Does your cat bite or scratch at her skin during the winter months but not at other times of year? Her skin may become dry in the cold weather, just like the skin of people. She might also have allergies that flare in winter or a condition called seborrhea that you didn’t happen to notice before. In cats who have it, sebaceous glands in the skin secrete excess oil and contribute to the flaking of dead skin cells.
Check your cat’s skin if you notice that she’s biting or ripping at it. If it’s red, flaking, or scaly or has scabs or sores, talk to your veterinarian. Once he rules out allergies or seborrhea, he may recommend some topicals for winter skin that could help support the skin barrier by providing hydration. Some products that Tufts dermatologist Ramon Almela, DVM, recommends include Dermoscent Essential 6 Spot On, Douxo S3 Calm, and Dermoscent Essential Mousse.
Dr. Almela also says that installing a humidifier to make household air less dry and even adjusting the temperature downward a little to prevent excessive loss of moisture in the skin can help, too.