Vet expert clears up confusion on cats and coronavirus
Get a digital copy of the Northern Scot delivered straight to your inbox every week
THE British Veterinary Association (BVA) has clarified its advice about cats and coronavirus.
A headline on a BBC news article had suggested experts were advising that all cats be kept indoors.
However, the BVA says this advice only applies to cats in infected households or where people are self-isolating.
BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said today: "It’s incredibly important that information and advice for the public is clear and we regret that this story will have caused worry and upset amongst cat owners.
"We are not advising that all cats are kept indoors. Only cats from infected households or where their owners are self-isolating, and only if the cat is happy to be kept indoors.
"There have been a tiny number of cases of COVID-19 in animals and, in all cases, it is likely that the transmission was human to animal.
"There is no evidence that pets can pass COVID-19 to their owners."
She added: "From the small number of cases it appears that dogs do not show symptoms, but cats can show clinical signs of the disease."
The BVA added that animals can act as "fomites", whereby the virus could be present on their fur in the same way it is on other surfaces. It advises pet owners to ensure good hand hygiene.
Ms Dos Santos urged people not to panic about their pets, adding: "There is no evidence that animals can pass the disease to humans."