Have you ever thought about the possibility that the chemicals used to create the furniture that sits inside your home could be potentially harmful, not only to you, but also your cat? As luck would have it, research has been ongoing for a number of years that has determined that there is a real need to be concerned here. More recently, it’s been determined that the chemicals used in new furniture can easily harm the thyroid of a cat, meaning that there’s every likelihood it could also be harmful to humans. If that doesn’t get your attention, keep reading. It only gets more interesting from here.
If you want to get scientific about things, the chemicals in question are officially known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAs, for short. If you’re like most people, you can scarcely even pronounce that, much less understand exactly what it is. Suffice it to say that you don’t have a degree in chemical engineering and you want to know what’s going on. It seems that modern-day furniture construction involves the use of a lot of newer materials that are chemically based. Think about mattresses that are made through chemical processes or cushions that use the same process because it’s faster and cheaper to produce them that way.
You’ve probably been warned a thousand times how dangerous these types of chemicals can be if something in your home were to catch on fire, effectively lighting the furniture on fire as well. Guess what, that furniture doesn’t have to be on fire in order to be harmful. After plenty of years of diligent research, scientists have determined that these chemicals consistently put off harmful fumes that can’t be seen or smelled. Things get even more interesting when you start using the furniture because when you sit on it, lay on it, or barely touch it, it puts off even more of these fumes than usual. Unfortunately, these are the types of chemicals that can often alter processes in the body and cause a whole host of problems.
The particular type of chemicals that are used are in a group that the thyroid, both feline and human, are especially susceptible to. While there hasn’t been any research to prove it, you might be concerned if you have a dog, as well. Merely having a couch, chair or other piece of furniture in your home made by these chemical processes can cause problems with your cat’s thyroid, sometimes making it over active and sometimes practically stopping it from doing its job altogether.
In many cases, you’ll start to notice behavioral changes in your cat. Depending on whether his thyroid is over or underactive, you might notice that he’s gaining or losing weight, that he’s grumpier than normal, or that he doesn’t have the appetite he once did. More serious signs that a problem exists include excessive hair loss and lethargy. If you see these signs in your cat, it’s important to remember that there could be a lot of issues that present with these symptoms but armed with this type of knowledge, you now know that it’s a good idea to have his thyroid function tested.
Remember, chemicals that adversely affect animals typically affect humans in the same way. It just takes longer for it to show up. If you have determined that your cat does have thyroid issues, you might want to make an appointment for yourself to have your own thyroid checked as well. The good news is that if you catch this type of thing early, you can usually correct it with simple medication that’s taken once-daily. However, ignoring the problem can result in more significant issues. Since the thyroid regulates many of the body’s functions, ignoring the problem can result in more severe symptoms that eventually cannot be ignored. If nothing is done to correct the problem, cancer of the thyroid can also develop, necessitating that it be removed in its entirety.
If this scares you a little, it probably should. After all, it’s definitely not the most comforting thought to know that seemingly harmless, everyday items in your home could be slowly singling you and your pets out so you can be snuffed out in all kinds of different ways. The truth is, manufacturers are not going to change the way they build things, so it’s up to you to understand what the potential hazards are and then take action through proactive healthcare, for everyone in your family.