What You Need to Know About Cats and COVID-19

April 16, 2020 11:29 pm Published by

As you are aware, the coronavirus pandemic is posing a worldwide health crisis. People are being ordered to stay at home, those showing signs of the virus are self-quarantining and those who have tested positive and are seriously ill are receiving medical treatment. People can catch this virus and spread it to other people, which leads us to today’s topic: companion animals and COVID-19. Before continuing on, we want all of our Kingstowne Cat Clinic visitors to know that we are practicing a new protocol until further notice (learn more here).

Here’s what you need to know about cats and COVID-19 in Alexandria, VA.

The risk of pets spreading the virus

It’s important to know that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause cold-like illnesses in humans, while others cause illness in certain types of animals—including cattle, bats and camels. Likewise, there are some coronaviruses—such as feline and canine coronaviruses—that only infect animals, not people. In other words, yes, some animals can become infected with some coronaviruses. They can infect humans, and then the virus can spread to other people, but there’s no evidence indicating that COVID-19 can be spread from animals to humans.

No evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to people (or vice versa)

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Organization for Animal Welfare say there is no evidence that companion animals like cats and dogs can spread COVID-19. Also, many animal organizations and veterinarians agree that COVID-19 cannot be contracted from pets, but they caution that there’s still a lot that is unknown. Health professionals advise that people confirmed to have the coronavirus should avoid contact with other people, as well as with companion and farm animals.

On another note, the CDC has not received any reports of animals infected with COVID-19 in the United States. However, they are aware of a couple reports of pets becoming infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after being around humans with COVID-19. These situations are being closely monitored by the CDC and local human and animal health organizations.

Staying healthy around animals

To reiterate, at least in the United States, nothing points to any animals being a source of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean animals—companion, farm or wild—don’t carry germs that can make people sick. Practice good hygiene habits around your pets at all times. Wash your hands after handing animals, animal food, waste, toys or supplies, and after playing with pets. Good pet hygiene is also important. Clean up after pets properly, wash their fur and brush their teeth often. If you have a pet and have questions about their health, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

All of us here at Kingstowne Cat Clinic understand that you likely have questions and concerns about cats and coronavirus in Alexandria, VA. In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, effective immediately, we are implementing a new client protocol to ensure the safety of people and pets alike. Call or visit our website to learn more.

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