Cats And Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Exposure - Why Pet Owners Should Be Careful

Carcinogens or cancer-causing agents are present in high amounts in tobacco smoke. Cats are especially vulnerable to these carcinogens because of their grooming behavior. Smoke residues that they get from the environment may be ingested when they groom themselves, thereby exposing their mouth and associated tissues to significant amounts of smoke carcinogens every day. Even exposure to minimal quantities of ETS (a term used to refer to second- and third-hand smoke) can have a significant effect on the cat’s health and well-being. 

Many studies have been able to establish a significant relationship between the exposure to ETS and incidence of cancer in cats. In fact, cats that are living with smokers are twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma, which is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in cats, compared to cats living in households with non-smokers. Cats in ‘smoking’ households also tend to have substantial amounts of nicotine and other toxic smoke chemicals in their urine. 

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