Did You Know?
The Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine, a major resource center in veterinary research, has found that cats exposed to second hand smoke are at increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth and malignant lymphoma. The study reveals that the increased risk of mouth cancer was five times higher in cats living with smokers than in cats living with non-smokers. Yet higher risks occurred if the cat lived with a smoker for longer than five years. Besides, malignant lymphoma is usually lethal and 75% of cats contracting this cancer die within one year.
Cats seem peculiarly vulnerable to second hand smoking cancer because of their grooming mechanism of frequently licking her fur – generating a higher than expected mouth exposure to the particulate deposits of second hand smoke. Another postulated mechanism is cats’ well-known high sensitivity to many toxins.
Cats living with smokers are also vulnerable to nicotine poisoning from eating cigarettes, which can be fatal.
(Kit Humphrey, featured columnist of Cats & Kittens, is a physician who is retired due to chronic illness. From Siberian Gatos Cattery in the US, the author is responsible for cattery policies and choices. This includes a programme to eliminate Corona Virus, HCM, Bartonella,Toxoplasmosis, etc.)