Here Comes the Sun

Weather report says the sun will be high and bright and that the temperatures are going up. No surprise, this is summer in DC after all. The weather here has been exceptionally tolerable as of late. We have had average temps, but the humidity has been below 40% which makes 87° degrees days heavenly. Being that nice outside just lets you sit and soak it in, which if you are not careful could make for a bit of sunburn, especially for your cat or dog.

People often ask me about sunscreen for cats. Once you get past the “Is that a cat…I've never seen one in person…oh, he’s not scary, he’s quite soft…” comments when people first meet and touch Moshe Moshi, probably the most asked question is about sunscreen. Pets do get sunburned. Now if your kidz are furry, not going to happen on the body, but ears and noses can be a little scorched under the right conditions. For the naked and follicle-challenged, you have to think about it as you would your skin; lighter skin burns quicker than the dark skin; dark skin does get sunburned, “Sun Block” is a bullshit term. Everyone needs sun protection, and Moshe Moshi is no different.

There are sunscreens for pets, however (in my opinion) are not much different from people sunscreen. The active ingredient that blocks UVA/ UVB rays is necessary to the product. The ingredients are toxic to your pet.  Not as absorption, but rather if ingested through grooming. You can minimize exposure by using a low SPF (Sun Protection Factor), but licking it off is the same hazard regardless of the SPF level. So, in my opinion only, this is what I suggest, and keep in mind this is not recommended for the pet who wonders outside unsupervised:

  • Limit your pet’s exposure to the sun: I can hear some of you say “Thanks, Capt. Obvious”, and that is true, but what I mean is if you have to take your pet outside, play and sit in the shade. Sun-filled beaches in summer are no place for your pet. Dusk or Dawn at the beach, maybe, but not during high sun hours between 10-3. And beware of the sun in windows; it can do the same damage. A thin curtain should make summer sunbathing safer.

  • Avoid oily or creamy Sunscreen; What sickens your pet is the ingestion of the product. Creamy and Oily products may go on better, but they tend to make your pet want to lick at it more. You want lotions that absorb quickly without residue. 

  • Wash your pet immediately after sun exposure: if you are using sunscreen and no longer outside or if you intend to be out of the sun, wash it off. A baby wipe or washcloth and some water should do the trick. 

  • For the naked pet, wear clothing: I know some of you are not into clothes for your pet, but just like people, clothing protects the skin. Covering my kidz for play started with the habit of dressing them solely for sun or warmth issues. There are plenty of places online to buy clothing for your cat. If the pricing is the issue, consider what I often do: make a trip to my local thrift shop. Long sleeved cotton or flannel shirts do well. You can either cut out a pattern and sew it yourself or consider just using the sleeves. Cut out two holes for the arms, and you have the instant shirt.

We use Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby. It is not oily or sticky, light scent but it dissipates quickly, and super easy wash off. It is an SPF 60 which is high, but for Moshe Moshi,  I've had no problems, and that product does come in lower SPF. If you are nervous about using people sunscreen, you may want to consider Solar Rx Sunblock.

I almost forgot to explain the “Sun Block” bullshit. NO product will block out the sun, period. 100% sunblock is 100% bullshit. You can minimize your exposure, but you cannot completely block the sun or Ultra Violet sun rays without the use of a nuclear fall-out shelter.

It is fashionable to state in today’s political climate that “I am not a scientist,” to avoid the need for accurate answers, so know that this practice and the products I endorse are my lay-person opinion. I've screwed a couple of scientists in my lifetime and talked with a few physicists I hadn't had sex with, and they pretty much agreed with me. Whether any of that counts as a valid justification is up to you.

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