The RSPCA is encouraging cat owners to take sensible precautions during the Coronavirus crisis but urges them there is no need to worry about continuing to care for their cats.
The charitable organisation is aware that in these difficult times owners are worried about their pets and that the coronavirus will affect them and that they pose a danger to human health. There is no known evidence, however, to date that the virus spreads from pets to humans.
Recent news storeys may have left livestock owners especially concerned about their cats and the possible effect of COVID-19 on their pelvic mates.
“We suggest that Cat owners should not worry about it and take adequate measures, as we would advise, such as washing your hands before and after stroking your cat, as Defra suggests, and stop kissing or touching, or sharing food with them,” Dr Samantha Gaines, Head of the Companion Animal Department at RSPCA, said.
“There have been a few recorded positive results on or signs of COVID-19 by very little animals. Many of these animals have been placed in an artificial world that does not represent real life. The remaining cases were confirmed to have transmitted the virus from a human to an animal. Even when people move on to other animals the virus is incredibly small, especially because the number of cats and dogs that share our homes is large-scale – 17 per cent of UK households share 7.5 million cats and 25 per cent 12 million dogs. There is also little evidence of the virus moving on from pet to humans. We base our recommendations on the best available scientific evidence and keep track of the latest science and policy guidance.
“However, pet fur can bear the virus-like human hands and so, when it comes to interacting, it is important to follow good hygiene, particularly if they have been in contact with other people. Dr Gaines continued:” This means washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you touch and stop kissing or touching and sharing food with them. We will also recommend that you should not touch a cat when you exercise as a precaution.
“If you are suffering from the virus and if you are self-isolating or are in your room, then we advise that it might be best if your cat would be content to live and used to litter tray. When you go out a lot, try to eliminate contacts and then wash your face. We do not recommend that a cat that is used to going out be kept indoors because it can cause stress and serious health problems.
“The animal welfare agency is tracking the situation closely as it evolves and advises that pet owners take appropriate precautions for their pets and avoid contacting anything in their own homes” (1) “The welfare organisations are so vital that we continue to take so much care for our pet’s health in this challenging time.
Cat owners can wipe their cats even after they come indoors with a damp cloth or pet safe. Do not use disinfectants or any other chemical on your cat as many human cats are toxic to household disinfectants.