Thursday, April 9, 2020

Cats and Covid-19

cats, coronavirus, covid-19, SARS-COV-2
There remains no evidence of transmission of Covid-19 to humans from companion animals.

Yesterday some articles were published which suggested that cats should be kept indoors because of Covid-19. This is not correct.

International Cat Care and the International Society for Feline Medicine have put out a joint statement which you can read here. 

In particular, it states:
There remains no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 to humans from pets. Emerging reports of very few animals show potential transmission to dogs and cats from humans with the virus, but more research is needed. Similarly, it is currently unclear if cat to cat transmission is possible in natural infections, with limited data from experimental studies only available.
Therefore, it is not recommended that all cats are kept indoors. Cats used to outdoor access could suffer significant stress due to confinement and several serious health conditions are associated with stress. This confinement may also cause stress for cat owners, again to be avoided at this difficult time. If you are at all worried, do not pat or stroke any pets other than your own.
I would add that decisions to allow cats outdoors, including timing, should take risks to the cat (e.g. cat fights, motor vehicle accidents) as well as risks to wildlife (i.e. predation) into account. Restricted or supervised outdoor access may be a reasonable compromise.

For those of you working from home, you may feel that your cat is genuinely stressed. Some cats are being extremely clingy and demanding, others are avoiding their owners.

International Cat Care has provided a webinar on meeting your cat’s needs and managing feline stress during lockdown (if you have kids, there are some small projects they might like to take on).