Domestic cats often lie down near a sunny window to sleep. Dogs and cats have a habit of seeking a place in the sun as the weather gets warmer in the spring and summer, but can cats safely fall asleep in sunlight? Can cats get sunburned lying in front of a window? According to the ASPCA, your cat is susceptible to sunburn if he spends too much time in direct sunlight. Yes, even filtered light through a window can cause sunburn.
Are some cats more sensitive?
Cats with allergies or Cushing’s disease and sparse coats are more susceptible to sunburn than those with thick, full coats. Likewise, cats with light-colored coats tend to burn more quickly in the sun. If your cat has bald spots, it may get a little crispy when she sleeps in the sun.
How can you tell if your cat is sunburned?
It’s hard to tell if your cat is sunburned because its skin is covered by a thick layer of fur. When cats are sunburned, they show the same symptoms as humans. In mild burns, the skin appears red. In more extreme cases, blisters may form. When you pick up your kitten, he may tremble when he comes in contact with the sunburned area. He may whimper and pretend to be in pain, and he may also bite, scratch, or lick the burned area. Your cat may also develop a fever if the sunburn is severe.
What causes sunburn in indoor cats?
According to Family Pet, it’s not the heat from the sun coming through the window, but the ultraviolet rays. They can penetrate the window glass and damage your cat’s skin. Even if there are no signs of sunburn, UV rays are just as dangerous to animals as they are to humans. Skin damage can eventually lead to cancer.
What precautions should I take?
Most cats are smart enough to seek shelter from the sun through a window when it gets too hot. On cooler days, they may like the warmth of the window. This exposes them to dangerous UV rays. While a little sun is good for them, overexposure is not. If your cat is used to being in the sun in front of a window, you may consider closing the blinds. Offer them a warmer, more comfortable place to sleep. This may solve the problem. You can also buy a special window film with a UV filter. This film is inexpensive and easy to apply. It mitigates UV damage and gives your cat the freedom to sunbathe under the window without the risk of sunburn or other skin damage.
When the sun is strongest during the day, it’s a good idea to keep your cat indoors. In the afternoon, the sun’s rays are strongest and the UV rays are the most damaging. You can also apply sunscreen to the exposed skin on your cat’s body. Yes, there is a sunscreen formula specifically designed for sun-sensitive cats. The most important area to cover is the ears, where there is little hair. If your cat has other areas with thin hair, apply sunscreen to those areas as well. Do not use sunscreen intended for humans. Instead, make sure it is a cat sunscreen, as there is a distinct difference in formulation.
Other diseases can be caused by UV rays.
According to the Healthy Pets Club, cats can develop a condition known as solar dermatitis. It usually appears on the nose and ears. In the early stages, these areas become scaly, dry and may form scabs. They become itchy and cause the cat to scratch constantly. Ulcers and bleeding lesions may appear. This is a condition that requires medical intervention for diagnosis and treatment. This condition does not always turn into cancer, but it should be treated as soon as symptoms appear. Skin cancer is another problem. If your cat has skin lesions that do not heal, cancer may spread to other parts of the body. It’s best to have your veterinarian examine any suspicious lesions. The usual treatment for skin cancer in cats is surgical removal, sometimes accompanied by radiation therapy.
Cats may seem like fiercely independent and intelligent creatures, but they depend on us for their well-being. It’s up to us to protect them from hidden dangers of which they are unaware. Even indoor cats can be harmed by filtered sunlight coming through the glass of an ordinary window on a sunny afternoon. They are just as susceptible to sunburn from overexposure as humans. It is not the heat that causes the burn, but the sun’s ultraviolet rays. We owe it to our beloved pets to take steps to protect them as much as possible from this type of exposure. The most important recommendation is to keep indoor cats indoors during the afternoon hours when the sun’s rays are strongest. Use specific sunscreens on exposed cat skin. Treat your home’s windows with UV-filtering film or close blinds to prevent excessive exposure to these dangerous rays. Watch for signs of sunburn or other conditions that can develop from excessive sun exposure. If you think your cat has had too much sun, or if she shows signs of skin problems, take her to the doctor for a checkup, because prevention is better than cure.