HomeCat HealthburnsThoughts about Sunburnt Cats and Amputated Ears


Thoughts about Sunburnt Cats and Amputated Ears — 8 Comments

  1. Fortunately, no cat will sunbath in nearly 100 degree weather here. They hide in very shaded places. Never had sunburn at all.

  2. A more drastic preventive measure is tattooing the ears. The tattoo dye helps block the harmful rays. This is useful if the cat doesn’t tolerate sun-block (some cats have an ID tattoo inside the ear, so this method is not as far out as it seems).

    • The tattoo is an interesting suggestion Sarah. I’m guessing that procedure is more common in countries where they regularly have high temperatures, as opposed to the UK where we can have sun, rain and snow all in one day 😉

  3. Horace, my senior ex-stray (mainly white with some black) has sun/fight damaged ears. He loves sunbathing and sometimes I’ve noticed in places where his fur is less dense, that his skin looks sunburnt 🙁 Occasionally he’ll go and lay in the shade, but it’s rare. Neither Charley (ginger & white) or Phoebe (ginger)enjoy laying out in the sun for too long. They spend more time in the shade or indoors during the day.

    I do try to make sure Horace has sun-block on his ears and vulnerable areas, but he’s not always co-operative and UK weather is very changeable. Fortunately he’s had minimal damage to his ear tips and the vet’s given him the all clear.

    Michael you are correct, white IS the absence of colour. Pigmentation isn’t just fur deep though, it’s skin deep. Assuming that white cats (much like a Scandanavian blonde human) have very fair skin. Wouldn’t that make them more susceptible to sunburn?

    • Good point about skin pigmentation. The lack of pigmentation in the fur probably also extends to the skin and therefore making the cat doubly vulnerable to the skin being damaged by ultraviolet light. I can see that you are very aware of the possibilities of your cats’ becoming sunburned. My cat does not tend to lie in the sun for a long time. He prefers to lie in the shade. I wonder whether that is deliberate in order to avoid being sunburned or simply because it is cooler. I suspect it must be because of the latter reason.

      • Michael I wonder if their fur colour has an influence on how well they can tolerate heat? Do darker coat colours absorb more heat in the same way that dark clothing is said to?

        Despite having very thick and long fur, Sophie (grey & white) tolerated the heat in Cyprus, much better than Merlin (solid black) ever did. Or perhaps her dense fur provided better insulation against the heat?

        • Michele, you have a very good thought about heat tolerance. I missed that. Perhaps white fur does reflect some light and therefore is cooler for the cat whereas black fur absorbs light, warming the cat up and forcing her into the shade where she is protected from sunburn.

  4. I have a Sphynx and two shorthair domestics. My Sphynx got a freckle. I went to the Sphynx owners’ website and found little solace. Then I went to the baby section of a big box store and found UVA and B resistant plastic sheeting. It is most attractive to the house if it is professionally done and therefore difficult to remove later. It is also costly. So my house looks like I can’t afford heat or better windows, but my babies can lie in the sun at their wim and I am much happier. They are strictly indoor cats so that keeps them totally protected. I had basal cell carcinoma although I have always avoided the sun so if I wasn’t convinced they were safe–they would have to endure my tough love.

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