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Sphynx and other hairless cats lack fur and are naked, being fully exposed to natural elements. These cats are very sensitive and are prone to a lot of skin and inflammatory issues such as sunburns and irritation, which may occur when they are exposed to sunlight as well as in certain climates.
Here are 5 Things you must know about Sphynx cats in regard to sunburns.
Do Sphynx Cats Get Sunburns?
Sphynx cats do get sunburns if they are exposed to the sun even if it’s for a short period of time. These cats are completely hairless, which means that they have no protection against the sun and natural elements.
Sphynx cats and hairless cats, in general, are at risk of getting sunburned. They have delicate skin which can easily tan and become irritated. Sphynx cats lack pigmentation which means they have less melanin.
The purpose of melanin is to give skin its color, as well as to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Due to the fact that these cats are generally pale, they don’t have natural protection.
Sunburn in sphynx cats presents with redness and inflammation. Their skin will feel hot to the touch and may be painful and sensitive. In extreme cases, the cat’s skin may become dry and blistered with lesions.
In this case, you may need medical help and you need to keep them indoors away from the sun until their skin is completely healed.
It’s very important to monitor your sphynx cats or any other hairless pet you may have since sunburns are bound to happen. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that your cat has to be locked up indoors at all times.
You can enjoy the outdoors with your sphynx you just need to find the perfect timing and weather conditions for the safety of your feline. Also, remember that cats enjoy sleeping in windowsills and lying in the sun for several hours a day.
Take the necessary steps to make sure they are well protected while indoors as well.
How Do You Protect A Sphynx Cat From The Sun?
We know that Sphynx cats are prone to sunburns as well as other skin-related issues, therefore they need to be protected from the sun. There are several ways to protect them from the sun as well as products that can help against the harmful effects of UV rays.
1. Limit Sun Exposure.
I’m sure you really want to get outside and spend some outdoor time with your sphynx but be mindful of the conditions before you attempt to. Preferably it’s best to take your Sphynx cats out on cooler days when the sun isn’t too bad.
In summer, the best time to make them enjoy the outdoors is late noon. The sun isn’t too harsh and the conditions are better for their health and overall body regulation.
Just keep in mind that your hairless cat cannot be outside for too long as they are still exposed even on days when there isn’t any sunlight. Also, make sure they are well hydrated.
2. Sphynx clothing.
Sphynx clothing helps a lot as it provides a layer of protection to their naked bodies. There are many kinds of sphynx clothing to suit every weather condition.
For winter there are thick sweaters that help keep them warm and cozy, and for summer there are cotton pullovers that are breathable to help protect their bodies from the sun while keeping them cool.
The breathable cotton t-shirts are a great way to protect from the harsh summer sun since most of their body will be covered. At first, your sphynx may not be familiar with the feel of clothing, but as time go you can acclimate them to wearing clothes.
3. Enclosed Uv Tents.
Tents are also a great way to protect your sphynx from the sun. Normally in summer, you would want to visit the beach or spend time in the pool and a tent is a perfect way to help your sphynx stay cool and protected.
There are collapsible tents that can fit your sphynx with sufficient room to play and be comfortable. The KUDES Cat Tent House is a recommended cat tent that you can get conveniently from Amazon.
4. Tint Windows.
Cats like to sit on windowsills to stare outside as they are stimulated by the interaction that takes place outdoors. This means that they spend a lot of time being exposed to sunlight.
This constant exposure can leave them prone to sunburns and skin-related issues. Luckily there are window tints that have UV protection. This means that your cat can enjoy the view beside the window while staying protected.
These window tints can block up to 99% of the harmful Uv rays which is great for homes with cats.
Do Sphynx Cats Need To Wear Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a great way to help block out the sun’s Uv rays from damaging the skin. With the Sphynx breed, since they need extra protection, the use of sunscreen will greatly help.
Sunscreen serves as great protection for their naked bodies preventing sun damage and other inflammatory issues. At the same time, you should only use sunscreen that is safe for pets.
By no means should you use human sunscreen on your sphynx as it may contain ingredients that would be toxic and harmful to the cat when they ingest it while grooming.
Veterinary dermatologists recommend sunscreens that contain the equivalent UVA and UVB barriers of human SPF 15 or SPF 30. The sunscreen must be hypoallergenic, and fragrance and dye-free products should always be used
The hard part is finding a sunscreen product that is safe for cats. Luckily I’ve done all the hard work so that you don’t have to. The Bodhi Pet Sunscreen is a fantastic SPF 30 product that is fast absorbing and safe for cats.
Symptoms Of Sunburns in Sphynx Cats.
1. Redness and Inflammation.
2. Pain, discomfort, and sensitivity.
3. Itchy or scaly areas.
4. Dry skin and lesions.
5. Tan and peeling skin especially on lighter-colored sphynx cats.
How To Treat Sunburns On Sphynx Cats?
Normally sunburns go away after a few days, however, depending on the extent of damage it can become problematic where you need to seek medical help for treatment.
To find the best treatment for sunburns in the sphynx breed first you need to check on the severity of the sunburn. If the sunburns are severe, you will need to consult with your local vet for a full examination.
If the sunburns are mild, it’s probably not necessary to seek medical assistance as it should go away in a few days. In this situation, you may want to soothe your skin with oatmeal baths and coconut oil to ease inflammation.
In more severe cases of sunburns, your vet may suggest topical or oral steroids to relieve the skin inflammation and antibiotics if the burn and affected areas have become infected. This prescribed treatment can be done at home.
In extreme cases where the cat has suffered full-thickness burns, the cat may need hospital treatment since the cat’s skin needs to be cleaned regularly, IV fluids may be required as well as antibiotics and bandages.
It’s important to always be observant of their skin and seek medical help as soon as you find recurring skin issues.