No matter how much joy owning a cat may have brought into your life, there's no denying that they're nothing more than cuddly little murder machines that like to watch you clean their shit from a box. While there's not a lot you can do about the latter, in this time of plague, you can put the brakes on the number of things your kitty kills, on purpose or (as cats might try to convince you), unintentionally.
Cat owners who are self-isolating or have Covid-19 symptoms should consider keeping their pets indoors to stop them carrying the virus on their fur, a veterinary body has advised.
The British Veterinary Association said animals "can act as fomites" (objects that can become contaminated with infectious organisms) and could hold the virus on their fur if they are petted by someone who has contracted it."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," the BVA said in a statement. "The virus could be on their fur in the same way it is on other surfaces, such as tables and doorknobs."The body said, however, that its main advice to pet owners was to practice good hand hygiene.
So, you're sick and you pet your kitty, Mittens, before letting it outside. Covered in your COVID-19 cooties, Mittens roams your neighborhood where, multiple people might give him a scritch behind his ears. BOOM: in addition to any birds Mittens may have casually murdered while he was out for his stroll, he's also passed along a virus that has the potential to send any number of individuals reeling off this mortal coil. Thanks Mittens.
If you are forced to self quarantine, do everyone a favor and keep your cat indoors with you. Your neighbors and the local bird population will thank you.
Image via Séamus Bellamy