Cats love being in the sun and enjoying a good nap in a very warm place. Of course, the owners also like to watch their cats in a state of relaxation and enjoyment, but it is essential to be attentive to the effects of the sun on your cat’s skin.
Benefits of sunrays for our pets
The sun also offers benefits not only for the skin but also for the entire body of our pets. In reality, solar rays allow the existence of all life forms that inhabit our planet. In addition, they play a fundamental role in the metabolism of living beings, including ours and that of our pets.
For example, our bodies would not be able to synthesize vitamin D without the influence of solar radiation. Vitamin D (or calciferol) is essential for calcium absorption and bone structure formation; Vitamin D deficiency usually causes osteoporosis, rickets and other musculoskeletal diseases.
This does not mean that the sun provides vitamin D to cats, but that it allows its correct absorption by the body. All cats must have sources of vitamin D and essential nutrients in their diet. To ensure complete and balanced nutrition to your pussy, it is best to consult our trusted veterinarian.
Harmful effects of the sun on your cat’s skin
When the sun’s rays reach your cat’s skin, part of them is reflected and another is absorbed. The absorbed rays penetrate through the epidermis and are transmitted to the deepest areas of the skin. At that time, they trigger a series of biochemical reactions that interfere with cell structure and metabolism.
In moderate exposure, the effects of the sun on your cat’s skin are usually very beneficial for your health. But excessive exposure to solar radiation can cause severe damage to its cellular components, which leaves them more vulnerable with respect to numerous diseases.
Next, we summarize your cat’s risks by exposing himself to the sun excessively.
Probably, burns are the most immediate and visible sun damage on your cat’s skin. Pigs can suffer superficial or deep burns, depending on the degree of damage to the epidermis and dermis. Logically, superficial burns are treated more easily and have a better prognosis.
In the case of deep burns, they are very alarming and carry a high probability of secondary bacterial infections. Therefore, when observing any alteration in the skin of your cat, remember to consult the veterinarian immediately.
Solar or actinic dermatitis
The first symptoms of solar dermatitis in cats consist of inflammation of the areas that were exposed to the sun. In this case, we will see that the skin is reddened as a result of irritation. Very often hair loss is also observed, which leaves the skin more exposed and sensitive.
When the exposure is prolonged, we see that the inflammation intensifies and the redness is more noticeable. At this stage, scabs and blisters may appear on the skin, which produces intense itching. If the animal scratches and causes a wound, its body is more vulnerable to various infections.
Skin cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of malignant tumor cells. Among the possible causes of this malignant mutation are chronic damage to cellular components due to excessive exposure to solar radiation.
Fortunately, malignant skin tumors are relatively rare in cats, but it is essential to take effective preventive measures to prevent cancer in our cats. Therefore, it is very important to use sunscreen for our cats, before letting them be exposed to radiation.
Remember that white cats are more vulnerable to the damage to excessive exposure to solar radiation. The low content or absence of melanin causes your skin to absorb a greater amount of sunlight. Consequently, your cells can be damaged more easily, which increases the risk of developing skin cancer.