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I recently read a blog post on the dangers of vaping around cats. Obviously ingesting the vaping fluid could be a serious emergency, but the post also states:

Additionally, cats living with someone who vapes are exposed to the second-hand aerosols from the vapor that is exhaled into the air. These particles may also settle into household dust. As cats come in contact with the particles, they will ingest them via grooming themselves.

I have friends who use e-cigarettes without nicotine to reduce their dependence on cigarettes (they have the oral habit). I've been told that the exhale of these products is just water vapor. Are there additional cancer causing materials in the vapor that could cause harm to their pets? How much risk is there?

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The PG (propylene glycol) in vaping can be pretty harmful to cats but the doses from vaping are usually too small. A VG (vegetable glycerin) formula is generally fine. The VG is where most of what settles into dust when vaping because it is generally less likely to evaporate (which is why the PG has smaller clouds and VG has bigger clouds). In regards to dogs PG is fine in non-large doses. In fact they use it in a lot of dog food for some reason.

Cats have a weird sensitivity to PG, and it can cause Heinz body anemia as the article mentions, but the exposure amount needed is higher than they would get from vapor. They determined this by putting PG in cat food (such as how it is in dog food), but it was in higher volumes than the cat can usually get from PG droplets in the air. This is especially true if the blend isn't 100% PG and water. If you avoid vaping into food or blowing directly on your cat's face and clean your living quarters more than once a year, you are probably fine.

Also, the liquid can be dangerous, so clean spills and drips when you can. Most of these scare articles are written by people with very little scientific background and are deep in the holistic movement (not that I'm against the holistic movement).

That being said, many of the opposite ideology about vaping is written by people in the exact same boat. The truth is that science hasn't done the research to know for sure, but as of right now we do know that Heinz body anemia comes from larger exposure to PG than MOST (not all) cats can get from just residing in a house with a person that vapes (It also depends on the cat and the house and the frequency of vaping).

In the end, the risk is fairly low, but it is still there. If you want to know more you can try to ask your vet but many vets I've talked to don't know about how vaping affects pets. Also, many people I associate with vape with cats and it has no ill effects or health issues and their cats are generally in good spirits.

In the end, if you can reduce the exposure it will always be better for your cats. You can vape less than normal around them, vape in a ventilated area, and always avoid vaping over food/water or on the cat, deep clean your apartment more, and always change the liquid over a sink or an area that is easily cleaned and less accessible to cats. It is also safer to vape a blend with less PG (for the cat and not necessarily for you). I wouldn't worry about your cats getting Heinz from it, but I wouldn't completely disregard it as a possibly, and I'd respond accordingly.

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