Everywhere we look just now there is news, some true and some fake, about coronavirus and our pets. There is limited evidence that some animals, including pets, can contract coronavirus. Cases in pet animals are very rare and at present the evidence suggests that coronavirus:
- May pass from infected humans to certain pets such as cats and ferrets following close contact.
- Does not easily pass between cats or most other pets, but this cannot be ruled out.
As far as all the current scientific evidence can show us, the current pandemic is being sustained through human –to-human contact. This is a developing situation and therefore the sensible approach would be to maintain good hygiene around your cat and continue to love and care for them as you would normally.
If no one in the house is self-isolating or showing any symptoms and your cat is healthy then continue with your usual routine. It is fine to stroke and pet your cat and have them on your lap. If your cat normally goes outside, then that is also fine. Routine works well for cats and where possible keep this going to reduce stress.
If you or any member of your household has come into contact with an infected person, been diagnosed or has any symptoms of the coronavirus then it would be sensible to be more cautious. Try not to have too much physical contact and if you do then wash your hands before and after any interactions. We would recommend you do not kiss or cough on your cat.
If your cat becomes unwell in any way during this outbreak and you think they may need veterinary attention, then the advice is still to contact your own vet. Although they may be operating a reduced a service or be triaging on a case–by case basis there will still be availability in your area if its needed.
During this pandemic our pets are more important to us than ever. Cases of pets contracting Covid-19 are extremely rare so with good hygiene and sensible precautions we can all continue as normal.