Feline Diabetes caused by fire-retardants in carpets, curtains and upholstery

I am referring to feline diabetes insipidus which is a rare variation of diabetes. It is not related to insulin production as is the case for diabetes mellitus.

I have mentioned the hazardous nature of fire-retardants before but not in relation to causing diabetes.

The connection was mentioned in a television program, Trust Me, I’m Your Vet. Although I did not watch the program the Times newspaper reported on it. They state that diabetes in cats is up owing to brain tumours caused by toxic chemicals in fire-retardants applied to curtains and carpets (they are also used in foam cushions and upholstery). Diabetes mellitus is up due to feline obesity on the increase.

RELATED: 20 facts about feline hyperthyroidism

I have reported on an increase thyroid cancer but not the possible connection between brominated fire retardants and diabetes insipidus. The symptoms are (a) increased production of dilute urine (b) drinking more and (c) dehydration. These signs are similar to kidney failure. A vet would have to do a proper diagnosis to distinguish the two.

The chain of events is as follows: chemicals in fire-retardants cause brain tumour > brain fails to produce enough of the hormone vasopressin > kidney unable to retain water > increased dilute urine > increased drinking > dehydration.

I feel there is a pressing need to fully investigate the dangers of these chemicals. I would not be surprised if they present more of a hazard than people image to cats, dogs and people. Many cat owners are unaware of the dangers lurking in carpets, curtains and furniture.

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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2 Responses

  1. October 20, 2020

    […] to highlight the often hidden dangers within the home for domestic cats. Hidden dangers such as chemicals in carpets, sofas and perfumed diffusers are lurking around the best cared for homes occupied by the most […]

  2. April 11, 2021

    […] cat companions who are particularly susceptible as they spend time lying on surfaces such as sofas containing fire retardants, carpets containing preservative chemicals and, in this instance, vinyl flooring to look like real […]

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