any of the signs Dr. Brunt mentioned
above, or if the kittens seem par-
ticularly hot and unresponsive, call
your veterinarian immediately.
Adolescents and adults
Adolescent and adult cats deal better with warmer temperatures — but
those with all-white coats or coats
with white patches may face another
sun-related issue. My sweet Cornish
Rex, Jordan, had a red tabby-and-white coat, distinguished by a mostly
white face and white ears. He loved
to stretch out in the sunniest spots
in my home. On a routine visit at
the vet’s office, the doctor noticed
that Jordan’s large, white ears
seemed a little pinker than normal.
He explained that cats with white
fur can become sunburned and that
prolonged sunburns can lead to a
type of skin cancer in cats. My vet
advised me to apply a gentle sun-
screen to Jordan’s ears and nose.
Don’t worry: If you’ve put
a cat-safe sunscreen on your white
cat’s ears and nose, he can enjoy his
Be concerned: Overly
pink skin (which looks just like yours
when you’ve had too much sun) or
small sores along the edges of the
ears are signs of sunburn. Take him
to the vet as soon as you can for
Like young kittens, senior cats may
be more sensitive to heat than adolescent and adult cats. Older cats
also may be more likely to sleep in
the sunny spots around the house,
so keep a closer eye on your senior
when temperatures climb.
Don’t worry: Your senior
likely will know when he’s had
enough time in the sun and may
retreat to a shady spot in the house.
Be concerned: If your cat
shows any of the signs of heatstroke
Dr. Brunt described, take him to the
vet right away.
Offer your cat ice cubes as a
fun cool-down treat.
A lifelong cat owner and
award-winning writer, Stacy N.
Hackett writes frequently about
cats, cat breeds, and a range of
pet-related topics. A big source
of inspiration for her writing
comes from her two cats: Jack, a 6-year-old red
tabby domestic shorthair, and Phillip, a 2-year-
old gray-and-white domestic shorthair. Both
cats were adopted from local pet store adop-
tion events, and both bring a lot of personality
and love to a household that also contains two
➜ Open-mouth breathing
➜ Red gums
➜ Neurological signs like trembling,