A cat living in a home with a smoker is more like to suffer from respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis, which alone can be life-threatening illnesses.
Cigarette and cigar smoke aren’t just a problem while the carcinogens are floating through the air; they also cling to all surfaces as they settle.
"Studies show that cats living in smoking households have a two- to four-times increased risk of an aggressive type of mouth cancer called oral squamous cell carcinoma. The cancer is often found under the base of the tongue, where the thirdhand smoke particles tend to collect after grooming... Of the cats that develop oral squamous cell carcinoma, less than 10% will survive 1 year after diagnosis, even if they’ve had chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation treatment." – FDA
As you may expect, kitties are more likely to develop oral cancer and tumors in the lymph nodes because they not only inhale the toxic particles, but they also lick them off their fur while grooming.
Impact of Second Hand Smoke on Dogs
Pups have a greater risk of allergies and eye problems when exposed to second-hand smoke.
What’s interesting is that the length of the pup’s muzzle may influence the location where cancer can develop.
A survey on LiveScience.com states that dogs with short to medium-length muzzles are more likely to develop lung cancer; whereas pups with long muzzles are more likely to develop nasal cancers.
"How tobacco smoke affects a dog depends on the length of the dog’s nose....Long-nosed dog breeds like Greyhounds, Borzois, and Doberman Pinschers that are exposed to tobacco smoke have a doubled risk of nose cancer...Short- and Medium-nosed breeds, like Pugs, Bulldogs, Beagles, and Brittany Spaniels, have a higher risk of lung cancer." - FDA
The thought is longer muzzles have more surface area for the carcinogens to accumulate before ever reaching the lungs.
While quitting is the healthiest option for both you and your fur baby, we know that can be easier said than done.
Here are a few ways you can help minimize the impact on your furry loved ones:
Wash your hands after smoking and before you touch your fur babies.
Don’t smoke inside your house or car. This prevents carcinogens from accumulating on your furniture, floors, and your fur baby’s coat.
Dispose of cigarette butts and used Nicotine where your fur baby can’t reach them. Nicotine toxicity can kill your fur baby.
Wipe your fur baby’s coat daily. This will remove any toxins that may have transferred from clothes during snuggle sessions.
Do you have any other ways to help keep your pet safe from smoke? In the meantime, share this article with someone you know who smokes.
One more thing, if you are feeling like getting a little special something for your fur baby that is unique, made right here in the USA, 100% pup and cat safe, USDA certified organic and brought to you by a US company, check out Toe Beans online pet supplies store!
K Marie Alto
K. Marie is an animal lover, wife, kitty mom, dog auntie, writer (https://www.amazon.com/author/kmariealto), and co-founder of Toe Beans, a proud American family-owned online boutique pet supplies store focused on the improvement of the life of furry family members via pet parent education, better products, and advocacy. She has over 20 years of experience as a pet momma. She loves sharing her personal journey and experience as a pet parent via her blog and Facebook page where she currently has more than 45K followers (@furrytoebeans) and counting :-).