Heatwave sweeps across Europe with record high temperatures
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Animal protection organisations have urged pet owners to remember to put suncream on their pets to prevent skin irritation, sunburn and skin cancer. Hairless cats and cats with lighter-tipped ears or thin fur are most at risk. The RSPCA has urged pet owners to “make plans and provisions now to protect pets during the upcoming spell of hot weather”.
This comes as the UK is expected to see yet another spell of hot weather in July, with temperatures reaching up to 37C in mid-July.
The RSPCA said: “Every summer the RSPCA receives hundreds of reports of animals suffering from heat exposure, including dogs left in hot cars, pets with heat burns on their paws from pavements, dehydrated wild animals after water supplies have dried up, grazing animals with no shade, and dogs over-exercised in the heat.
“The charity is asking owners of all pets – from cats and dogs to small furries, horses and farm animals – to make provisions now, and is also calling on animal champions to help look out for wildlife in the hot weather too.”
Earlier this summer, the animal protection organisation shared an image of Kit Kat, who has had to have parts of her ears removed as a result of excess sun exposure.
It said: “Kitkat is reminding people this Sunscreen Day to use pet-safe suncream on cats’ ears and noses.
“She had lots of exposure to the sun which led to growths on her ears which had to be removed.”
Bradford Cat Watch Rescue & Sanctuary also issued a warning, sharing a video of white cat Manisha to Twitter.
She was pictured wearing cat-safe suncream and had much of her fur covered by a red coat.
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The sanctuary captioned the video: “Manisha has had fun in the sun today, she has her suncream and playing out clothes on.
“Did you know: white cats or cats with lighter tipped ears should have high factor sun cream put on their ears to prevent skin cancer just like humans.
“Check your suncream is cat-safe”.
The sanctuary explained: “Like people with very fair complexions, white cats sunburn easily, especially on areas that have very little fur.
“White cats have less melanin, a skin pigment that protects against UV rays.
“Other cats with hypersensitive skin include those with white patches on their heads or faces, those with fine hair, and hairless breeds.
“The same pigments that colour a cat’s fur darken their skin, nose and paw pads.
“Dark-furred cats usually are less vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays.”
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