Our homes could be making our cats sick.
Researchers in Stockholm have found indoor felines have high levels of flame retardant chemicals in their bloodstream.
The study is said to be the first to find evidence that household cats are exposed to the chemicals found in electronics and furniture.
The researchers took blood samples from cats and gathered dust in children's rooms, adults' bedrooms and the living room.
”By taking paired samples, we have greater insight into the environment that the cats live in. Moreover the cats in the study spent the majority of their time indoors and therefore air and dust in the home is expected to contribute more than the outdoor environment”, says Jana Weiss at the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University.
The chemicals, called brominated flame retardants, are added to textiles, furniture, and electronic equipment to prevent the material from igniting, but they can be health hazards for cats.
“The brominated flame retardants that have been measured in cats are known endocrine disruptors," Weiss said.
People don't internalize the effects of the chemicals the same way cats do, and even if you clean a lot, cats can pick up dust on their fur.
The study did indicate some concern about these chemicals in small children, however.
There's isn't much people can do for their cats. Experts recommend routine exams to catch problems early should they arise.