The UK’s leading feline charity has issued urgent advice on keeping pets sun safe as temperatures continue to soar.
Following a red warning for extreme heat from the Met Office, Cats Protection is urging people to take extra precautions to protect their pets.
Sarah Elliott, Central Veterinary Officer for Cats Protection, said: “White and pale-coloured cats are at particular risk of cancerous sunburn. They don’t have a pigment called melanin in their skin, which is what protects humans from sunlight. This can leave them vulnerable to sun damage – usually around the ears. Over time, the damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of developing skin damage and cancer. Cats with unpigmented noses or ears are also much more susceptible to sun damage and require additional sun protection.
“Pet owners should also be aware of the signs of heatstroke. Some parts of England are predicted to reach temperatures of 40° plus next week, so it’s really important to know what the danger signs are. Symptoms of heatstroke can include things like excessive panting or drooling, lethargy, breathing distress, agitation, a bright red tongue, vomiting, dizziness or staggering.”
Cats Protection’s top sun safety tips are:
- Keep pet cats indoors when the sun is at its hottest, typically between 10am and 3pm.
- Speak to a vet about suitable sunscreen for pet cats.
- Provide plenty of opportunities for shade outdoors, such as cat hides, large cardboard boxes or plant plots placed close together.
- To avoid dehydration, always provide an outdoor water source as well as an indoor water source so your cat has plenty of drinking opportunities.
- 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
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