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Self-Isolating Owners Are Being Told To Keep Their Cats Indoors

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Self-Isolating Owners Are Being Told To Keep Their Cats Indoors

Veterinary scientists are recommending that self-isolating pet owners try to keep their cats indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Up until now, there's been lots of confusion on the subject of pets transmitting and passing on the virus.

Dr Angel Almendros, a scientist from City University in Hong Kong, who is working on research surrounding the disease in animals, told the BBC it would be sensible to keep cats indoors where possible during the outbreak to avoid the virus being passed over fur.

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However, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) is advising pet owners to take precautions keeping cats indoors "only if someone in their own household showed symptoms".

BVA president Daniella Dos Santos told the BBC: "Practice good hand hygiene, try and keep cats indoors.

"An animal's fur could carry the virus for a time if a pet were to have come into contact with someone who was sick."

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash
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Despite this, owners are being urged they "should not worry" about getting infected by their pets as the cases are negligible.

In late February, a 17-year-old Pomeranian dog became the first-known case of human-to-animal transmission of the virus.

"But even where we have these positive results, the animals are not becoming sick," Dr Angel told the outlet about the case.

"As in the previous Sars-Cov outbreak in Hong Kong, in 2003, where a number of pets were infected but never became sick, there is no evidence that dogs or cats could become sick or infect people."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The pooch, who has now sadly died, was reported to have a 'weak level' of the virus and was put in quarantine for 14 days.

The dog's owner, a 60-year-old woman, tested positive for coronavirus at the same time but has now recovered.

Most recently, a tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive for the virus, as well as suspected cases in six more big cats at the zoo.

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The tiger, named Nadia, was believed to have caught the virus from an asymptomatic (someone who is not exhibiting symptoms) zoo keeper.

Bronx Zoo, based in New York, had the results confirmed by National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa, US.

Given the advice offered, it seems best to be cautious and keep your furry companion indoors.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Life News, Pets, Cat, Real

Ciara Sheppard
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