Can cats get sunburn?

Are you worried that your cat might get sunburn? It’s reasonable to be concerned, but don’t worry: Cats Protection has advice on how to keep your cat safe and comfortable during the heatwave. Once you’ve read the article take the quiz – do you know how to keep your cool cat cool?

can cats get sunburn
By Andrew – originally posted to Flickr as Blue’s pink nose, CC BY 2.0,

Is my cat at risk from sunburn?

Cats with pink noses and ears at higher risk

Your cat is at higher risk if it has pale or unpigmented areas on its nose and ears. Not only can they be susceptible to sunburn, but these areas can also develop cancer. Some very unlucky cats have had to have ears surgically removed due to severe sunburn.

Sunburn is visible pretty quickly, but cancer can take years to become visisble. This can also require ear surgery. Make an urgent vet’s appointment for your cat if you suspect cancer as swift treatment is essential.

My cat loves the sun

Don’t they all!Cats love warm sunny spots and seek them out. It’s important to make sure your cats don’t overheat or become dehydrated.

If you can, keep your cat inside for the hottest part of the day. It’s usually a simple matter to lock your pet door.

Provide shady spots in your garden. This can be natural planting or an awning. You can rig up something as a temporary measure in really hot weather, using whatever you have to hand. An old sheet or blanket stretched across a couple of poles will provide shade.

Place a few water bowls around your outdoor space, so that wherever your cat is they have easy access to water.

If you have a cat with pink ears or nose, your vet can recommend a suitable sun protection cream.

Keeping your cat cool indoors

Cats need cooling down indoors just as much as we do when it’s sweltering. House fans are idea for this. Another great tip from Cats Protection is freezing plastic bottles of water, wrapping each one in a towel and placing them at points around the house where your cat likes to lie.