Felines 1st recognises that being a pet owner can be stressful during this time and that recent articles containing advice to pet owners have created a lot of confusion around the transmission between animals and humans. Current knowledge and advice is as follows (as at 11 April 2020, taken from sources such as BVA and PDSA websites).
- Only a few animals are suspected of having been infected with Covid-19 from humans.
- The symptoms were mild in cats, while dogs were asymptomatic.
- There is currently no evidence that humans can contract the illness from animals or their pets.
- The Covid-19 situation continues to change rapidly as scientific professionals learn more about the virus. Therefore, until more is known and understood it is sensible to take precautions to protect our pets.
The CFSG have put together the graphic below to assist pet owners #ComfortInCrisis
Current advice for pet owners includes:
- If you are ill with Covid-19, limit the contact you have with your pet as much as possible. You could consider keeping it indoors until you are well, but only if it will not cause stress to your pet.
- If someone who is ill strokes your pet, there is a remote chance that the virus could be transferred to their fur, and then transferred to you if you stroke your pet.
- It is therefore important that you wash your hands before and after stroking your pet.
Important points to remember:
- Please do not confine your pet indoors if they are used to going outdoors and confinement is causing them stress. Veterinary practices are seeing a large increase of cats with cystitis, which is a stress-related infection.
- Make sure your pets have a quiet place to retreat to during the day if they need a break and ensure that they have a quiet place to eat, drink and go to the toilet, especially if the home environment is a lot busier and noisier than normal.
- Please do not attempt to clean your cat when they come inside. Instead wash your hands after stroking your pet.
Please do not abandon your pet because of Covid-19. Shelters are struggling to cope and abandoned pets cannot fend for themselves. Remember, pets are a source of comfort, reduce stress levels and can help take your mind off things. Caring for an animal gives you purpose and improves your sense of well-being. After all, your commitment to your pet is for life, isn’t it?
For further information on this topic visit the British Veterinary Association website.