The harmful effects of secondhand smoke aren’t limited to people. Dogs and cats that are regularly exposed to tobacco smoke are at risk for nasal and lung cancer, respiratory issues, and allergies. Cats are also at risk for malignant lymphoma.
Although there’s no information regarding the exact number of tobacco related pet deaths, research done at Tufts University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, and others schools has concluded that pets are, in fact, at risk for the above mentioned second-hand smoke related conditions.
Cats are more susceptible to the dangers of tobacco smoke than dogs and lymphoma is one of the leading causes of feline deaths. Cats that live with a smoker for more than five years are four times more likely to develop the disease.
Obviously, not smoking is the best way to protect your family and pets from second-hand tobacco smoke. If you do smoke, do so outdoors away from pets and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. Dispose of all cigarette butts out of your pet’s reach to avoid ingestion. Animals that have ingested a cigarette butt may experience gastrointestinal upset, drooling, trembling, and sometimes even seizures. Contact a veterinarian immediately if your pet displays these symptoms.