A stray cat who had to have both her sun-damaged ears removed is looking for a new home after being taken in by Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre.
Kahlo came into the care of the centre, in Lewes Road, Chelwood Gate, Sussex, after giving birth to five kittens while living as a stray in Tunbridge Wells.
As a white cat she was particularly susceptible to sun damage and staff believe her life living outdoors as a stray had made her particularly vulnerable.
With more hot weather on the way, staff are reminding Sussex owners that cats, like humans, need to be protected by the harmful effects of sun exposure.
Danielle Draper, Manager of Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre, said: “Kahlo had been living as a stray and we got a call from a concerned resident after she gave birth to five kittens in a garden. All kittens have done well and will be going to their new homes soon.
“However, poor Kahlo had very badly damaged ears as a result of sunburn, and has needed surgery to remove the damage. It means she’s been left with no ears, though her hearing shouldn’t be affected.
“White cats are particularly vulnerable to sunburn, but all cats should be kept safe from the sun during hot weather. Kahlo’s ears must have been very painful, and we’re hoping she will now be able to lead a happier, healthier life. She’ll need a new owner who will be committed to keeping her indoors on hot days so she doesn’t have any further issues.”
Cats with white or pale coloured ears or noses are particularly susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays – with some cats, like Kahlo, needing drastic surgery to remove sun-damaged skin.
Danielle added: “The best way to protect your cat during the summer is to keep them indoors during the hottest part of the day, traditionally between 10am and 3pm.
“If that’s not possible, then provide sources of shade in your garden using cat-friendly plants and allow access to a shed or outhouse if possible. Also speak to your vet about an appropriate feline-friendly sunblock.”
During her recovery, Kahlo has been cared for by the centre’s Cat Care Assistants, whose roles are supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Cats Protection is taking extra precautions to keep cats, volunteers, staff and the public safe. While the National Cat Adoption Centre is closed to the public, cats are being rehomed using a hands-free homing initiative. To find out more, please visit https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/coronavirus/hands-free-homing