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Protect your cat from sunburn this summer

21 July 2021

With summer now underway, we're highlighting the dangers of sun to cats after an unfortunate feline had to have the tips of his ears removed.

Dr Sarah Elliott, Central Veterinary Officer for Cats Protection says: “Cats are notorious for their love of lounging around in the sun but, as with humans, this can be a very dangerous activity when the sun is at its hottest. The risk is particularly great for pale-coloured cats like Fluff (see story below) or any cats that have unpigmented white noses or ears.

“It may take a few years before the damage is visible but, once the early stages of cancer set in, cats will require urgent veterinary treatment to prevent it spreading. However, following a few simple steps will help to protect pets in the warmer weather.”

Cats Protection’s top tips are: 

  • Keep pet cats indoors when the sun is at its hottest, typically between 10am and 3pm,
  • Speak to a vet about a suitable sunscreen for pet cats.
  • Provide plenty of shade for pet cats when they are outdoors, such as providing cat hides, large cardboard boxes or plant pots placed close together.
  • Provide an outdoor water bowl to stop a cat becoming dehydrated.
  • Wrap a plastic bottle with frozen water in a towel and place it somewhere a pet cat goes regularly, to stop them feeling overheated during a hot spell.

Further tips on keeping cats safe in warm weather can be found at www.cats.org.uk/cats-and-warm-weather    

Fluff's story
Protect felines from sunburn this summer urges charity
Senior citizen Fluff is 15 years of age and was brought to Cats Protection (Bridgend Adoptuon Centre) after his owner could no longer care for him.

Fluff had suffered significant burns to the tips of his ears caused by the sun’s rays. This meant that he had to have his ear tips removed by a vet to prevent the spread of skin cancer.

Fluff bounced back well from his operation and he loved human contact, being groomed and playing with ping pong balls. He now has a happy home in Cwmbran, Wales with Jo Griffiths and her family.

Jo said: “Fluff has been the perfect addition to our family. He is such a lovely boy and so affectionate, he greets us when we come home, and he knows which one is the soft touch for a sneaky treat. He is so amazing! His personality has really come out now so we get cwtches and kisses, and he talks to us too. We’re so happy that Cats Protection were able to get him the help he needed so we could give him a happy new home.”

Bridgend Adoption Centre Manager Sue Dobbs said: “We are delighted that we were able to give Fluff a second chance and are so pleased to hear he’s settled well in his new home."