Should cat owners think more about feline sun cream for cats’ ears?

Nancy a cat who lost her ear flaps due to cancer from sun
Nancy a cat who lost her ear flaps due to cancer from sun. Pictures: Cats Protection.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The picture of Nancy, a largely white cat with her ear flaps surgically removed because of cancer, makes me wonder if cat owners are thinking sufficiently enough about applying feline sunscreen to their cat’s ears. This consideration may be more important nowadays if you believe in global warming and climate change. We had a blistering hot summer last year.

White cats like Nancy are particularly vulnerable to sunburn of the ears as we know.

Feline sun cream needs to be specially formulated because it might be ingested by cats when grooming their ears. Important: some products for humans might be toxic to cats (and dogs). This is possibly what stops cat owners using sun cream on their cats in the first place.

I wouldn’t use sunscreen cream formulated for people for this reason. I’d check with your veterinarian too.

Obviously when a cat grooms her ears the cream would be removed partly or totally but cats don’t groom their ears as much as other parts of their body in my opinion. Although they might if there was cream on them! These are the issues but I believe that protecting cats’ ears in hot weather is a part of cat caretaking which is often overlooked.

Nancy’s ear flaps were removed because they had become cancerous due to her spending all day outside without protection from the sun’s harmful UV light.

Nancy is described as a five-year-old tabby-and-white but she is not. She is a solid-and-white. She spends or spent most of her time outdoors as a stray we are told. She is domesticated and wonder whether she is ‘owned’ and not a stray.

Cats Protection, the well-known cat fostering rescue organisation in the UK suggest that sun cream can be useful.

A lot of Americans would simply say that the best solution is to keep cats indoors at all times or at least during the hottest days. I agree but in many countries of the world cats are allowed outside all the time and you won’t change that habit anytime soon.

Mrs Clouting of Cats Protection said to the East Anglian Daily Times:

“Poor Nancy was in quite a state when she first arrived in our care, with both ears having sustained serious sun damage. To prevent any risk of cancer, she had to have the tops removed.”

Nancy is looking for a home at 25th April 2019. Potential adopters can telephone Cats Protection’s Tendring & District Branch on 01255 744 014.

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