Newsday Tuesday – Is the Home Environment Really Safe for Cats?

Wow! We’ve chosen to raise our cats indoors. Research shows that it’s safer for cats to live inside. Experts say that cats kept inside are healthier and live longer. They are protected from dogs, coyotes and such, as well as traffic, fleas and ticks, foxtails, poisoned rodents, catnapping, and more. However, an article in Science Daily published in February suggests a danger most of us have probably not considered. By keeping our cats confined inside, we may be exposing them to dangerous chemicals.

The report states that the main problem is a fire retardant used in everything from textiles to furniture and carpeting, as well as electronics. It emits chemicals that are found in the dust inside a home. The general consensus is that this can cause feline hyperthyroidism. Learn more here:

I found several articles from as far back as 2007 on this topic—some even reporting that they’ve found flame retardant in pet food!!! But I could not find any information explaining how to protect our cats from this health danger. Perhaps by keeping windows open more often, using fans, building a catio where the cat can spend time outside in a safe enclosure. We could make sure the beds and cat trees we buy for our cats are not treated with the fire retardant—however is that the safest way to protect our pets?

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