Study Shows: Secondhand Smoke Increases Health Risks for Cats Too
By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the The Scratchpad Blog Series
While the affects of secondhand smoke has been well documented for people, scientists have only recently began to look at the effects on our pets. After reviewing some veterinary studies, Gloria Yugel, a Health Department Educator, concluded that secondhand smoke can have some serious effects on pets in the household.
“Secondhand smoke is just as damaging to your pet’s health as it is to a human’s health...Exposure to secondhand smoke has been associated with…lymph gland and oral cancers in cats…and respiratory problems in both cats and dogs.”
Other studies have shown that cats with owners that smoked were:
- 2x as likely to develop cancer if one person smoked in their household,
- 4x as likely to develop cancer if two people smoked in their household, and
- 10x as likely to develop asthma if one person smoked in their household.
They were also much more likely to develop feline lymphoma - a condition that normally kills cats within a year of their diagnosis.
Clayne White, a veterinarian, says people need to be aware of cats heightened sense of smell, “People need to be aware that domesticated pets used to live in the wild, and they relied on their heightened sense of smell to survive. Because of this, their nasal membranes are much more sensitive than humans’ membranes.”
How serious is the problem? Well, with an estimated 46 million people (20.6%) smoking in the United States, a whole lot of our furry friend could be in trouble.
The good news is that when pet owners were informed of the risks and asked if they would you stop smoking for their cat, 30% said "yes."
What’s your take on this? Would you quit smoking for your cat?