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Finally, Good News for Cats


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This has been a tough year for cats….as I wrote about in my most recent column for the Cat Channel.

News headlines have linked cats to cancer; in Florida (and elsewhere) community cats have been maligned and so are the good people who do TNR; veterinary visits for cats are down; relinquishment to shelters is up in many places, while cat adoptions are at best holding steady. Even cat ownership is down, according to the AVMA Pet Demographic Sourcebook.

Finally some good news for cats!

Marion Vittecoq of the Tour du Valat Research Center and her colleagues say according to their studies cat ownership has, so far, not shown any association at all with cancer.

Vittecoq and co-author Frédéric Thomas cite a National Institutes of Health Study by G.J. Tranah and colleagues. It found dog AND cat owners have a reduced risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The longer the duration of pet ownership was, the less chance the individual would suffer from this type of cancer.

Why cats and dogs may benefit human health remains a mystery, but another study from earlier this month provides some intriguing clues. It repeated previous findings from other studies, confirming that infants raised pets at home suffered from fewer respiratory tract and allergy problems. Of course, there are dozens of other studies from around the world which verify the healthful value of pets.

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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