Animal experts advise when you should keep your cat indoors to prevent coronavirus

Jennifer Savin
Photo credit: Elles Rijsdijk - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

It's safe to say the coronavirus pandemic has uprooted many people's daily routines, especially now that we're living in lockdown. We're now having to check the rules on everything from exercise to shopping. One question many people are asking is whether or not pets (including cats and dogs) can fall ill to, or spread, the virus – and if they should be kept indoors during the current Covid-19 spread.

To help clear things up, a spokesperson from Cats Protection, the largest feline welfare charity in the UK, told Cosmopolitan: "As there’s still no evidence that cats can transmit the virus to humans we only advise keeping cats in if the owner is diagnosed with, or are suspected of having or are displaying characteristic symptoms, of COVID-19." So if you and the rest of your household are feeling well,

However, they continued, there are still some super important hygiene measures that cat owners should be taking, to help play their part in slowing the spread of the virus. "As a precaution, we’d recommend owners should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling their pet and those infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) should be particularly mindful by minimising contact."

Photo credit: Getty Images

As for how you can help your cat settle in to its new routine of spending more time indoors, should that be required, Cats Protection offer the following tips:

  1. Invest in a new toy: Fishing rod toys are perfect for boosting a cat's mental stimulation.
  2. Make an enrichment feeder: You can use old toilet roll tubes or egg boxes, to make cats ‘work’ for their food (and help stave off boredom).
  3. Get a sturdy scratching post: Hopefully it'll steer your kitty away from attacking the furniture...
  4. Allow your cat a place to hide: Try a cardboard box or pop their bed on a higher shelf
  5. Use synthetic pheromones to keep them calm: A plug-in diffuser, such as one from FELIWAY®CLASSIC can help to keep them content in times of stress.

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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