For animals living outdoors, skin cancer is a risk. Cats are particularly susceptible. Cats that have white ears, noses or eyelids are at the highest risk of developing squamous cell carcinomas (cancerous lesions) due to UV exposure.
In low-income areas, dogs are often left to roam. In order for cats to keep away from the dogs, they usually take to the roofs for protection but find themselves sitting in direct sunlight. For susceptible, poorly pigmented cats, this inevitably leads to cancer.
SCCs are malignant skin tumours that generally start out as small scab-like lesions on the tips of the nose and ears and redness or crusting around the eyes. If not treated at this early stage, they can grow rapidly to eventually result in severe tissue destruction that becomes inoperable.
The TEARS Welfare Clinic offers these kitties a chance at a better life. Our vets recognise the early signs of UV damage and will remove the cancerous tissue. In the long term these cats must live indoors with limited and supervised time outdoors at low UV times.
The owners are educated to provide the cat the necessary protection from the sun. We also offer to rehome these cats to be indoor kitties.