With the arrival of summer, you may be wondering if you really need to put sunscreen on your cat: we explain everything here.
Cats love to relax in the warmth of sunlight, especially in the spring and summer months of the year: if you have adopted a cat you will know what we are talking about and it is likely that you are worrying about the health of your cat. Can cats get sunburn? Is it necessary to apply sunscreen to the cat? These questions are absolutely legitimate and in this article we will try to give you all the answers.
Just as it happens to humans, who expose themselves to the sun with different protections depending on the skin phototype, even among cats there are specimens that are more likely to get burned in the sun and cats whose skin is more resistant: white cats or cats. with little hair they are much more at risk. Furthermore, it is undeniable that prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause damage to the cat’s skin: we see all the details in the next paragraphs.
Cat sunscreen: when to use it and why
As mentioned above, there are some feline specimens that are more at risk of suffering even serious damage due to exposure to sunlight without an adequate protective shield. White cats, short-haired cats and even more so naked cats such as the Sphynx cannot protect themselves from sunlight and their skin can pay dearly for it.
Damage from sun exposure in cats
There are two major dangers for cats that are exposed to the sun without adequate protection: sunburn and skin cancer. Sunburn in cats is recognized by a widespread redness of the skin, furthermore the cat’s skin appears irritated and the cat suffers a very annoying burning. If you notice these symptoms in your cat, you should also contact your vet immediately as a sunburn, combined with dehydration, could prove fatal to your kitty.
Much more serious and dangerous is the condition in which a cat develops skin cancer due to exposure to sunlight. This type of cancer, called squamous cell carcinoma, is recognized by the presence of scabs and unhealed wounds in some specific areas and in particular around the ears and nose of a cat. This tumor is particularly common among cats and, if not treated properly, can be very painful and lead to death.
Sunscreen for cats: everything you need to know
If your cat is one of those at particular risk, it is advisable to use sunscreen in the summer months when your cat is outside. The application of the cream must mainly concern those vulnerable areas, that is the areas where the hair is sparse or absent. If your cat belongs to a hairless breed , it’s good to protect its whole body.
The key thing is to always use a specific sunscreen for pets: cats are predisposed to be more sensitive to products, so it is important not to improvise with something that is not specific. Always check the label and make sure the sunscreen is suitable for cats.
Considering the possibility of allergic reactions, it is advisable to test a small amount of the product on a limited area of skin. In this way, in the following hours, you will be able to check if there are skin reactions (redness, irritation, itching) or if the cat, licking and ingesting small amounts of cream, should present symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea. If so, contact your vet immediately.
Sunscreen should be applied with particular care in the following areas: nose, ear tips, belly, groin and in all those areas where the fur is sparse and thin. If you really don’t want to or can’t use sunscreen, make sure your cat stays indoors during the hottest, sunniest hours of the day.