Smoking cats, just looking for trouble |

Smoking cats, just looking for trouble

By Kathleen Williams-Miller
Maise is an elegant 12-year-old black domestic short hair. She’s a talkative diva who enjoys being catered to. Her favorite things are treats and adoration. Maise is looking for a home where she is the only pet. She will definitely add style and class to any home. Come out and meet this lady.

I recently saw the greatest lawn sign I have ever seen. The sign had a large photo of an orange cat and the following message: Please do not throw your cigarette butts on our lawn. Our cat sneaks out at night and smokes them. We are trying to get her to quit. Please help us!

I had visions of cats laying around smoking cigarettes and hookahs like in Alice in Wonderland. That thought made me wonder what affect, if any, smoking has on pets, specifically cats. There’s nothing I like more than solving a mystery.

By now we all know that smoking is bad for our health, but what I didn’t know is it’s also just as bad for your pet’s health. Apparently, pets not only inhale second-hand smoke, but they also ingest tar and nicotine from cleaning their fur or eating cigarette butts. The health hazards include respiratory problems, seizures, cancer and death.

Cats can develop more problems than dogs, because they are constantly grooming. Cats are meticulous groomers so they ingest the tar, smoke, and carcinogens that cigarettes give off that land on all surfaces including their coats.

Daily grooming over many years can cause oral carcinomas similar to the type humans develop when they chew tobacco. Cats can also develop asthma-like symptoms of wheezing, coughing, and hyperventilation. They can get lung cancer, but it isn’t very often.

Dogs will also develop asthma-like symptoms of wheezing, coughing, and hyperventilation, but they rarely have any oral problems. Dogs are more likely to develop nasal carcinomas or lung cancer.

Both cats and dogs can get addicted to nicotine from eating cigarette butts or nicotine patches (new or used). Nicotine is very toxic and it only takes 20-100mg to be lethal for a cat or dog. To put that into perspective, one cigarette contains 2mg and the butt has 1mg. Nicotine patches contain up to 15mgs. If your pet eats an abundance of nicotine, call the vet immediately!

The best advice for everyone’s sake is to quit smoking, but if that isn’t an option be sure to smoke outside, wipe your pet down daily with a wet towel, and put all nicotine products safely out of your pet’s reach.


Items for the CAPS annual garage sale. Call 775-423-7500 to have us pick up items.

Bleach, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and disinfectant.

Aluminum cans. If you have cans to pick up, give us a call (775-423-7500), and we will come get them. You can also drop them off at CAPS.

Folks to sign up for Chewy food delivery. During the pandemic, why not have your dog’s food delivered and help CAPS at the same time? Details are below.


Mike and Sally for the huge bag of cans. A big bark of thanks to you!


CAPS is open, by appointment only, for adoptions, SNAPS, and food pantry. We cannot accept volunteers until further notice. Call 775-423-7500.


July Pet Holiday: National Pet Fire Safety Day. Make sure you have an evacuation plan for your pets in case of a fire.

You can open an account with Chewy and reference CAPS in the order. CAPS will receive $20 directly into the operating account with your first $50 order. Chewy offers quality food and free two-day delivery on orders over $50. Check our Facebook page, Churchill Animal Protection Society, for more details.


CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, Nevada 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likeable.

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kathleen Williams-Miller is a CAPS volunteer. Email