Dear Christopher Cat: Amanda, my arthritic cat, enjoys napping in the sun’s warmth by the window. I just read that sunshine can give her cancer. Would a sheer curtain block enough sun to protect her? Christopher Responds: You are correct that ultraviolet light, particularly the UVA rays that pass through windows and penetrate deeply into the skin, can cause skin cancer, usually squamous cell carcinoma. The regions of the body most often affected are the nose, ears and other areas where hair is sparse or pink skin lies beneath white hair. A sheer curtain would cut down on some of the light, but the UVA rays that reach Amanda’s skin would still pose a risk. A better solution is to apply ultraviolet-blocking film to the window. It will stop the harmful UVA rays from reaching Amanda but still let the heat through to warm her.
Welcome to the inagural post of a new blog feature on our Web site. Ask the Vet’s Pets is your chance to ask tough questions and get answers straight from the ones who know: Dr. Lee Pickett’s pets. Dr. Pickett, our hospital medical director, writes the entries in the voice of Christopher Cat, Daisy Dog and several guest pets: Christopher Cat Christopher Cat is the pen name of Oliver, a silver and black long-haired tabby of uncertain ancestry. Oliver is known for his common-sense intelligence, humor and unlimited self-confidence. He frequently receives assistance with the column from feline family members Carlie and Claire. Daisy Dog Daisy Dog is the pen name of Annie, an English setter rescued in 2005 at the age of five. She is bright, affectionate and eager to please. In answering questions, she sometimes consults her Irish wolfhound brother, Ollie. The original Daisy Dog, an olde English sheepdog, lived with Dr. Pickett from 1974 through 1988. Guest Columnists Cathy Cockatiel, Frank B. Ferret, Gina Guinea Pig, Reba Rabbit and Reggie Rat contribute their expertise when Christopher Cat and Daisy Dog take occasional vacations.