthritis, supplements may be beneficial, as many of these issues act up in cold weather. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Winter Hazards
Winter brings some very specific dangers to our feline friends. Antifreeze is a big one: it’s highly toxic to kitties, but has a sweet taste many cats like. Be sure to clean any spills right away! You’ll also want to be very careful with candles and fireplaces: never have open flames around your pet.

Outdoor Cats
Fluffy will be both safer and warmer indoors, but if you do let her out, you’ll want to take some precautions. First, make sure she has an emergency shelter, in case she ever gets stuck outside in bad weather. You can use a repurposed plastic storage bin for this. Limit your cat’s outdoor time to a few hours at most, and don’t let her out at night or when bad weather is on the way. Also, wipe your furball’s paws off when she comes in, in case she’s walked through any chemicals. Always tap your hood, and check your wheel wells before starting a car, as many strays huddle up under vehicles to stay warm.

Do you have any questions about your kitty’s health or care? We can help! Contact us, your Coon Rapids, MN animal hospital, anytime.

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