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Patterns: Smoking: Hazardous to Your Cat 

Jump to full article: New York Times, 2002-08-06
Author: JOHN O'NEIL

Intro:

"Cats basically hang around inside the house, so they don't get exposed to as many possible environmental hazards," he said. "You can often smell the smoke on their fur, and when you consider that they're grooming all the time with their tongues, they're probably getting a fairly significant dose."

For the study, which was published in the August issue of The American Journal of Epidemiology, the researchers surveyed the owners of 80 cats with lymphoma and 114 cats with renal disease, which strikes cats at about the same age but is not linked to environmental factors.

They found not only that all cats exposed to tobacco smoke had a far higher risk of lymphoma, but also that the risk was directly related to how much smoke was in the house and how long the cat had been exposed.

Dr. Moore said that the study had been undertaken mainly to explore ways of preventing lymphoma in cats, but he added that he hoped it would raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco in a new way.

"People often think of their cats as members of their family, and they should realize that when we smoke we are increasing the risks faced by those around us," he said. "If we can prevent this disease in cats, I'd be happy. If in doing so we can decrease the risk of cancer in people, I'd be doubly happy."

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