Cats and COVID-19
ABCD keeps you updated about SARS-CoV-2 and cats
SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus associated with COVID-19 in humans, can also infect animals. In the Netherlands and Denmark, mink farms have been affected and, in several countries, sporadic infections of cats and dogs have been reported, as well as infections in lions and tigers in the Bronx zoo. It has been postulated that the cats and dogs were infected from their owners who had COVID-19, while the big cats were likely infected from their keeper who, although asymptomatic, was infected with SARS-CoV-2.
ABCD is monitoring the situation with “SARS-coronavirus (CoV)-2 and cats”, the current knowledge is reviewed in our Guideline:
A Spanish translation see here.
This guideline will be updated regularly as new data become available. Given the potential for infected individuals to infect their pets, in households where people are sick with COVID-19, close contact with pet cats and dogs should be avoided. It is preferable that another member of the household without symptoms should care for the animal. If any owner with COVID-19 must continue to care for their pet while ill, they should maintain basic hygiene measures, for example washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after being near or handling their animals, their food, or their supplies, as well as avoiding kissing or licking their pets or sharing food or towels.
Answers to common questions on COVID-19 and cats:
ABCD emphasises that there is currently no evidence that cats transmit SARS-CoV-2 to humans. Pet owners should always maintain good hygiene practices and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets.
24 June, 2020
Upon a joint initiative of veterinary clinicians, scientists and an industry sponsor, the Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD) has been constituted. In 2005, ABCD held its first meeting in Lyon, France. Its objectives are to communicate scientific developments in feline infectious diseases, to establish a rational base for vaccine use and for disease prevention and control in the cat and to publish its conclusions for the companion animal practitioners’ scene. It is achieving this goal by organizing conventions, at which specific issues are scheduled, discussed and agreed upon. The objective is to define a code of practice that reflects the present state of knowledge on infectious diseases of the cat.
ESCCAP (European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites) is an independent, non-profit making organisation consisting of experts in the field of parasitology and public health from across Europe.
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