Cats and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A very worrying issue for cat lovers, as a result of the coronavirus, the pandemic that is developing worldwide, is whether or not pets are carriers of the COVID-19 virus, or if they can be infected with it. If this worries you, read this note in detail that you will find out about the latest news worldwide in this entry.

Cats and the coronavirus:

A young man sitting on the sidewalk receiving affection from a cat in the coronavirus pandemic -

In principle we will define what coronavirus is, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause disease in both animals and humans. In the case of cats, the coronavirus that affected them was from the family "Alphacoraviruswhich causes the disease Feline Infectious Peritonitis and is not transmitted to humans. The most recent coronavirus to be discovered from the outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019, is the much feared COVID-19. which belongs to the genusbetacoronavirus", and believed that it affected only humans and was not transmitted to the rest of the animals.  

It is known for certain that the disease can spread from person to person. In other words, a person is infected with COVID-19 by being in contact with another person who is infected with the virus. Through droplets from the nose or mouth that are ejected when an infected person coughs, sneezes, and exhales. When these droplets fall on the objects and surfaces that surround the infected person, if a healthy person touches these objects or surfaces and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth, they can contract the coronavirus.

With regard to pets, the WHO states that the predominant route of transmission of COVID-19 is from human to human. Although he is aware of cases of animals and pets infected with COVID-19, it is believed that they were infected by their owners who are infected with the virus. It also highlights the work carried out by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), an intergovernmental organization in charge of improving animal health in the world. Who are developing technical guidance for veterinary services and technical experts on testing and quarantine.

Veterinarian checking the health of a cat -

The OIE advises that there is a possibility that some animals become infected through close contact with infected people. Several dogs, domestic cats and also a tiger have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but they have been in close contact with people infected with the virus. He symptom major to the which we must be attentive in our pets is if they manifest breathing difficulties, which may be accompanied by problems gastrointestinal like vomiting and diarrhea. 

Results have also been known in laboratory studies of the animal species investigated so far. Cats are the species most susceptible to COVID-19 and their condition can be aggravated by pre-existing clinical diseases. Under such laboratory conditions, these cats can transmit the infection to other cats. There is currently no evidence that companion animals play a significant role in the spread of the disease.

Veterinarian checking a cat's eyes -

However, it is important to use a series of hygiene measures to take care of ourselves and our pets. The first measure we must take is to wash our hands before and after being in contact with or handling the cat, its food or its toys, as well as avoiding kissing or sharing food. It is also important to clean the surfaces that are used the most in the home by us and our pets (floor, counters, etc.).

On the other hand, if you have confirmation or suspicion that you are sick with COVID-19, it is advisable to contact your cat's veterinarian by phone so that he can indicate the steps to follow. It is generally recommended that you reduce contact with your cat or other animals. You can leave it in the care of other family members. But if you live alone with your pet and you are the only one who takes care of it, you must respect hygiene measures to the letter, and wear a mask when you are in contact with your kitty. If your kitten tests positive for COVID-19, you should keep it indoors and avoid contact with other pets and/or people as much as possible.

We hope we have given you useful information and cleared up your doubts.

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