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A Moment of Science

Smoking and Cancer in Cats

In this Moment of Science we discuss another reason to stop smoking. Time once again for What You Didn’t Know. This is where we tell you a fact that many people are already aware of, and then surprise you with the follow-up.

Smoking causes cancer. You probably already knew that. But did you know that it causes cancer in cats? If you smoke and have a cat, then your cat smokes second-hand. Second-hand smoke is a serious risk. And, if you are smoking regularly inside your home, your cat is breathing in all that smoke, too. Beyond that, your cat is ingesting smoke every time it grooms.

Tiny particles of smoke float in the air and stick onto things they come in contact with. That includes your cat’s fur. Then, when your cat licks its fur, it eats those particles. These are very unhealthy things. A survey done on hospitalized cats at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine found eighty cats that came from smoking environments had developed smoking-related diseases, including malignant lymphoma. It was found that cats who lived with a smoker had between two and four times the chances of developing cancer.

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