Send to

Choose Destination
J Vet Intern Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;17(4):557-62.

Environmental and lifestyle risk factors for oral squamous cell carcinoma in domestic cats.

Author information

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9304, USA.


Oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common malignancy in cats, but little currently is known about its etiology. We examined the relationship between risk of oral SCC and factors such as environmental tobacco smoke, flea control products, and diet in 36 domestic cats with histologically confirmed oral SCC and 112 renal disease control cats presented to a large veterinary referral hospital between 1994 and 2000. Questionnaires were mailed to owners of all study and control cats to assess demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and level of chemical exposures 2 years before diagnosis. Multivariate relative risks (RR) were used to estimate the relationships between the various factors and the risk of oral SCC. Flea control product use and diet were significantly associated with risk of oral SCC. Cats that wore a flea collar had 5 times the risk of oral SCC as nonusers, after adjustment for other factors (RR = 5.3; P = .002). In contrast, use of flea shampoo substantially reduced risk. Compared to cats eating mostly dry food, those with high canned food intake had a 3-fold increase in risk (RR = 3.6; P = .014); canned tuna fish intake was independently associated with risk (RR = 4.7; P = .004). Exposure to household environmental tobacco smoke was associated with a nonsignificant 2-fold increase in risk (P = .11). Results of this study suggest that flea control products, diet, and perhaps environmental tobacco smoke might be associated with risk of oral SCC and indicate that further investigation into these relationships is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center