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26th April 2023

A stray cat who had to have the tips of her ears removed due to sun damage has prompted a warning from the feline welfare charity Cats Protection as the weather starts to warm up.

Pomidora (now called Dora) was living outdoors on an industrial estate in Ollerton near Mansfield with her three young kittens.

Warehouse workers there took pity on her so handed her over to Cats Protection’s adoption centre in Mansfield who were shocked to discover the disease on her ears could be cancer.

“We knew straight away that Pomidora had some sun damage to her ears when she was admitted to the centre,” said manager Jane Holt. “Following a vet check, the decision was made to operate and remove the tips of her ears and our vet is hopeful that he has prevented any more spread of the disease.”

Cats Protection, which helps around 200,000 cats each year, says that pale-coloured cats, or cats that have unpigmented white noses or ears, are at particular risk from the sun’s rays which can cause sun damage and skin cancer.

Its appearance can be variable, often starting as a pink, thickened or scabbed area on the ears or nose and sometimes can cause hair loss and itching. As it progresses, it’s more likely to become ulcerated and bleed - or cause black crusts to form.

“Many lumps and lesions found in cats are benign but early intervention will give your pet the best chance of recovery if the area is found to be cancerous,” said Cats Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer Sarah Merrett.

“Although this form of cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, it does spread aggressively where it arises. Treatment is best done early and when the area affected is small, so it's important to seek veterinary help if you spot anything unusual.”

Fortunately, Dora has made a swift recovery and has since been adopted by Steph Bradley in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

“I spotted Dora on the website and she looked so sad and frightened that I instantly knew I wanted to give her a forever home,” she said.

“When we first met her she was so timid I did wonder if we were doing the right thing - but the second time I knew it was right. For the first few days she didn’t come out her bed but within a week she was moving around the house which is why we renamed her Dora as she’s always exploring! I wouldn’t say having her ear tips removed has changed her quality of life at all. Before I adopted Dora I’d lost my other cat unexpectedly and was struggling, the house felt empty. Dora is amazing and has helped to mend my broken heart.”

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