You may know that secondhand smoke is bad for children, but did you know that it can also affect your furkids too? It really isn't too surprising when you think about it, because cat and dog lungs are essentially formed and operate the same way as a humans.
According to LiveScience.com, Carolynn MacAllister of Oklahoma State University states that there have been several scientific papers written recently that report secondhand smoke has been associated with lymphoma and oral cancer in cats, nasal and lung cancer in dogs and even lung cancer in birds.
In fact, a study performed by Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine reported that a number of cats who lived in homes with smokers tested higher for squamous cell carcinoma (mouth cancer) than did cats who lived with nonsmokers. Part of the reason suggested for this was because of a cat's grooming habits, which involve a lot of grooming by licking themselves. The cat licks the accumulated carcinogens on her fur that landed there after it became airborne from the cigarette smoke, then transfers it inside her mouth during the cleaning process. These carcinogens then make contact with the mucus membranes of the cat's mouth.
Unfortunately, even though dogs aren't as facetious groomers, both long and short-nosed dogs are still susceptible to secondhand smoke. While long-nosed dogs typically are more prone to nose cancer because of the longer snout, short-nosed dogs who are exposed to secondhand smoke are typically more prone to lung cancer.
While the best course of action to stop pets from inhaling secondhand smoke is for pet owners to simply stop smoking, taking your smoking outdoors or at least to an area that is separated from the rest of the house and away from your furkids can greatly help to prevent the adverse affects of smoking from harming your pets.