If you are a self-confessed “crazy cat lady” or “crazy cat dude”, then we are sure that you do everything you can to keep your precious felines healthy and happy. And though diet, exercise, and plenty of kitty treats usually suffice with these independent creatures, you may be unaware that your sun-loving buds may be coming home with sunburns under their fur!
That’s right, just as you have to protect yourself from the sun during the hottest months, it’s important that you do the same for your beloved felines. It turns out that their fur does very little to protect them from potentially deadly UV rays; in fact, if you own a cat that has light coloring (either hair or eyes), then they are at a high risk of falling victim to skin problems.
Cats tend to get burned on their ears or around their delicate eye area—basically anywhere where there is only a light smattering of hair coverage. If you have ever brushed the strands of fur back on your kitty, then you know that the skin appears to be paper thin. Because of this, they are actually much more susceptible to burns and skin cancer than humans.
Most of the time, you will be able to tell if your feline friend has experienced a sunburn if their skin feels coarse or rough to the touch, if there are noticeable blisters, or if there is discoloration.
Pearl’s cautionary tale
One poor kitty that learned about the drawbacks of sunbathing in the toughest way is Pearl, a 16-year-old abandoned cat from Derby, England. When rescued, she was discovered with burns on her ears that were so severe that they couldn’t be saved. Vets had to make the tough choice and, unfortunately, amputate both of them.
Just check out her devastating before and after surgery pictures:Metro via SharedThese days, Pearl is getting the care she needs at an adoption home, but the publicity surrounding her story is starting to shine a spotlight on this quiet kitty epidemic.
The best way to protect your cat from sun damage
If you have a strong-willed outdoor kitty, then you may find it impossible to control their behavior. After all, it’s not the easiest of tasks to keep a wily, sun-loving cat indoors.
The best thing that you can do is try your best to keep your furry friend in your home during the sunniest hours of the day (between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.). He might not be happy with you, but we are sure that he will compromise by slumbering in some bright rays by a window.
Additionally, you can always purchase a bottle of pet-friendly sunscreen. However, it is important to note that you should only choose the variety that is made for cats and does not contain the feline skin irritant salicylates.
By doing your part to keep them out of the sun, you can help keep your feline friends stay happy, healthy, and most of all safe!
Do you have a cat who loves to bask in the sunshine? How do you keep him or her sunburn-free during the summer months? Have you found a kitty sunscreen that you love? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!