Sun and cats, friends or enemies ?

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Several of our friends (or their human) were these days in Phoenix, Arizona, for the 8th BlogPaws 2016 Conference. A brilliant sun and an overwhelming heat were also there, and we wondered :

Sun and cats, friends or enemies ?

The answer to this question is : a little both. We’re going to explain it to you :

Friends, because…

  • The heat of the sun allows us to compensate for the light temperature reduction of our body while we have a nap.
  • It also allows sick cats to save up their forces to fight better against the disease.
  • Sun rays (ultraviolet rays) allow us to synthesize the vitamin D, essential to facilitate the absorption of calcium and phosphor and fix them to our bones. If we are lacking vitamin D and sun, we can be suffering from rickets.

Is the sun my friend ?
Enemies, because…

  • The heat of the sun can cause a dehydration and a heatstroke.
  • Sun rays can cause a sunburn, especially to cats with a fair skin or naked cats.
  • A sunburn can cause a dermatitis : the edge of the auricle (most of the time) loses its hairs, is irritated, and covered with crusts. An ulcer can form and gradually waste the ear away. Eyelids or truffle can also be suffering.
  • An excessive sun exposure as well as repeated sunburns can cause a skin cancer, especially to cats with a fair skin, naked cats, or old cats. Our friend Harvey made the experience : he underwent the partial ablation of the auricle of his two ears because of a cancer. He very well recovered from it as you can see here.

Is the sun my enemy ?
“It is in the dose that is the poison” said Paracelse in the XVIth century, and it also applies to the sun. Have rather your naps in the shade !

Our human can be attentive to the time we spend in the sun, especially at the most intense hours, so that our sunbathing don’t put our health in danger. There is also a sunscreen for cat : no, no, we’re not kidding ! If you live in a region known for its intense exposure to the sun and if you care about your ears, think of it…

31 thoughts on “Sun and cats, friends or enemies ?

  1. Mickey's Musings

    Very good advice here.
    We do not usually get extreme heat here.
    When it is hot,mum restricts our time on the porch.
    WE purr for all animals that are outside in extreme heat.
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

  2. Hannah and Lucy

    As we are from the UK we don’t often get an over dose of sunshine! Hannah has a very thick coat and rarely spends more than a few minutes in the sun. Lucy likes to go out but prefers pottering about when the sun shines which hasn’t been in abundance here his year!

  3. easy rider

    that Pawracelsus was right… and I hope if we get sun this summer, then my daddy makes me the nap place in the shadow he promised me … last year LOL

  4. Dragonheart, Merlin, Devi

    We were always told that cats do not synthesize vitamin D through their skin upon exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, unlike humans.

    We do love basking in sun spots indoors, but if we ever went out, we would need to wear sun protection (probably in the form of a shirt) so that we wouldn’t burn.

  5. The Menagerie Mom

    You have some great information and advice here. My kitties love to bask in the sun, but I always try to make sure that they don’t bake themselves, especially my ginger boy Evan. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  6. Deziz World

    Great posty. Ya’ll look gawjus as always. Mommy tries to take us out fur strolls thruout da summer, cuz we don’t get sun puddles in da house and she was vit. D deficient and doesn’t want us to be.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

  7. Canadian Cats

    Very interesting Claire, Pixie and Zorro. I imagine Kali would be more apt to get a burn than myself. She is white…my face and other points are black.

    Really, we are bothered more by cold weather. Although it would be easy to overdo the welcomed sun.



  8. Frimousse

    M’y Mistress is afraid RouXy aka pink n’ose light cet sunburnt!
    A strié? No danger. There’s plenty of stade un m’y garden ans dater everywhere.

  9. da tabbies o trout towneq

    pixie & zorro…we R knot a loud out oh doorz but even layin in a sun puddle
    inn side can get….few….H.O.T ~~~~~

    thiz izza grate post N trooth full lee…we never new ther bee sun screen for
    cats !!! 🙂 ♥♥♥

  10. mariodacat roever

    Interesting and very informative post. I knew about the dangers of the sun, but I”m a cat and I can’t help but seek out a sun puddle. M tries to limit my time in the sun tho, even tho I say no – she wins.

  11. Sammy

    My Mom has had skin cancer several times so knows the danger for herself AND for me too! I’m a mostly indoor kitty but when we ARE outside, I’m in the shade. I don’t even like to feel the intense head of the sun on my poor ancient body!!!!

    Hugs, Sammy

  12. Kitties Blue

    Mom has covered this subject as well. It is so important, and most cat and dog parents never think of it. Our angel cat Madison had some sun damage on his ears before we found out what the problem was. We are happy to see you reminding everyone of this very important subject. C.J. sends Zorro a kiss for his nose. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  13. Christy Paws

    Since I’m an indoor only cat, I guess I don’t need to worry too much about getting a sunburn. I’ll be sure to watch my time in those sun puddles though!

  14. meowmeowmans

    Great advice, friends! We’re indoor only kitties, and we usually move after not too long in the sunpuddles — our black furs get hot quickly. 🙂 – Gracie and Zoe

  15. M. K. Clinton

    It was very hot in Arizona for the conference. Bentley & Pierre wore the Pawz booties to protect their paws. Here at home, Bentley loves to nap in the direct sun for a few minutes each day. Then, he comes indoors and goes belly-up under the ceiling fan. LOL!

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