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Are cats an indicator species?


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So, I just got back from the vet where I was told that our cat has a 5-inch inoperable tumor in her abdomen. Looks like she's not long for this world.

We had another cat die of a tumor about 6 months ago.

Our previous two cats, that passed away about 12 years ago, also both died of cancer.

All of them lived with us in the same house we currently have. None of them lived past age 14. One died at only age 4.

Of the four cats I had growing up, all of them died of old age at ages ranging from 16 to 18. None of them had tumors.

So are cats an indicator species? Should I be checking my house for radon (which was negative 19 years ago when I bought the house) or other carcinogens?

Anyway, just a little bummed right now.

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If four pets have died prematurely due to cancer, I'd think it's worth doing some further research on causes.

Is there anything like a neighbor using high doses of pesticides or other yard treatments that could be causing this?

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I'd say it is worth looking into, but it could be lot's of things. What kind of cats are you getting?

Two were strays from NYC that we transplanted to our house in VA. The others came from animal shelters.

One of the strays had a stillborn litter when she was found and was later spayed. I think I recall reading something about the incidence of cancer being higher in cats spayed at a later age like that.

The other stray was the one that was only 4 when it died, I had it only two of those years.

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