Do you think of your cats and COVID-19? As I’ve been laid up the last couple days with either a cold, stomach bug or the onset of COVID-19 (I don’t think so) it’s left me to ponder things. I am the number one human in the house for my two cats. Being laid up for me means ‘best days ever’ for them. A constant warm lap or chest to snuggle on all day and night is a rare thing for them. As a working family, my two cats are home alone most days, and get their human interaction time in the evenings when everyone is home. I am of course, the lucky chosen one 90% of the time.
Laid up yesterday watching “Lonestar, Stevie Ray Vaughn” on Amazon Prime with a cat on my chest got me thinking. Can I give my cat Covid-19? Is he safe from my germs with his insistent chest sleeping and nose booping? I did some research about your cats and COVID-19.
Cats and COVID History
I think if you’re a pet owner and didn’t hear of the horrific incident in China during the Wuhan outbreak you are either not paying attention or just plain lucky. A brutally untrue social media story made the rounds claiming cats and dogs were spreading the virus. Panic ensues as a result of this fake news story and animals were murdered as a result in horrific fashion. I am not one to sensationalize hurt animals on this site so I’m going to leave it at that. What I want is to provide up to date realities about your cats and COVID-19. This is to help avoid the same situation in other outbreak areas.
Are cats immune to COVID-19?
At the time of writing this post, there have been zero confirmed cases of a cat becoming infected by the COVID-19 virus. This is to be followed up with a caution. As the virus spreads, the mandate of the countries dealing with it has been towards the humans in it and not their pets. There’s been very little testing done on the animals in these countries to clinically rule out exposure to cats and dogs. In one case in Hong Kong, a small dog was found to have minimal traces in its nose but was not symptomatic.
It was unclear if the small traces of the virus would transfer to a human due to insufficient manpower or testing capabilities. Most viral biologist say the risk is low however cats and dogs are mammals and stands to reason they could contact the virus although it hasn’t seemed to affect them. Nor is their any proof in tens of thousands of cases a domestic animal transferred the virus.
Can my Cat contact COVID-19?
This line is directly from the San Diego Humane societies website from the WHO. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have issued advisories saying there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the virus and “there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.”
Avoid your cat if you’re sick.
Here comes the tough part. If you live in a multi person home and someone in your home becomes ill, it’s best to keep your cat away from them. This is hard for me, my buddies want to sleep on me and cuddle with me, especially when hurting. It’s in cat’s natures to be empathetic to their bonded humans. You are unlikely to infect your cat.
Touching his fur and wiping your nose then petting your cat can allow the virus to live on their fur for a period of time. If your cat leaves you and sits with someone else in the house, it’s possible the transmission can come from their fur to another member of the home. This is the case for not only just COVID-19 but other flu’s as well. If you need to be isolated for the safety of your family members, you should isolate from your cat or dog as well.
Perhaps a set of cat and dog wipes will minimize fur virus transference. If you can’t keep your cat way when you’re sick.
Emergency Planning for Pets
Although the potential of a widespread outbreak is unlikely, it’s always important to be prepared and have a plan for your pets. Arrange for trusted friends or family who could care for your pets in the event that you become sick or require a period of quarantine.
Make sure your pets are wearing proper identification at all times; this includes animals that don’t normally go outside. Having your pet microchipped can further protect your pet and help identify them if they were to become lost. It’s a good idea to include your cell phone number or the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area in case your pet is lost and you aren’t at home.
Prepare a Pet Emergency Kit:
Put the following supplies in a water-proof container:
- Three-plus days supply food and food bowls, water and two weeks of your pet’s medications
- Litter boxes with litter, if you have cats
- Extra leashes and collars
- Vaccination and medical records
- Photos and descriptions of each pet
- Pet first aid kit and pet first aid book
- Stickers you can attach to your pet’s tags with the information of your intended destination and outside temporary contact information
The above list has links to products that Amazon will deliver for you. At this time the stores are crazy and I believe Amazon the best bet for essentials and items. Saves you battling lines and crowds. We will weather this challenge as a society but don’t forget your cats and COVID-19 essentials.
Please see our latest blog posts for more information to help your cat. From litter to toys. Insurance to food. We have you covered for all your cat information.