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Sunscreen for cats and dogs.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: 5-8 years
My cat is a white cat and he loves to lounge in the sun. I was wondering if you could recommend a sunscreen that I could put on him.

Thanks!




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for an interesting question!

Most cats don't need a sunscreen, but a white can can be more prone to getting sun related problems such as skin cancer, so it's not a bad idea to give some sunscreen a try.

One of the problems is that cats will usually lick off sunscreen, especially if you put it on the front of his nose.

You can find sunscreens that are made specifically for pets. (Sorry I don't know a specific example for you). Or, a sunscreen for human babies is appropriate as well. Most sunscreens made for adults have warnings on the bottle that warn against ingestion. So, if the bottle says, "Do not ingest", then don't put it on your cat!

Things to stay away from in a suntan lotion for pets include:
  • Zinc. (Zinc is not good if ingested by an animal.)

  • Fragrance.

  • The ingredient Octyl Salicylate



The best places to apply sunscreen on a cat are the nose (you can apply it on the bridge and on the front of the nose, but it is likely to be immediately licked off the front), ear tips, skin surrounding the lips, and anywhere where there is low pigmentation.

The same information applies to dogs as well.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.