Owners are being warned to protect their pets from hot weather after a cat had to have its sunburnt ears removed.

Cats Protection issued the plea after the sun-damaged Kahlo, a stray from Kent, was taken in by the charity after giving birth to five kittens.

Pale cats like Kahlo, who is white, are particularly vulnerable to sun damage, the charity says.

Danielle Draper, manager of Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex, said: “She’s been left with no ears, though her hearing shouldn’t be affected.

“White cats are particularly vulnerable to sunburn, but all cats should be kept safe from the sun during hot weather.

“Kahlo’s ears must have been very painful, and we’re hoping she will now be able to lead a happier, healthier life.”

Ms Draper recommended that owners should keep their cats indoors during the hottest parts of the day

She added: “If that’s not possible, then provide sources of shade in your garden using cat-friendly plants and allow access to a shed or outhouse.

“Also speak to your vet about an appropriate feline-friendly sunblock.”

Owners are urged to protect their pets from sunburn ahead of this weekend's hot weather, with temperatures across the borough set to hit 26°.