How is ‘third-hand’ smoke transmitted to cats in homes?

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Third-hand smoke refers to the chemicals in smoke that stick around long after a cigarette is extinguished. They linger on clothes, in hair, on skin, in carpets and blankets, and on walls, toys and various surfaces.
We all know about second-hand smoke, the cloud of cigarette exhaust that we inhale when those around us are smoking, is as dangerous as smoking itself. Research has demonstrated that pets are equally as affected by second-hand smoke as humans. Animals exposed to cigarette smoke are at a high risk for developing respiratory illnesses and cancer. Like humans, animals exposed to second-hand smoke can potentially develop such medical conditions as lymphoma, lung cancer, asthma, nasal cancer and nervous system disorders.
Smoking is a dangerous habit for people. Cats are susceptible to illnesses through second-hand smoke because of their low body weight and their inborn habit of licking themselves to groom their fur. The particulate matter in second-hand smoking that affects both cats and people consists of poisonous chemicals such as DDT (a banned pesticide), arsenic and formaldehyde. Second-hand smoke toxins cause respiratory diseases in cats and a cancer called feline lymphoma.
Now it turns out that third-hand smoke is just as risky to you and your pets, according to a study done by Lawrence Berkley Laboratory and reported by Mulligan Stew. Third- hand smoke is absorbed into the body by skin exposure, dust inhalation, and ingestion. Cats and other pets are especially at risk, because they’re closer to the surfaces to which these toxins adhere. Cats can ingest the toxins while grooming. They are more prone to cancer of the tongue because they lick their coats, ingesting particles of smoke or third hand smoke. They can get it by playing with their toys or they can eat the tobacco from abandoned cigarette stubs.

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