With the UK set to experience a mini-heatwave at the end of this month, the UK’s leading feline welfare charity has some advice on keeping pet cats safe in the warm weather.
Cats Protection, which helps around 200,000 cats each year, says that pale-coloured cats, or cats that have unpigmented white noses or ears, are at particular risk from the sun’s rays which can cause sunburn and skin cancer.
It can take a few years before the damage is visible but once the early stages of cancer set in, cats require urgent veterinary treatment to prevent it spreading. Felines can suffer long term damage including, in severe cases, having to have their ear tips removed.
To protect your cat from the harmful effects of the sun:
- Keep pet cats indoors when the sun is at its hottest, typically between 10am and 3pm
- Speak to a vet about a suitable sunscreen for pet cats
- Provide plenty of shade for pet cats when they are outdoors, such as providing cat hides, large cardboard boxes or plant plots placed close together
- Always provide an outdoor water bowl to minimise the risk of your cat becoming dehydrated
- To stop cats feeling overheated, place a plastic bottle with frozen water inside a towel and place it in an area that the cat frequently visits
Further tips on keeping cats safe in warm weather can be found at www.cats.org.uk/cats-and-warm-weather