East Molesey nurses share key winter cat grooming advice

October 14, 2022

As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, it is an important time of year to pay close attention to the changing needs of your cat, specifically their winter grooming requirements. In this article, our East Molesey veterinary nurses have put together some guidance and tips to help keep your cat’s coat healthy and glossy throughout this winter season, and remember, our vet nurses are always happy to answer any questions and help your cat thrive.

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Many pet owners in Surrey don’t realise it’s not only dogs that need extra TLC when it comes to grooming during the winter months; cats also need attention, whether they are indoor cuddlers or outdoor explorers.

All cats, regardless of lifestyle, will experience their coat changing throughout the duration of the year. In the winter, most cats’ coats will develop a thicker undercoat as a natural response to colder conditions and, importantly, the reduction of daylight hours and sunlight. Even indoor cats who are not subject to the harsh changing weather conditions as much will shed because of a natural response to darker conditions.

Why regular cat grooming is important

1. Coat & skin health

Our Veterinary Nurses at Molesey Vets, explain that for any feline, regular grooming is key to health and happiness. Daily grooming is ideal, especially for breeds with longer coats. Grooming helps to remove dead skin cells and improves overall circulation. It helps to remove the matting of the coat as well. Matts and knots can be uncomfortable so keeping on top of this is fundamental.

Grooming also encourages the production of your cat’s natural healthy oils, which keep both fur and skin in top condition. Try to avoid bathing your cat as this can strip out the healthy oils and dry out the skin causing irritation and dandruff – plus, cats typically dislike being in water. Of course, the wet and mucky weather conditions might see outdoor cats come home with debris and dirt in their coat, so try to let this dry and then brush it out as opposed to bathing them.

2. Parasite prevention

Our nursing team advises that regular grooming also helps detect any parasites your cat has picked up like fleas or, less likely, ticks. Although the weather is colder, the use of central heating can increase flea activity inside the home so it’s important to be on the lookout for infestations on your cat as well as in your carpet and soft furnishings.

A flea pupae can live for up to 14 months in the home; simply waiting for the right conditions before hatching and causing a surprise infestation. This means your cat could have possibly picked up fleas during the summer months and this has gone unnoticed until cosy autumnal indoor conditions provide just the right environment for hatching.

Additionally, most cats will have some level of allergy to flea saliva so once bitten, will be scratching and uncomfortable, which has an impact on their skin and coat health. Both outdoor and indoor cats are at risk of picking up fleas so regardless of lifestyle remember to check their coats for parasites.

If you do find fleas or ticks on your cat you can remove ticks with a tick picker, but eradicating fleas and their eggs can be a bigger task. Prevention is better than a cure so regular flea treatment is key for their overall health and specifically the healthy condition of their skin and coat. You can speak to any of our veterinary nurses on the best preventative treatment plan for your cat.

3. Helping you bond

Grooming also helps you bond with your cat. Daily brushing will be enjoyable for them, but some might need to get used to it first. Don’t rush them. Instead, our nursing team recommends that you consider using something like a LickiMat to create both a positive (and tasty) experience and a distraction if you are finding it challenging to start off with. This should allow you to look after their coat as well as get them acclimatised to regular grooming.

Kitting out

Of course, the range of products available for cat grooming is extensive and can be overwhelming, but it’s important to get it right for the both of you. From flea combs to slicker brushes, to combs designed specifically for de-shedding and clearing off dead hair and dander; you can speak to one of our colleagues for more help on choosing the best option for both you and your cat.

Our nursing team are here to help! Whether you would like to discuss flea prevention, grooming accessories or would like an overall health check-up for your cat, our veterinary nurses will be happy to talk you through the best approach this winter.

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