Cats Protection says cats with white or pale ears or noses are particularly susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays – with some needing drastic surgery to repair sun damaged skin.
The charity warns that white cats don’t have a pigment called melanin in their skin, which is what protects humans from sunlight.
This can leave them vulnerable to sun damage - usually around the ears.
One such cat is 13-year-old Tiara who had her ears removed before coming into Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre.
“Not everyone realises that cats can develop skin cancer from too much sun exposure and certain pale cats, like Tiara, are more at risk,” said Cats Protection spokesperson Louise Waters.
“Over time, the damage caused can increase the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma which is a skin cancer that occurs when the skin becomes damaged from overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.”
"The best way to protect your cat is by keeping him or her indoors during the hottest part of the day, particularly during the summer months. We understand that’s not always easy so it’s also a good idea for cat owners ask their vet to recommend a suitable sunscreen.”
While most cats will be perfectly safe in summer, there are other potential hazards to be aware of so the charity has compiled some tips to help cat owners:
More information on how to look after cats in hot weather can be found on Cats Protection’s website.
A photo of Tiara can be downloaded by clicking here
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For further information or an interview, please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on 01825 741 911, at email@example.com, or @CPMediaTeam on Twitter.
Notes to Editors: