Vet amputates Belfast cat’s ears due to sun damage

Vet amputates Belfast cat’s ears due to sun damage
© Cats Protection

Warning to owners on dangers to pets

A cat from Belfast had to have its ears amputated after burning them in the sun.

Smurf was rushed to a vet last autumn after being hit by a car and had to have her right eye and ear tips, which had been badly sun-damaged, removed.

She has now been successfully rehomed with Cats Protection shelter volunteer Kate Large.

Kate, below, told PA news agency: “She wasn’t in Lisbon or Madrid. She was outside in Northern Ireland for less than a year, with the amount of sun we get in Ireland and this was the damage it caused.”

© Cats Protection

Sarah Elliott, central veterinary officer for Cats Protection, said: “Cats are notorious for their love of lounging around in the sun but, just as with humans, this can be a very dangerous activity when the sun is at its hottest.

“Even on a cold day, when the sun is bright then there is still the potential for damage to occur.

“Pale-coloured cats like Smurf are particularly at risk, or indeed any cats that have unpigmented white noses or ears. Smurf suffered sun damage in Belfast of all places.

‘Cancer threat’

“It may take a few years before the damage is visible but, once the early stages of cancer set in, cats require urgent veterinary treatment to prevent it spreading.”

There are a few simple steps owners should take to protect their animals, including:

  • keep their pet indoors when the sun is at its hottest, and speak to a vet about suitable sunscreen
  • provide plenty of shade when their cats are outdoors and ensure they have enough water
  • to stop cats overheating, place a plastic bottle with frozen water inside a towel and place it in an area they like to visit.