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Is COVID-19 dangerous to my cat?

We certainly have been living through extraordinary times over the last few months. COVID-19 has changed the way we live and interact with one another and these changes look set to stay for a while. As the world begins to unwind from lockdown a few questions still linger in the minds of pet owners (most specially those who have a feline friend at home). Cats are notorious roamers and if your cat enjoys going out for a wander keeping them in during lockdown would have been a mighty challenge. It is still unclear to cat owners if their cat can get COVID-19 so Perfect-Pets Books have had a look at the research and have provided answers to the most common questions below.

Can I transmit Covid-19 to my Cat?

There have been reports in the news about transmission of COVID-19 from animal to human but it is widely agreed that the likelihood of transmission is relatively low. This has caused some distress among pet owners who have had serious concerns. Cats Protection have advised that there is no serious threat and any cases reported are low in volume. As a precaution they have advised owners to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling their pet and those infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) should be particularly mindful by minimising contact.

Can my cat give Covid-19 to me?

Currently there is no evidence to support transmission from cats to humans or humans to cats.

Is there a link between Feline Coronavirus (FCov) and COVID-19?

Feline Coronavirus is a common contagious virus that can be found in the faeces of cats and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 virus. FCoV is caught by inadvertently swallowing the virus, through contact with other cats, litter trays or soil where other cats have toileted. Exposure to faeces in the litter tray is the most common means of transmission. Forty per cent or more of cats will be infected with the virus at some time in their lives and most owners will be unaware of it. Nearly every cat that encounters the virus will become infected and most will remain healthy and the majority will clear the virus themselves.

Should I keep my cat indoors if my household has symptoms of the virus?

Medical advice by veterinarians and cat organisations such as Cats Protection recommends to keep your pet indoors while a family or individual is self-isolating. It is very difficult to keep a cat inside if they are used to going outside. Spending time with them and playing with cat toys can help to get their mind off of things. If the restriction of going out proves too difficult try to keep contact to a minimum with your cat and use good hygiene and wash hands regularly.

Is it safe to let a neighbour or friend’s cat into the house?

Because of the possibility of COVID-19 transferring from an infected person to the fur of a cat, and because so little is known about how long the virus might survive on the fur, it is advised against stroking or picking up a cat that is not yours. If you need to touch them for any reason wash your hands thoroughly.

Perfect-Pets Books have a variety of resources available for cat owners and our latest book Which Cat? An essential guide to Britain’s 20 most popular breeds is full of practical information that helps would be cat owners avoid the pitfalls and problems that can so easily occur as the kitten grows into a cat. For instruction on how to take care of a cat Cat Care the Essential Guide explains what to do when dealing with a new kitten and throughout the lifetime of the cat. Useful instructive guidance for accidents and injuries can be found in our First Aid for Cats written for cat owners to help deal with emergencies, accidents and injuries. It stresses the importance of knowing what to do in the time between discovery and getting the cat to the vet.

For further information about diseases and natural hazards that are harmful to cats our free eBook How to Kill Your Cat is available for download from the website.

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