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Sun cream for cats? Warning after tabby's sun-damaged ears removed

PUBLISHED: 16:30 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:17 26 April 2019

Nancy spent most of her life outdoors as a stray with no protection from the sun Picture: CATS PROTECTION

Nancy spent most of her life outdoors as a stray with no protection from the sun Picture: CATS PROTECTION

CATS PROTECTION

Cat lovers are being warned to protect their pets from the sun after a stray tabby had part of her ears removed due to damage caused by harmful rays.

The tabby and white cat had drastic surgery after vets discovered pre-cancerous cells at the tops of her ears Picture: CATS PROTECTIONThe tabby and white cat had drastic surgery after vets discovered pre-cancerous cells at the tops of her ears Picture: CATS PROTECTION

Nancy, a five-year-old tabby and white cat, had drastic surgery after vets discovered pre-cancerous cells at the tops of her ears, believed to be caused by severe sun damage.

The “sweet and caring” cat spent most of her life outdoors as a stray with no protection from the sun, leaving her dangerously exposed to its harmful rays.

So Nancy was in “quite a state” when she first arrived at the Tendring & District Branch of charity Cats Protection, according to fosterer Julie Clouting.

Now experts are keen to spread the word that one simple treatment, often mistakenly kept away from pets, can help prevent similar cases in future.

Nancy required surgery to put a stop to the development of cancer Picture: CATS PROTECTIONNancy required surgery to put a stop to the development of cancer Picture: CATS PROTECTION

Lucy Thomas, from Cats Protection, said sun cream could help keep harmful rays at bay and prevent extortionate vet bills down the line.

“To protect your feline companion, Cats Protection recommends keeping them indoors during the hottest parts of the day and to provide shade in your garden – from plants, trees or other objects.

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“Some cat owners may consider using a sunscreen to protect their cat's ears and nose if they can't restrict their cat's access to the sun.

Nancy was found to have pre-cancerous cells caused by severe sun-damage to the tops of her ears Picture: CATS PROTECTIONNancy was found to have pre-cancerous cells caused by severe sun-damage to the tops of her ears Picture: CATS PROTECTION

“Cats Protection recommends discussing this option with a vet first as it is very important that the product used is suitable for cats, as they can be sensitive to the chemicals.

“It's important to remember that cats groom themselves regularly, so the effectiveness of using sunscreens to protect against sunburn or feline skin cancer is unknown.”

Thankfully Nancy has recovered well, but she is now looking for a new home where she can enjoy some shaded areas – and perhaps even make use of a small pop-up tent.

Ms Clouting said: “Poor Nancy was in quite a state when she first arrived in our care, with both ears having sustained serious sun damage.

“To prevent any risk of cancer, she had to have the tops removed.

“Nancy can be a bit shy at first but despite all she's been through, she is such a sweet and caring cat who needs a second-chance at finding her forever home.

“Now fully recovered from her surgery, we are desperate to find her a home, with patient owners, where she can be the only pet needing love and attention.”

Anyone who thinks they could be the perfect companion for Nancy should contact Cats Protection's Tendring & District Branch on 01255 744 014 or by email.

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