Do I let my cat out during coronavirus? Is my cat liable to spread infection? Could my cat contract coronavirus?
These are some of the questions pet owners have been asking while we grapple with ‘the new normal’, but just what are the right answers to these questions?
If you are lucky enough to have a cat that is the neighbourhood’s best friend, you might have worried that they could be carrying Covid-19 on their fur when they have come into contact with surfaces or hands that have been contaminated outside of your own home. There have also been numerous news reports advising cat owners to keep their kitties inside.
However, it will come as good news to many of those with feline friends yowling at the kitchen door and pawing at the lino to be let out that the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has clarified that lockdown only applies to cats of infected households. Great news if your pussycat is making your life a little less peaceful if they are demanding to go outside.
As for whether your cat can spread the virus, the BVA advises that there is no evidence currently of animals passing Covid-19 to humans. There are a very small number of cases of Covid-19 in animals, and in all cases, the infection was passed from human to animal.
“It is very important that people don’t panic about their pets. There is no evidence that animals can pass the disease to humans,” the BVA stated, adding that many cats need access to their gardens for stress reasons, so pet owners are advised not to keep their cats penned in unless they are or think their household might have the virus.
So for most of us, that means we can unlock the catflap and open the back door again – just remember it is likely your pussycat will decide to sit on the doormat deciding whether they really are going to go outside.
Pet owners who are desperate to go outside can rely on The Country Cat Hotel to be there for their kitties when they can take a well-deserved holiday in the future.