Cat owners who are self-isolating or already have the coronavirus should keep their cats indoors, a veterinary body advised.
The British Veterinary Association said that “can act as fomites”, objects that can be contaminated with infectious organisms. Cats could hold the virus on their fur if people infected pet them.
“For pet owners who have Covid-19 or who are self-isolating we are recommending that you keep your cat indoors if possible, during that time,” the British Veterinary Associacion stated. “The virus could be on their fur in the same way it is on other surfaces, such as tables and doorknobs.”
However, they also advised people to practice good hygiene. Some cats cannot stay indoors due to stress-related medical conditions. Therefore, the body suggested that “only if the cat is happy to be (…) indoors” should the owner do so.
There are cases in which animals tested positive for the virus. However, specialists do not know if they can pass it to humans.
“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 said. “From the small number of cases it appears that dogs do not show symptoms, but cats can show clinical signs of the disease.”