Can cats catch coronavirus? How to keep you and your fur baby safe

Social distancing may be required…

Officials have today (April 8) reassured pet owners that they cannot contract coronavirus from cats.

Worries spread after scientists reported that cats in China had been infected with the virus.

A tiger in New York also allegedly tested positive for the disease.

However, while there is no evidence to suggest a cat can transmit COVID-19 to a human, there are some steps to follow that’ll ensure you and your fur baby stay safe.

We should stop stroking our cats if someone in the house has COVID-19 symptoms (Credit: ED!)

Speaking on the ITV Lunchtime News, British Veterinary Association president Daniella Dos Santos issued some guidelines.

Her appearance came as worried Brits flooded the BVA website for advice on cats and coronavirus.

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So should we stop hugging and stroking our pets if someone in the house has COVID-19 symptoms?

If you do have symptoms, don’t hug or excessively stroke your pets.

The answer appears to be yes.

Daniella revealed “the most recent advice, in particular when it comes to cats” for those in a house with COVID-19 symptoms.

The cat’s fur can carry the virus if it’s coughed or sneezed on (Credit: Pixabay)

She said: “If your cat is happy being kept indoors then you should do that.”

Daniella explained: “The reason for this advice is cats and dogs can act as fomites – a surface that can carry the virus.”

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She added: “So if you do have clinical signs and you cough or sneeze in your pet, their fur could carry the virus for a short period of time.”

“Don’t hug or stroke your pets”

Daniella advised: “If you do have symptoms, don’t hug or excessively stroke your pets. In fact, actually try and exercise social distancing.”

She also advised against keeping cats inside who liked regular access to the outside world.

“If your cats do not like to be kept indoors, please do not keep them indoors. It could lead to some serious stress-related medical problems.”

If you haven’t got symptoms, it’s business as usual when it goes to showing your pets some affection.

Humans cannot catch coronavirus from a contaminated cat (Credit: Pixabay)

Asked if we can catch coronavirus from a pet, Daniella said it’s a firm no.

“You cannot catch COVID-19 from your pets. There is absolutely no evidence that pets or any animal are capable of transmitting it back to people,” she said.

Although there have been a few cases of human to animal transmission, there is “absolutely no evidence of animal to human”.

She concluded: “We urge people to not panic and just use good hygiene if you have symptoms and have a pet.”

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