Friday 6 March 2009

Cats Get Cancer by Passive Smoking

I know it is stating the obvious but some cats get cancer by passive smoking just like humans. There have been a raft of laws introduced to protect people in the workplace and in public places in the UK and abroad but I am sure that a lot of us don't really think about how it might affect our cats or dogs or any companion animal for that matter. Cats have a similar anatomy to ours at a fundamental level (see cat anatomy) and a study has established a not unexpected link between passive smoking and cancer.

See many links to cats and cancer

In a study between 1993 and 2000, Dr Antony Moore and colleagues at Tufts University in Massachusetts found that cats exposed to cigarette smoke were twice as likely to get cancer. If exposed to passive smoking for 5 years or more the risk of getting cancer was three times more likely than normal. Passive smoking by cats has been found to be associated with lymph gland, nasal, and lung cancers and also allergies plus eye and skin diseases as well as respiratory problems in cats.

cat who had cancer of the ears
This cat had cancer of the ears probably caused by sunlight as he is a white cat. He is a nice boy apparently (I think he is a boy cat - he looks like one). Photo teddybear.crafts aka Mike

Dr Antony Moore made the point that some people might give up for the pet's sake. In a later study involving smokers in Michigan, USA, it was found that the harm done to companion cats by passive smoking would help them to quit smoking:
  • 28.4% of those questioned agreed that they would more committed to stopping knowing that their cats were harmed
  • 14% of smokers said they would tell their smoking partners to smoke outside
  • For non-smoking partners of partners who smoked, 16% of them declared that they would ask their smoker/partner to quit and 24% said they would tell their partners to smoke outside.
I wonder how many split up?! Ah, it wouldn't matter the non-smoker would have kept the cat and they are better partners anyway!

Lets remind ourselves that in a household what we do affects our cats and it need not just be smoking. Excessive noise or arguments, as an example, is another thing that can hurt our cats. Cats have fantastic hearing and loud noises will sound frightening to them. There are many other examples.

Cats get Cancer by Passive Smoking to Cat Health Problems

Cats get Cancer by Passive Smoking -- Source for second survey:

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