You have a sun-safe routine going for everyone in your family. You mist your children as they wait for the school bus. You coat yourself with easily-absorbing sunscreen before heading out for a lunch date. You've even convinced your husband to incorporate it into his skincare routine (and to wear a hat to cover his balding crown). But do you put sunscreen on your cat?
Believe it or not, your pets need sunscreen too. Since today is Hug Your Cat Day, we've decided to help you take your love for your feline one step further. That's why we're offering you this bit of advice about cat sunscreen.
Cats and dogs can get sunburned when they're outside. This can be painful and increase their risk of skin cancer. The lighter the animal's skin and the thinner the hair, the more protection it needs.
Even your indoor cat needs UV protection. Have you ever noticed that your cat loves curling up in that little spot of sun that streams in through your bedroom window? Some UV rays come right through the glass and increase your cat's risk of skin cancer.
White-haired cats are especially susceptible to sun damage. Cats with white fur that spend lots of time in sunny spots can develop squamous cell carcinoma on the tips of their ears. This can appear as crusty or red wounded areas on the ears.
Since cats are constantly grooming themselves, they're likely to remove any sunscreen that you apply to them. Keep your cat safe by adding reflective filters to your windows.
If you really want to use cat sunscreen, make sure that you choose a product that is specifically formulated for your cat. Cats are sensitive to some ingredients that are safe for dogs and babies, so be careful what you put on them. Don't use sunscreen on your cat that contains octyl salicylate or zinc oxide. If in doubt, install shades on your windows and try to keep your cat out of the sun.