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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Sun lotion lifesaver for cat
Pussykins had to have surgery to remove the cancerous cells
Slapping on the sunscreen is a well known precaution to prevent the damaging effect of the sun, and for one cat it could be a lifesaver.

Seven-year-old Pussykins was taken in by volunteers from the Gwent Cats Protection charity after her owner died.

After being examined by a vet, cancerous skin cells were found on her ears and nose which were operated on.

Her new owners now have to rub sunscreen on her daily to protect her.

As a white cat she is more at risk from the sun.

The cells are thought to have developed on the cat's ears and nose because like all white animals, there is less protection from the sun on those parts of the body.

After being checked over by the vet who spotted the potentially life-threatening cells, Pussykins underwent surgery to have her ears snipped off.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: "It was quite lucky really that she came to us because otherwise the cancerous cells might not have been spotted.

"It is a well-known problem among white animals because they don't have as much protection on the ears.

"It is the same as when humans have fair skin - they burn more easily."

She said that white cats are 14 times more likely to develop cancers that darker coloured cats.

"She has a new home now and is settling in well but her new owners will have to keep putting sun cream on her to try and stop anymore dangerous cells developing," she added.

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