If you’re wondering whether cats get cold through their fluffy coats, the answer is yes. The cool winter weather not only impacts our lifestyle, it affects our feline friends too. Learn how you can keep your cat warm this winter and maintain their health.

How to keep your cat warm and healthy in winter

Comfortable bedding

Cats love having a cosy space where they can feel sheltered and secure, and you may find that some outdoor cats may prefer to wriggle their way inside to escape the winter chills. Keep your cat warm this winter by providing them with a cat igloo that they can snuggle into when they want to rest. Coax them in with a favourite blanket or treat. Great places you can keep their bed are on your bed or couch, on a high shelf, at the top of their scratching post, or in a prime position near the heater, making sure not to get too close due to fire risk. For kittens, senior cats and other felines that feel the cold more acutely, provide them with a microwavable heat pad to cuddle with. Ensure the heat pad is covered in a towel to prevent burns. Find the comfy cat bed that will keep your pet warm this winter at Petbarn.

Diet and exercise

Traditionally most cats will move at their own pace and create their own exercise. However, some indoor cats will need to be encouraged to exercise when the weather turns cold. Help your cat stay healthy by engaging in extra playtime, for example rolling ping pong balls for them to chase and using other cat toys that encourage movement. Remember that cats eating the same amount of calories, but exercising less will soon put on weight. For more physical and mental stimulation during mealtimes, try hiding small amounts of food in different places around your home which will encourage your cat to sniff and search for their food. Make sure you’re feeding your cat the optimal diet for their age, breed and lifestyle by using our Food Finder tool.

Spot the signs of arthritis

Cats can develop arthritis at any age but it’s most common in senior cats who are over the age of 7. Symptoms of arthritis can become especially pronounced during winter if your cat becomes cold and inactive. By learning the signs of arthritis, you can recognise them early on and take action to care for your pet before their joints become too sore. Most cats with arthritis will have difficulty or hesitation jumping onto the bed or couch, while others will start to mat their coats as they find it painful to turn and groom themselves. Some may even become uncharacteristically aloof or aggressive. If they have very painful joints, cats may be sore when patted or picked up. If your cat is showing any of these symptoms of arthritis, book an appointment at your local Greencross Vets where they can create a multipoint plan to manage your cat’s arthritis.

Flea, tick and worm treatments

While parasites are more prevalent during the warmer seasons, they live in our environment all year round. It’s very important for your cat’s health that you continue to provide them with flea, tick and worm medication in the winter months. Pet parents commonly experience outbreaks of fleas in winter, especially in homes with carpet, as the indoor heating creates an ideal opportunity for the residual flea eggs and larvae in the environment to hatch and thrive. Make sure to use our Flea, Tick and Worm Treatment Finder tool to understand which combination of products will best keep your cat safe from parasites.

Regular brushing

Don’t forget to regularly brush your cat in winter, especially if they’re of a breed which develops undercoats. While this thicker fur can help to insulate your cat from the cold, if you don’t help your cat to maintain it, the matting can cause your pet discomfort. Using a good quality brush to remove unwanted fur is an important routine to maintain in winter to ensure that your cat doesn’t develop mats or knots. This will also enhance the bond between you and your kitty. Explore our range of cat grooming products to find the right items to keep your cat healthy this winter.