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Cats and Covid-19

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As we try to navigate our way though daily routines – going to work and running errands – the dark cloud of the current coronavirus pandemic adds its ‘Fear Gray’ filter to every activity.

By now, most of us are using popular tunes to time our hand washing, stocking up on sanitizers and being more attentive to maintaining safe spaces with others. Anything to stay healthy. But what about the family pet? Is he / she in trouble? What do we need to do to keep them just as safe and healthy?

According to the World Health Organization, “At present, there is no evidence that companion animals / pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.”

WHO Virus Graphic copy

However, the hand washing warning is reiterated to protect against other common bacteria (E coli / Salmonella) that is more commonly passed between animals and humans.

As we all breathe a collective sigh of relief, I want to take this opportunity to pass along some very helpful information that really bears repeating in terms of keeping your pet safe.

The Bay Area Newsgroup and East Bay pet advocates put together a really comprehensive list of preventative measures you should take for your pet. Here is the full list. The four that stand out to me are:

  • “Seek out reliable sources for updated information. The Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov; World Health Organization, http://www.who.int; and World Small Animal Veterinary Association, http://www.wsava.org, are good places to go for information on the virus.
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the CDC recommends you minimize contact with your human and animal companions. Identify a family member or friend who can care for your pet.
  • Have crates, food and extra supplies, including medications, on hand for quick movement of the pet. Two weeks’ worth of food, medicine and other supplies is recommended. A pet first-aid kit is also good to have for any unplanned situation.
  • Ensure your animal’s vaccines are up-to-date in case boarding becomes necessary.”

This is truly where there saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more true!

One thing you don’t need to worry about: masks. Pets don’t need masks. Even if you happen to stumble across various articles like this one with an unidentified cat in an unidentified part of China wearing a makeshift human mask. In this case, an ounce of prevention is probably just pissing off the cat! Stay safe out there cat lovers, and please let me know of anything else you come across that could be helpful!

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