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Sunshine and cats

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Q.     I have been told to keep my white cat out of the sun.  Why is this?

A.    Most cats love sunbathing, and can lie in it all day without problems.  However cats with white non-pigmented areas of skin can suffer damage to the skin which is very serious.  Most commonly it is the eyelids, nose and ear flaps which are affected.  Initially the damage shows as a pink area, sometimes with scaling and hairloss.  Continued exposure can then lead to a cancerous condition called squamous cell carcinoma - this can be a painful, debilatating condition requiring  aggressive surgical treatment. Using high factor suntan lotions on the vulnerable areas and limiting outdoor access during sunny periods will reduce the chances of your cat developing this major problem

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