Covid-19: British Veterinary Association statement on cats

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has clarified its position in light of a report on the BBC news website relating to cats and coronavirus.

In response to questions from the BBC yesterday about general advice for pet owners, BVA had given information that related to both general guidance as well as specific advice for cats from self-isolating or infected households, but not made the distinction clear.

The article suggested that veterinary advice was to keep all cats indoors, but BVA has since explained that this advice is only in relation to cats in infected households or where people are self-isolating.

BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said: “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. Some cats cannot stay indoors due to stress-related medical reasons.

“As a precaution, 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. It is very important that people don’t panic about their pets. There is no evidence that animals can pass the disease to humans.”

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