Cat summer care is something to take seriously. Yes, cats get sunburn too - and even skin cancer! On this page I will tell you my experience of my own poor little cat getting sunburn so bad that she had to have an ear removed!
And I will give you some good cat care tips on how to prevent this from happening to your own kitty, and why taking out some cat insurance can be a good idea too.
Just as we humans are advised to protect ourselves from too much sun to help reduce our risk of developing skin cancer, so it can apply to your beloved pet too!
This is especially the case with white cats and those with white ears (just as fair skinned people are more at risk as well).
The fur on the ears tends to be much thinner than on the rest of a cats body and this, combined with a pale colouring means there is very little protection from the sun. And the fact that so many cats just love to sun bathe all day long means the risk of cat skin cancer is even greater.
Our dear little cat Mo was a complete sun worshiper and one summer she got sunburn on both her ears. We were about to find out just how important it is to provide good cat summer care!
It didn't look too bad until it went a bit scabby and very slowly a lump started to develop on her left ear.
We took her to the vet who took a biopsy. This proved that the lump was not malignant (cancerous) but we were told to bring her back if it got any worse because it could still develop into cat skin cancer.
Well, it did keep growing and when Mo had a scratch, she would catch the lump with her claws and make it bleed.
So the decision was made to remove the lump and unfortunately most of her ear with it.
Luckily we had taken out good cat insurance, otherwise I hate to think of the problems we may have had trying to find the money to pay for all her tests and operations!
So what could we do to prevent this from happening to her other ear?
Well, as part of our cat care routine, every spring and summer and on any other nice hot sunny day, we would make sure that we put a high factor sun block cream on her remaining good ear. We rubbed it in well so that when she washed herself she didn't ingest very much, and it did seem to prevent any further problems.
If only we had realised we needed to do this from the beginning!
Our vet informed us that in Australia and similar hot countries it can be common to remove cats ears as a preventative measure, as cat skin cancer is so common over there!
Other methods of protection we have heard about are tattooing dark pigment on to the ear, or regularly using a permanent black marker pen to colour the ears black.
But we found that sun block cream worked just fine and Little Mo got so used to having it put on that she didn't even try to wash it off.
I don't know how successful the other methods are, and if anyone has any other tips on good cat summer care, then I would love to hear them.
It is obviously an important part of good cat summer care to always ensure your kitty has access to a shady spot in the garden, and a fresh supply of clean water to drink.
It can also be a good idea to keep your cat indoors during the hottest midday hours on particularly sunny days, as this is when the risk of sunburn is at its highest. They can still go out and enjoy the sun later in the day when things have cooled off a bit.
Luckily, little Mo remained a perfectly happy cat despite losing her ear (and she still worshiped the sun!) but we would hate for other cats to have to go through the same thing!
By following these simple tips on good cat summer care, we hope you too can help protect your own cat from getting sunburn and risking developing cat skin cancer. And don't forget to look into getting some affordable cat insurance, because like us, you never know what might be round the corner when it comes to looking after your feline friend!