COVID-19: Cats and Coronavirus

8 April 2020

Following media reports on the BBC news website in relation to cats and coronavirus, the BVA have today (8th March) issued a statement on cats and COVID-19.

The original news article suggested that veterinary advice was to keep cats indoors in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the BVA have clarified that this advice is only in relation to cats in infected households, or where people are self-isolating.

In line with current UK Government advice, BSAVA concurs that at the moment there is no evidence of COVID-19 circulating in pets or other animals in the UK and there is nothing to suggest pets may transmit the disease to humans. Pets might carry the virus on their fur for short periods of time, just as other surfaces can carry the virus from one place to another and in line with general advice on COVID-19, pet owners should wash their hands regularly including before and after they come into contact with their pet.

Sue Paterson BSAVA President said “If a pet owner has COVID-19 or is from a suspect COVID-19 household, in line with general advice to self-isolate and limit their interaction with others, it is sensible that they also limit their own contact and that of others with their pet and in addition, maintain good hygiene practises. In particular, it is important for owners to realise that if cat is used to going outdoors, suddenly confining it indoors could potentially cause stress and compromise its health.”

For more information relating to COVID-19, visit our dedicated webpages.