Vets advise cat owners to keep them indoors to limit spread of coronavirus
Cat owners who are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms should consider keeping their pets indoors to stop them from carrying the virus on their fur, a veterinary body has advised.
Animals can act as fomites, which are objects that can become contaminated with infectious organisms, and could hold the virus on their fur if they are pet by someone who has contracted the virus, The British Veterinary Association said.
"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 BVA said in a statement. "The virus could be on their fur in the same way it is on other surfaces, such as tables and doorknobs."
The BVA says the most important thing for pet owners to do at this time is to practice good hygiene.
There is a small number of incidents in which animals have tested positive for COVID-19, including a tiger in Bronx Zoo, but even in those cases, there is no evidence that animals can pass the virus 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."
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