Do cats get sunburnt?

Posted by Dr Claire Jenkins on Dec 24, 2015 7:34:13 AM
Dr Claire Jenkins

Cats, like us, are susceptible to sun burn from exposure to UV rays from our harsh Aussie sun. Many cats have pigmentation in the skin and a thick coat of hair which offers a physical barrier to UV rays and hence protection from the sun. It’s the cats that don’t have this that we need to worry the most about.

The fair skinned and white-coated cats are prone to sunburn particularly around the nose and ear tips, but also other areas of skin.

Recommendations for these cats are:

  1. Keep them indoors during the day when the sun is at its strongest, say between 10 am and 4pm (or all the time if your prefer).
  2. When they are outdoors ensure that there is adequate shade, if not, consider installing a shade cloth.
  3. For those that sun bathe by the window consider a sun blocking film for the windows.
  4. Wear clothing such as a t-shirt (a little over the top but if your cats allows this will protect the delicate non haired skin on the belly when they are bathing)
  5. Apply sunscreen, a high SPF one that’s approved for cats, which you apply to the ear tips and the top of the head or nose.

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Topics: Health, sunburn, cat